Becoming a UTD Instructor is one of the most exciting journeys you can undertake, however it is extremely challenging. Challenging, but not impossible.
To properly prepare you to teach the UTD educational curriculum in a consistent manner we require that everyone, no matter what previous instructor rating they may have, take a core level class called UTD Instructor Development Course (IDC) and then be evaluated by our Training Advisory Board (TAB). Following that you can move up to technical, cave, wreck or rebreather instructor.
A message to you from our UTD Instructor Family:
- You will teach divers to become “Thinking Team Members.”
- You will be a UTD Scuba Diving Coach.
- You will introduce divers to the latest UTD/DIR methodology, philosophy and skills.
- Your will have the best Instructor materials ever produced including a full “Playbook” covering every class and skill.
- You will work with the highest set of Standards and Procedures in the industry.
- You will be a leader in the scuba community and belong to an ever growing community of UTD/DIR divers.
- You will be supported by UTD Headquarters which responds quickly and effectively to our students’ and instructors’ needs.
- You are building future explorers for UTD Projects and Adventures.
- Most importantly, you will have fun teaching and diving.
The Complete Process
To begin your UTD IDC journey you must first ensure you meet the prerequisites as listed below. Then you must complete each of the following steps:
- An Interview with the UTD Training Director or UTD CEO. Set that up with an email to [email protected]
- Have taken any UTD class – UTD IDC Prep is preferred however UTD Essentials or higher is acceptable.
- Subscribe to and study your online course materials and academics.
- Attend a UTD IDC with your Freestyle Divers UTD Instructor Trainer.
- Get a final Training Advisory Board evaluation and recommendation.
- Start your teaching adventure!
Preparing for the IDC
Although you will do much of the preparation for the IDC on your own, we are available at any time to guide you, answer questions, and talk about the programs. You will complete the online classroom programs and tests for each class you plan on teaching. You’ll study our Standards and Procedures, Student and Diver Procedures Manual, and Instructor Playbook.
The Playbook is the heart of the UTD instructor materials. This document describes in detail how to teach critical skills at each level. The book outlines how those skills are applied to each UTD certification class and includes the methodology on simulating failures, instructor positioning during critical skill training, and the expected student outcome of each simulated failure.
Attached to the playbook are hours of video that describe in detail how to teach dry runs – the personal and critical skills taught on the surface.
The prerequisites to become a UTD Open Water or Foundational Instructor are Divemaster with any recognized training agency, proof of 200 non training dives, and at least UTD IDC Prep or Ess of Rec / Tech or any other upper level UTD class. A full list of prerequisites can be found in the UTD Standards and Procedures.
- Must meet UTD General Course Prerequisites as outlined in Section 1.6.
- Must be a minimum age of 19 years of age.
- Must be able to swim at least 425 yards/ 400 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping.
- Must be able to swim a distance of at least 70 feet/21 meters on a breath hold.
- Divemaster certification with a recognized certification agency.
- Rescue class, or equivalent.
- First Aid, CPR, and AED/O2 within past two years.
- UTD IDC Prep or UTD Essentials of Rec / Tech or any other upper level UTD class.
IDC Prep Class
This is a personal skills class that prepares you for the UTD IDC. This is only needed if you have not taken a UTD Essentials of Rec/Tech/Side Mount or any other upper level UTD class. The three-day class covers how we teach buoyancy, trim, propulsion, basic-6, s-drills, valve drills, and smb deployment. All these skills are taught at demonstration level. The class also goes through proper weighting, how to dive a ‘balanced rig,’ Min-Deco ascent strategies, and Rock Bottom gas planning.
Home Study Classroom Materials Prep Module
Review of all student course materials in the Foundational category, including Open Water, Advanced, Essentials, Nitrox, Rescue, Dry Suit, etc.
Home Study Academic Module
This is an online program that address UTD’s teaching philosophy, ethos, Standards and Procedures, Playbook, and much more.
In-Person Instructor Development Class (IDC)
These IDC’s are held worldwide and consist of a 3 to 5 day in-water IDC depending on level. Your instructor trainer (IT) will work with you to develop your ability to lecture, present dry runs, conduct in water teaching, and evaluate your students.
UTD Training Advisory Board (TAB) Final Evaluation.
At the conclusion of the IDC your instructor trainer will post additional videos of you giving one classroom lecture, one dry run, and one teaching event to the Training Advisory Board for final evaluation.
UTD Instructor Development Class Package Costs
All instructor candidate and instructors are required to maintain a UTD instructor membership. The cost is $695 USD to begin then $20/month. This includes instructor course materials, all foundational student materials, and your certification card. Once certified as a UTD instructor, recreational instructor membership fees are $20/month or $200/year; technical and cave instructor memberships are $25/month or $250/year.
This subscription is for the UTD membership and educational materials, it does not include the cost of the in-person IDC.