PADI IDC Skill Circuit

Master the 24 skills on PADI IDC Skill Circuit

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

The PADI IDC Skill Circuit was updated for 2020.

Here are the new skills. 
There are still 24 of them, and they are the same as the PADI Divemaster 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 Divemaster and IDC Skill Circuit

For the PADI IDC, you’ll be building on the training that you learned on your PADI Divemaster Course

It’s important for all PADI professionals to be able to demonstrate skills clearly. 

But as we’ll find out in a moment, there’s no need to spend ages, giving complex and unnecessary hand signals.

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


You’ll get  a chance to practice and perfect the skills as the course develops. 

How to master the 24 skills on PADI 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 Student’s 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 IDC Skill circuit 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.

PADI IDC skill cirucit

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. 

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 2023 PADI Instructor Development Course

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 2023 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 2023 PADI Instructor Exam
  • All Standards exam questions found in 2023 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. 

Last modified: 10th January 2023
Author: Steve Prior