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Our Professional Training Philosophy

GoPro in Honduras with Utila Dive Centre #1 PADI CDC in the Caribbean and Central America

From Utila Dive Centre’s Director of Training and PADI Course Director Andy Phillips January 2017

It’s not just my love affair with Central America that has seen me living in this region for over the last 16 years. One of the great things I enjoy about training PADI Instructors in our IDC on Utila (and offering other courses through Utila Dive Centre) is the atmosphere, high standard and internship programs that we have designed in order to get you off to the best start as a PADI Instructor on Utila, throughout Central America, or other scuba diving resort destinations around the world. Whilst you can be assured you’ll love your IDC and we will get you to pass the IE, we prefer not to use this as a benchmark of your success. Instead we will work with you as a PADI Instructor beyond the standard PADI IDC to see that you have the most success you can get the most from this amazing lifestyle! If you talk to our IDC candidates from a few years ago, you’ll find that many have enjoyed success as dive Instructors, resort managers, and liveaboard operators, and some are even Course Directors themselves. Our IDC on Utila, Honduras, Central America is world famous, even PADI Instructor Examiners have a tough time leaving Utila after visiting just to assess our IDC. Come and find out why!

Our PADI professional dive courses and internships have evolved over the last 16 years to be the most successful program in the region, and we are flattered to have been imitated locally and worldwide – however, no other team of staff have as much experience, or industry connections as ours. Our IDC facility has received countless awards from PADI.

When I structured our first IDC’s back in 2001, I wanted to make a program that would do more than just see a candidate through the IE.  I remember from experience how I would often find myself in teaching situations that hadn’t been discussed during my IDC and in varying geographical regions teaching diving where local protocols differed. It was with this in mind that I wanted to train an Instructor who would understand more about the dive industry, different cultural environments, differing dive regions around the world and the future of the dive industry. On Utila, our IDC is 4 days longer than the industry standard of 7 days and more comprehensive than any other facility in Central America – that’s 11 days of quality instructor training. The last 2 days of our IDC are conducted as a ‘mock’ Instructor Examination to give you better preparation and insight into the real IE. However, from our experience as professionals and from working in a dive centre that trains a lot of divers every year at all levels, we know how much more important it is to prepare a candidate for the real world of dive instruction than just to pass the Instructor Examinations.

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We’ve extended our IDC program to cover more effective teaching techniques, discuss instructing in different worldwide environments, and look at greater career opportunities in diving (including ‘diver safety’ and ‘technical diving’) and resume preparation. As Utila Dive Centre’s training director, I receive a lot of job applications everyday – so we’ll show you exactly what it takes to become a successful Instructor and what gives you the best chance of success as a professional in today’s dive industry.  As the only facility on Utila with rebreathers and staff who are certified as divers and Instructors in rebreather use, we’ll spend extra time looking at future trends in diving ‘rebreathers’.

Our team of staff is the most experienced in the region. There is no substitute for experience at the level of ‘Instructor Development’. Through our ongoing support, many of our former candidates have progressed to become resort managers, captains of liveaboards, even PADI staff, and several have even become Course Directors, both locally and afar.  Whilst our courses and programs, philosophies, and teaching techniques are often imitated, they are never matched or surpassed.  I’ve been privileged to have been invited to speak at dive conferences of 1000-plus dive professionals, advised on the PADI Instructor Development Course curriculum, and consulted on many external projects, including technical recovery projects. Our in-house training program for our staff ensures that you receive your dive training from a highly qualified team of Instructor Trainers who have worldwide dive/travel experiences.

Environmental & Marine Ecology Education

We’ve developed our program to be at the forefront of dive professional education and have integrated environmental conservation and coral reef surveying into our programs. As well as giving you a better understanding of the marine environment, our training will allow you to make a positive contribution to sustaining coral reefs and enhancing your students’ interaction with them. For those candidates also taking their Divemaster or MSDT training on an internship, we will also include PADI’s Project Aware Coral Watch so you are trained in coral reef surveying and will make a valuable contribution to the University of Queenslands data collection.  PADI’s Project Aware gave us the Green Star award after an objective audit on our facility and hotel demonstrated that we were implementing sustainable environmental practices into our dive operation.

Fun, Social and Rewarding

We won’t just give you a quality training program, or the best opportunities for success after your Instructor training, or the broadest and most comprehensive dive education options. We’ll also make it a lot of fun. Our facility is located on the water front, and we’ve constructed a dock with social area, hammocks, and sun deck. We also have an on-site cafe/bar and conduct regular social events such as movie nights, quiz nights, staff social events, ecology presentations and the legendary Utila Dive Centre BBQs. You’ll enjoy training with staff and facility as much for the lifestyle as for everything else we have to offer. Feel free to join our Facebook fan page to see how much fun your time with Utila Dive Centre will be.

Job Placement & Network, Ongoing Commitment and Lifetime Support

Our commitment to you doesn’t end at the Instructor Examinations. If you are staying in the region looking to find work, we will do our best to help you. Our staff and facility have a high standing in the dive communities of Utila, Roatan and throughout Central America. With hundreds of dive centers throughout Central America and the Caribbean it doesn’t take long before a vacancy arises. We will do our best to help you with resume preparation, placements and a reference. Through our placement service we have also secured positions for our Instructors in the Caymans, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and further afield globally. We always try and encourage our candidates to gain additional qualifications, as this will better prepare them for teaching through our certification internship program and also make them more valuable as an employee.

If you plan on traveling to other dive resorts in the world, then it’s possible our Course Director and IDC Staff Instructors, through their own experience of working all around the world, can counsel you on teaching in differing environments and help guide you in the right direction to secure employment.  As part of our commitment to you, we send regular newsletters keeping you informed of changes on Utila, but (most importantly) you become part of a professional network of divers (Divemasters/Assistant Instructors/Instructors) who have all trained at Utila Dive Centre. In addition to the experience of our staff, who have worldwide contacts and teaching experience, we can use this network to place you in touch with other professionals who are working all around the world to help you find employment or simply seek advice. In 2016 we placed candidates in employment locally in Utila, Roatan, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, and as far away as Santorini, Mozambique and the Cook Islands.

We hope that you’re able to join us in the near future for your PADI IDC on Utila and an exciting start to your dive career as a PADI professional.  Remember it’s important that you feel 110% comfortable with the facility and people where you undertake your dive training. Unfortunately the one thing we cannot give you on this website is an idea of is the great ambience and atmosphere that exists at Utila Dive Centre. One of our biggest assets is intangible: no matter how well equipped our facility is, no building, boats, classrooms, or equipment can match the care, attention, service and quality that our hard-working staff puts into every PADI Instructor Development Program.

Call us +1-305-4205959, we’ll call right back for a personal discussion about your professional training goals, specific course prices, requirements and other questions. Or e-mail info@goproutila.com

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