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PSAI Instructor Level Courses

PSAI Technical Instructor Flowchart
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PSAI Technical Instructor Flowchart

PSAI Recreational (Sport) Instructor Flowchart
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PSAI Recreational Instructor Flowchart

PSAI Specialty Instructor Programs
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PSAI Specialty Instructor Programs
PSAI Instructor Course

Pro-Diver Development works closely with PSAI China. After all, we have PSAI Instructor Trainers and the PSAI China country licensee and Instructor Trainer Evaluator on board... We offer a full range of PSAI Professional Level programs for those who wish to upgrade from Divemaster to Instructor as well as for seasoned pros who wish to qualify to teach various PSAI programs.

How to become a PSAI Instructor?


I am a Divemaster...

If you are PSAI Divemaster or equivalent from another recognized training agency, you'll enter the PSAI Open Water Instructor Qualification Course (IQC). After successful completion of the course you'll qualify to teach the PSAI Open Water Sports Diver course.



I am an Instructor from another agency...

If you are an Instructor from another training agency, you can crossover to PSAI by attending a PSAI Instructor Qualification Course (IQC) for the level you wish to teach. PSAI will take into account your previous teaching qualifications.


You will need to be an Active Teaching Status Instructor in good standing who is qualified to teach the prerequisite levels and you must have completed the diver level course for the level you wish to teach.


You can see the levels on the flowcharts on this page. There are specific minimums as to previous teaching and diving experience. Please contact us for specific requirements for each course.



How to qualify to teach PSAI Specialties/higher level courses?


I am a PSAI Instructor...

Once you are a PSAI Instructor, to qualify to teach PSAI Specialty courses, you have three methods.


You need to have a diver level certification for the specialty you wish to teach. With five (5) Specialty Instructor ratings including Deep Diver, Basic Underwater Navigator and Advanced Buoyancy Control you'll earn Advanced Open Water Instructor rating and with eight (8) specialties, you'll earn Master Diving Instructor rating.



I am an Instructor from another agency...

You qualify for higher levels the same way you become a PSAI Instructor: you attend a PSAI Instructor Qualification Course (IQC) (please scroll down) for the level you wish to teach and apply for a crossover.


For instance:

An active status instructor from XYZ wants to become a PSAI Extended Range Instructor. The minimum prerequisite certifications would be


  • Enriched Air Specialty Instructor from a recognized training agency

  • Advanced Nitrox Instructor or equivalent  (previous level instructor rating)

  • PSAI Extended Range Diver (diver level rating)

PSAI Instructor Qualification Course (ICQ)

PSAI Technical Overhead Instructor Flowchart
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PSAI Technical Overhead Instructor Flowchart

PSAI Narcosis Management Instructor Flowchart
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PSAI Narcosis Management Instructor Flowchart

PSAI Instructor Qualification Courses follow a standard format. Durations may vary depending on the program. PSAI IQCs for various levels are conducted throughout the year in various locations and can be done in English, Cantonese or Mandarin.

General IQC Format and Requirements

PSAI Instructor Qualification Course (IQC) is an important component of the PSAI Professional Scuba Education System. It is designed to provide an Instructor Candidate the opportunity to demonstrate instructional level competence leading to certification as a PSAI Professional Educator (Instructor) at the appropriate diver level.


Course Objectives and Qualifications

PSAI IQC is an evaluation course to determine the level of instructional competency of a candidate. Upon successful completion of the IQC, the candidate will be qualified to teach diver level students at the appropriate course levels.


Prerequisites for IQC


  • Minimum age 18 years old

  • Certifications

    - The instructor candidate must be previously certified as an internationally recognized instructor at the level listed in the Prerequisites of the specific IQC.

    - The instructor candidate shall have previously completed the diver level course at the level sought.

  • Each instructor candidate must have the minimum diving and instructional experience for the specific IQC.


Course Minimums and Standards

The Instructor Qualification Course (IQC) can normally be  completed in a total of approximately eight (8) to sixteen (16) hours in one (1) or two (2) days, depending on the level. There are levels that require longer durations. No combination courses are allowed within the time frame. Each course is taught separately.


  • Classroom Work
    Each IQC will require a minimum of two (2) lecture presentations and appropriate written examinations which will require approximately 3 to 4 hours.


