Q: Who will be teaching me ?
A: Our PADI IDC programmes are taught in their entirety by Platinum Course Director Richard Reardon. Richard has been teaching IDCs since 2004, and has successfully conducted many IDCs over this time. When booking an IDC you should take the time to find out who will be running the programme, but also who will actually be conducting the training. You should look to complete an IDC that is taught by a Course Director with lots of experience. Sometimes people book an IDC and when they arrive they find that they are actually being taught by a less experienced IDC Staff Instructor while the Course Director is only present on the first and last days. Some dive centres promote their courses with the name of a respected and experienced Course Director, but there is actually a much less experienced Course Director conducting the presentations, and the experienced Course Director you expected to be teaching you is nowhere to be seen. Not at Go Pro In Paradise and Lanta Diver. We guarantee all sections of our award-winning IDC programmes will be taught by a Platinum PADI Course Director with years of experience and knowledge. Also it is worth checking that the CD is a Platinum Course Director if that is what is being advertised. You can check this information in the 2nd quarter Undersea Journal each year - downloadable from the PADI Pro's site.
Q: Is the Course Director very experienced ?
A: Experience can be measured in different ways. Time is a factor, but you need to know more than just how long ago someone became certified as an Instructor or a Course Director. It’s good to have experience in different dive conditions and locations – if your Instructor has taught in currents and/or cold water, they can give you many more tips on adapting teaching techniques than an Instructor who has only worked in places like Koh Tao where the diving is very easy – warm, no current, good visibility. Some Course Directors have been certified for many years, but only teach two or three courses a year. A Course Director who teaches an IDC every month will be more up-to-date and ‘match fit’ to teach you a great IDC. Our Platinum Course Director, Richard Reardon, has been teaching diving full time since 2002 – he has taught and guided in cold water (New Zealand, Bali), strong currents (Palau, Nusa Penida, Pulau Weh) low visibility (Cambodia, New Zealand), big dive centres with large classes (Koh Tao, Cairns, Sharm-El-Sheikh, Malapascua, Phuket), small 'boutique' centres with the personal touch (Koh Lanta, Taba), rustic backpacker-oriented centres (Pulau Weh, Koh Phi Phi), and on liveaboards (Palau, Philippines, Thailand) – and has vast experience handling different, difficult and unpredictable situations and conditions. A Course Director with such high experience will be able to answer your questions and tailor the answers to suit you and the location where you intend to teach - this is very important and can help make your first course much more relaxed for both you and your students. Since becoming a Course Director in 2011, Richard has also taught an IDC almost every month, also in different locations, and has issued over 2000 Instructor-level certifications, and over 3500 PADI certifications in total.
Q: What are the facilities like at your dive centre ?
A: All our professional-level PADI training is conducted in conjunction with Lanta Diver, in Koh Lanta, Thailand. Lanta Diver is a PADI Career Development Centre – the highest rating a training facility can acquire. We have a comfortable air-conditioned dedicated IDC classroom and a 3m deep training pool. It is important to select a dive centre with good facilities – some dive centres don’t have their own pool and time you could spend underwater improving is instead spent travelling, and you won't have unlimited access to that pool to practise any skills at the end of the day. Also important is the depth – some dive centres use hotel swimming pools, and often these pools are not deep enough for certain skills, like hovering. You should ask about these considerations when choosing where to take your PADI Divemaster or IDC training.
Q: What will I need to bring with me ?
A: You will need copies of all certification cards from Open Water through to Divemaster; a copy of the last page of your log book showing proof of 100+ dives; EFR certification dated within the past 2 years (Alternative first aid/CPR certification may be acceptable but please check with us in advance); medical statement confirming you are fit to dive and dated within the past year; the RDP and the eRDPML; your credit card (PADI fees cannot be paid in cash); any personal diving equipment you may have (please note that whilst we offer free equipment use (with the exception of SMB, knife, compass) throughout your IDC and IE, we strongly recommend that you purchase and/or bring your own). Please bring your SMB, compass and dive knife/tool.
Q: How can I prepare for the IDC ?
A: You can start by re-reading your manuals from previous courses. You should also be comfortable with both versions of the PADI RDP. The Encyclopaedia Of Recreational Diving and the Diving Knowledge Workbook are both very good study tools. You should also practise your knot-tying skills. You could also visit our Study Tools page for further information on preparing for your PADI IDC, and also visit our YouTube channel to see some skill demonstartrions and IDC workshops. When you confirman IDC booking with us with a deposit, we also send out a full study pack to help you prepare for the dive theory exams, and to get you a head start on the IDC and EFR Instructor course content.This will help your IDC be more relaxed.
Q: Are there any additional costs ?
A: Our IDC prices DO NOT include the PADI fees or materials. The fees are paid direct to PADI by the candidate via credit card. Please click to see a complete list of PADI fees and our IDC and materials' prices.
Q: How do I get there ?
A: The nearest airport is in Krabi. Upon arrival, it's easy to get a taxi or minibus outside to Koh Lanta. From Phuket, you can get a ferry across to Lanta too.
Q: What visa do I need to get for Thailand ?
A: Depending on the length of your intended training at Go Pro In Paradise, there are different visa options. If you are considering a stay of 30 days or less, depending on the passport you hold, you may be entitled to enter Thailand under the visa exempt scheme – please check with your local Thai Embassy. The 30 day ‘visa exempt’ entries are non-extendable. For stays of up to 60 days it is best to apply for a 60 Day Tourist Visa from your local Thai Embassy before travelling. For training programmes that go beyond this time frame, you should be able to apply for multiple entry Tourist Visas in your home country – each entry would give you 60 Days. Each 60 day entry on a Tourist Visa is extendable at an immigration office in Thailand for a further 30 days. Please note that Thai immigration laws are subject to change and we advise you to check with your local Thai Embassy for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Q: What is the accommodation like ?
A: Koh Lanta has a range of accommodation available to suit all budgets/needs. Please let us know what you are looking for, and we can offer some advice, or have a look at booking.com.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to email and ask...