Customer Testimonials

Read what some of our successful candidates have said about us!

IDC Aug 2015 – “A fantastic IDC with a great balance of support and challenge… not to mention fun! Opportunities were built in for development to meet personal needs and a high level of support through the entire course. I cannot recommend Alex highly enough!”

Maryse Dare

IDC March 2015 – “Being a young Course Director, Alex Griffin was someone I could really relate to. His teaching was relaxed, creative and very good. He restored a lot of trust at a time when I was very unsure about things. Because of him, my PADI IE was completed with great results! I dedicate my success to him.”

Adrian Jones

IDC Aug 2013– “I started my IDC in February of 2013 in preparation for the IE in August of that year in Peterborough. The AI was conducted by Lynne Clafton of Aquanaut Scuba in Kingston with the OWSI being conducted by Alex Griffin. Having been a DM for a few years it was important for me to take the next step and also find a way of regularly being in the water doing what I love. Lynne was excellent and very flexible to fit around my busy schedule plus her relaxed teaching style meant that ‘most of it’ sunk in the first time. Lynne also accommodated for extra pool sessions when I felt they were needed and was a constant source of knowledge on all things diving. Having completed my AI I was next introduced to Alex who took me through my OWSI and got me prepared for my IE. Alex’s teaching style also warrants applause as not only does he possess a mountain of knowledge he has an excellent way of delivering it. The OSWI was conducted across 2 weekends and was very well organised. Alex had recently completed his CD and was right up to date with the latest teaching techniques which gave me great confidence. Alex and Lynne both did an excellent job in preparing me for the IE and after a few nervous hours of exams I really began to enjoy myself. At no point during the IE weekend did I encounter something  that I was not prepared for, in fact, I found myself having more time to prepare things than I expected. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire IDC and the IE and thanks to Lynne and Alex I passed with flying colours.”

Paul Searle

IDC 29th June 2014 –  “My IDC was scheduled over 2 weekends with 4 other candidates. Our Course Director for the IDC was Alex Griffin (who seems to be known by the whole PADI world, and was highly recommended by other OWSI’s to do my IDC).  Alex’s PADI knowledge, patience, presentation skills, enthusiasm and humour made the IDC experience and IE Examination preparation a pleasurable one rather than a chore.
 My IE was at Peterborough on 16/17 Aug 2014 and throughout the weekend Alex was always available on the phone for guidance  and re-assurance. A huge thank you to Alex for your support and sharing your wealth of PADI experience to help me get through the IE to become an OWSI.  (My Instructor Specialities with Alex……already being booked).”
Mark Greenslade #252206

IDC Aug 2013- My name is Richard Cullen and I am a PADI Staff Instructor and an Instructor Trainer for Deptherapy Education. I completed my IDCS with Alex Griffin at Diving Leisure London. I had known Alex for a long time and found that on the programme he brought to the course his friendliness and enthusiasm for diving that are very much a hallmark of Alex as a person. This was Alex’s first IDC programme as a Course Director and I know the IDC students and those of us working towards Staff Instructor had an amazing experience. Alex’s enthusiasm for diving and his knowledge of the PADI system are obvious and this creates a desire to do well in his students. Whilst the programme is intense Alex also brings a style of his own that encourages and facilitates learning. Feedback is very well managed even when this involves some bad news. For me Alex’s description of the scoring system in skills evaluation and student presentations was absolutely brilliant. He deals with student feedback in a very caring way and manages performance issues in a sensitive manner that encourages achievement amongst his students. I really enjoyed the programme and learned a good deal, the IDC students were enthused by Alex’s style and his obvious love of diving and delivery of the IDC programme.

Richard Cullen

IDC Nov 2013- I did my IDC with Alex Griffin and it was a great experience. Doing it out of season I was able to get thorough one on one tuition which was really beneficial. I was made to feel really comfortable to ask any questions about the course and also using the teams experience to further my education. The course was very enjoyable and was a great introduction into UK diving which I had never considered before. I will certainly be using Alex to further my diving education by completing my MSDT course with him.