  • Confined Water Demonstrations
    Each Instructor Trainer may require specific confined water demonstrations to determine the instructional competence of the candidate. The time may vary, but should be sufficient to allow complete evaluation and review.


  • Open Water Demonstrations
    Each IQC will require a minimum of two (2) Open Water dives appropriate to the level sought by the candidate.

    1. Dive One shall consist of a normal dive that allows the Instructor Trainer to evaluate the candidate’s competence at the desired level.

    2. Dive Two shall consist of a dive in which the candidate acts as the instructor, delivering a specific briefing for a dive appropriate to the level sought by the candidate. Either the Instructor Trainer or another instructor candidate may act as the simulated student.


Course Materials

All instructor candidates will need the following documents for the IQC:


  • PSAI Diver Manual for the level desired.

  • PSAI Instructor Guide for the level desired. Available PSAI instructor manuals must also be used.

  • PSAI Instructional Support Materials, i.e. PowerPoint Presentations for the level desired.

  • PSAI Standards and Procedures for the level desired and all subordinate levels.


Course Equipment Requirements

The instructor candidate will have and use all equipment associated and required for the desired level. For Technical Level IQC’s, all instructor candidates will have at least one (1) functional oxygen analyzer suitable for measuring the oxygen content of diving gas cylinders. All equipment will be appropriately cleaned, labeled and rigged as appropriate for the level of certification desired.

Other than the Rebreather IQC’s and sidemount courses, the in water portions (pool, confined water and open water) of all IQC’s will be taught on Open Circuit SCUBA.


Curriculum Requirements

The intent of the PSAI IQC is to evaluate the candidate’s ability to convey the necessary subject matter appropriate to the level desired. It is not the intent of the IQC to completely review all material contained in the diver level course.


Each candidate will complete both the diver level and instructor level examinations appropriate to the level desired. Each candidate will also demonstrate knowledge of the history of the Professional Scuba Association International and its philosophy associated with the respective course.


All IQCs will include a review of the Fundamentals of Instruction.


Skill Requirements

Each instructor candidate must perform at instructional level quality for the duration of the Instructor Qualification Course for the specific diver level course that the candidate desires to teach. No sub-standard performance is allowed.


Course Completion Performance Requirements

The Professional Scuba Association International’s Instructor Qualification Courses (IQC) are conducted with the following format:

A. Paper work and administrative review.
B. Timed written examination (Diver level).
C. Equipment configuration and setup evaluation.
D. Dive one; evaluation of candidates basic diving skill at the level sought.
E. Academic lesson presentation and critique - First presentation.
F.  Dive Two; evaluation of candidates instructional skill at the level sought.
G. Academic lesson presentation and critique - Second presentation.
H. Timed written examination (Instructor level).
I. Final evaluation and counseling.

The instructor candidate will be disqualified from further participation in the IQC upon first failure. The candidate will be provided with a notice of disqualification and suggested improvement areas. The candidate may reschedule the IQC at the Instructor Trainer’s discretion. If the candidate fails a second time,(s)he must provide written proof of remedial training and evaluation by an appropriately certified instructor at the level desired.


To be certified as a PSAI Instructor, the candidate must:


  • Attend the complete IQC.

  • Perform all skills and assignments at instructional level quality.

  • Provide complete and correct information, including alternatives to the candidates “favorite” technique, in dive related skills.

  • Complete all written examinations, record keeping and critiques at instructional level competency.


Methods for PSAI Specialty Instructor Ratings
Methods of qualifying as a PSAI Specialty Instructor


Direct Application

PSAI Open Water Instructors with valid experience or training may submit documentation of such experience or training to the PSAI Country Office under which they teach. Upon approval of the Country office, the Specialty Instructor candidate may be issued the specific Specialty Instructor rating applied for.



A PSAI Open Water Instructor may qualify for a specific Specialty Instructor Rating by co-teaching the specific specialty course with a PSAI Instructor who is already qualified in that particular specialty. The candidate must have a diver level certification for the specialty. The co-teaching must be for the entire course: lecture, confined water/pool, and open water. This co-teaching must be validated by the qualified instructor on a PSAI Instructor Update Form and submitted to the PSAI Country Office.


Completing a Specialty IQC

The Specialty Instructor candidate may obtain specific Specialty Instructor ratings by attending Specialty Instructor Courses offered by the PSAI Country Office or a PSAI approved training facility.




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