How to become an Adaptive Scuba Instructor

So you may be considering becoming an adaptive scuba instructor. But what does it actually involve to get this special certification?
Some people think you need to be in superb physical condition and have many years of scuba experience/certifications under your belt. This is not the case; a regular scuba instructors really just needs a trainer and/or training center nearby. And a good dose of enthusiasm is mandatory!

However, when you’re already a scuba instructor with any other scuba organization, it is actually quite easy to apply for an Instructor cross-over from IAHD (International Association for Handicapped Divers) It is also possible to complete full training from starter to instructor level with the IAHD organization. Practically in the same way you’d do with similar scuba certifying agencies.

IAHD is an organization that provides specialized training for both professionals as (aspiring) disabled divers. All with a goal of making the dive industry as diverse as possible.

So the best thing is to just contact me and let’s get this thing going!!

AquaSub (Breda, the Netherlands) applied for an IAHD instructor crossover for all their instructors. And so myself, the director of IAHD and colleague trainer Marije went to conduct the instructor crossover program with them.

An Instructor cross-over in general consists of the following parts

A general introduction of all participants & the IAHD teaching system
So how did you get to the point in your dive career/path where you are, what motivates you to be an adaptive instructor?
But also who and what is IAHD, what does it stand for and how does the system of registering, d-learning (digital learning) and certifying a student works?

Illness & disability
An overview of illnesses and impairments. How to deal with some, where to get the latest information on research and data and general discussion with regard to disabilities and own experiences.

Theory & Examination
A review of the theory you have studied and prepared at home. This theory is of course in relation to the IAHD standards & procedures and the dive table.
The exam has a pass rate (but no worries, nobody ever really failed!).

Practical exercise & workshop(s)
Depending on the instructor trainer you’ll be exposed to some great practical exercises on land and in the water. All with the aim to let you either experience how it is to be a person with certain disabilities, or to rethink your current processes and adapting them to divers with other needs.

The day we spent with Aqua Sub was wonderful! It was an active day and all aspiring IAHD instructors participated with their fullest motivation in the theory & practical sessions. Some even discovered something new about themselves or about the way they have been teaching scuba! So all in all it was a fun, successful and extremely rewarding day.

Aqua Sub was preparing for an amazing event happening at TODI dive resort in Beringen, Belgium. The special musicians of the Jostiband Orchestra are attempting to set the world record for an underwater concert!!


#AquaSubJosti - IAHD - So Scuba - TODI
img: Hans Doderer

I am extremely excited about the whole event and can’t wait to participate!
If I take away anything from this day with the lovely crew of Aqua Sub; it is that the future of adaptive scuba is bright! What a great group of people with wonderful mindsets about the industry and its participants. Thank you for having us, thank you for letting us put you through the exercises and I’ll see you at the Jostiband Orchestra World Record attempt on the 25th this month!

As a trainer but also as an adaptive scuba instructor I come across many funny, touching and inspiring moments, and not one cross-over, or scuba session is ever the same. I enjoy giving this training greatly as well as being part of an inclusive organization that has the best interest of disabled divers at heart. I love what I do and it is hard to imagine ever doing anything else!

Well who knows 🙂

58 thoughts on “How to become an Adaptive Scuba Instructor

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