James Clack


Speciality Instructor training

To be a fully rounded instructor regardless of where you’re teaching there are a few specialities that you need to have under your belt. Here in the UK the most important ones are drysuit, deep, search and recovery, wreck and nitrox. If you can teach these specialities you’ll be more employable and more likely to get to do a wider variety of courses than just running referrals in the pool! Specialities are the most fun courses to teach, you’re usually dealing with qualified divers wanting to learn new skills, that means you’re not trying to ‘sell diving’ to someone you’re teaching them new cool stuff. It’s also really important to be able to up-sell from an Advanced Course to specialities as this will often be a newer divers first taste of activities like wreck or drysuit.

Teaching lining off

Teaching lining off

I do a ‘UK Specs Weekend’ that covers these 5 specialities. This also primes you for MSDT as you require 5 specialties to qualify and means you can then go onto Staff Instructor and then hopefully help out on our IDCs!

Earning instructor specialities is a little more involved than many people think. For each speciality, amongst other things, you’ll need to do a knowledge development presentation and then in water demonstrate all skills involved including running an open water teaching presentation just like you did on the IDC. If a speciality has 2-3 dives then most of the time the instructor speciality can be conducted in 1. If the speciality has 4 dives then it’s 2 at instructor level.

I normally run the course as follows:

Day 1:

Drysuit: 1 dive

Search and recovery: 2 dives

Nitrox: Theory only, no dives

Day 2:

Deep: 1 dive (based on deep run as a 3 dive course)

Wreck: 2 dives.

As you can see this is a full program and we cover lots of stuff: Skills, drills and tips for teaching drysuit and search and recovery and then a lot on the control and supervision of deep and wreck courses which is vital to understand in the UK. I have heard of some individuals getting over 10 specialities signed off in a weekend. This isn’t possible and should raise a few eyebrows if offered.

Mark and plane

Mark using a real plane as a non diving related training aid!

The weekend can be run alongside an IDC before candidates attend an IE. This can be really useful as it gives another weekend practising the skills required to pass the IE. The candidates simply process the speciality instructor certs after completing the IE.

The cost of a UK Specs Weekend is £500 as an added bonus I’ll also let you come back on another weekend and complete any other specs you might be interested in, for example Equipment, SMB or navigation!

See here for a full list of available specialities courses

The New Open Water Course

At the London IDC, we teach the new open water course. The following lists some of the key changes to the course. Our Course Director is available to consult in your dive centre if you would like an in-water update on the new course.

  • Securing a loose tank camband.
  • Emergency Weight drop.
  • Emphasis on neutral buoyancy throughout teaching.
  • Emphasis on horizontal trim: no more buddha hovers!
  • Dive planning: Mini dives in confined and open water.
  • Dive computer planning as a requirement: RDP is now optional.

These are some of the new areas of the course. The new open water course is not a total overhaul but instead a modernisation of the course to bring it up to date with current ways of thinking.


How’s it work?

The premise of the London IDC is very simple: We bring candidates from different dive centres together to create a series of regular well attended IDCs.

We work with a number of dive centres: We get together, agree dates and then jointly market the IDC. The IDC then runs over those dates with some candidates from all or some of the dive centres using all the facilities that those dive centres have available from classrooms, to pool time and equipment.

Why do we do this? The answer is because it makes more sense for everyone involved. The London IDC was started by Course Director Alex Griffin when he saw the difficulties of running and scheduling IDCs within his own dive centre:

“Many dive centres don’t always have enough candidates, available at the same time, to justify the expense of bringing in a Course Director to run it. The result is constant rescheduling and poorly attended IDCs.”

From a candidates perspective this is no good as it’s good to have other candidates and staff instructors to work with and you also want to be able to commit to dates well in advance.

By bringing together top quality 5 star IDC PADI Dive centres to pool their candidates, the London IDC can offer a series of fixed dates through the year with access to all the facilities that these dive centres have to offer.

As a result everyone wins. You, the IDC candidate, gets a range of flexible dates to commit to and a well attended course. The dive centre wins by being able to confidently market the program without fear of losing money.