How to master the 24 skills on PADI IDC course Skill Circuit

What are the 24 skills in a PADI IDC Skill Circuit?

The new PADI IDC Course Skill Circuit.

  1. Equipment assembly, adjustment, preparation, donning
    and disassembly
  2. Pre-dive safety check (BWRAF)
  3. Deep-water entry
  4. Buoyancy check at surface
  5. Snorkel-regulator/regulator-snorkel exchange
  6. Five-point descent, using buoyancy control to stop descent
    without contacting the bottom
  7. Regulator recovery and clearing*
  8. Mask removal, replacement and clearing*
  9. Air depletion exercise and alternate air source use (stationary)
  10. Alternate air source-assisted ascent
  11. Free flowing regulator breathing
  12. Neutral buoyancy, rise and fall – using low pressure inflation
  13. Five-point ascent
  14. Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent
  15. Orally inflate BCD to hover for at least 60 seconds
  16. Underwater swim without a mask
  17. Remove and replace weight system underwater
  18. Remove and replace scuba unit underwater
  19. Remove and replace scuba unit on the surface
  20. Remove and replace weight system on the surface
  21. Surface dive while skin diving and clear snorkel using blast
    method upon surfacing
  22. Disconnect low pressure inflator
  23. Re-secure a loose cylinder band
  24. Perform an emergency weight drop

* To earn a 5, diver must demonstrate skill while neutrally buoyant.

PADI IDC Skill Circuit

The PADI IDC Skill Circuit is an important part of the Instructor Development Course (IDC).

It is designed to give candidates a chance to practice and perfect the skills that they will be teaching to their students. 

Of course you are building on the training that you learned on your Divemaster Course.

By the end of the IDC, you should be able to complete every skill on the Skill Circuit with ease and confidence.

How to master the 24 skills on PADI IDC course Skill Circuit

The simple answer is to look in the PADI Instructor Manual.

To get a maximum score of 5, you need to: 

Perform the exercise correctly, slowly and with exaggerated movement (appeared “easy”)

Does that help? 

Didn’t think so! 

Let’s look at our Students’ journey to get a better explanation.

What is more important?

Scoring a FIVE on your PADI Instructor Exam?


Being an effective  instructor?

Surely these should be the same thing?

Well, maybe they are. 

Some people think that the demostrations that you do on a Divemaster Course are different from what you’d do in front of real students. 

It’s natural that you want to impress your instructor during your skill circuit, and score FIVEs on every demonstration. 
However, some “Fives” might seem a little inappropriate for the real world. 

We need to understand how we can make our skill circuit demonstrations “Student Centred” and then maybe the top scores will follow. 

PADI IDC skill circuit demonstrations

When we start to think about performing a skill demonstration, several questions arise. 

  • How long should a demonstration be?
  • Should we indicate “You watch me?”
  • Is it more important for the Instructor to look good or for the students to look good?
  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • What is the definition of “demonstration”?
  • Should we add things NOT to do?
  • Does a very slow and extra long demonstration earn more points? 
  • How should we demonstrate a skill?
  • Who are we trying to impress?
  • Why are we doing the demonstration in the first place?

PADI Skill demonstrations video

This video is a part of my 
FULL IDC preparation Course

It explains the psychology of how demonstrations help people learn. 

It also shows how we can make the demonstrations more Student Centred.

Together we discover that earning a “5” makes a lot more sense when we deliver to help the students. 

How can you learn to give awesome demonstrations?

Practice doing the skills as a competent diver would do them.

At first, forget hand signals and forget unnecessary exaggeration.
Get smooth, and be natural.
A demonstration is given to show someone what the skill looks like, and to make it look easy. 

Extra signals can be added later.

A simple way to visit all skills again would be to attend a PADI ReActivate program and tell your PADI Professional that you wanted to be proficient in all skills. 

PPADI IDC Course Skill Circuit

PADI IDC Skill Circuit demonstratons

Once you get really comfortable with demonstrating your skills, you can then spend more time with other subjects preparing for your PADI IDC. 

Take a look here you’re not totally sure of what’s included in the 2022 PADI Instructor Development Course

“I have to say your Physics formulas helped me no end, it all made sense! Amazing, I can’t believe I now understand Physics, so a big THANK YOU "


Complete PADI IDC Preparation Course

The video on this page is taken from my Full PADI IDC Preparation Course. 
It’s packed with great tips to help you pass your IDC, your IE and also to be a great instructor. 


24 Videos

30 Quizzes

Dive Theory and Teaching Skills

How to teach in confined water

5 Mock PADI IE  dive Theory Exams

5 PADI Standards Exams (using the 2022 instructor manual).

This online course is perfect for you.

  • Explained in simple terms
  • Jargon Busting sections!
  • Lots of practice exams
  • Videos (not taught in the “PADI” way!)
  • Quizzes to help you understand
  • The most “up to date” questions
  • Standards questions based on 2022 PADI Instructor Exam
  • All Standards exam questions found in 2022 version of PADI Instructor Manual

If you have found traditional teaching difficult to understand, then this course is for you.

It’s packed with simple videos and quizzes to help you with any subjects that you find difficult.

I explain things in very simple terms. I try to break through the “jargon” and also give tips on how you can pass this information over to others. 

“Hoorah! For the first time in my life physics is easy!! I would recommend this course to anyone, regardless of current level of qualification".


Last modified: 5th June 2022
Author: Steve Prior