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The SSI Instructor Training Course provides candidates with the knowledge and training necessary to organize and conduct entry-level scuba training courses. It is also intended to prepare candidates to successfully complete an Instructor Evaluation. This program is the second half of the Instructor Training Course (ITC). The first half is the Assistant Instructor Program. First, the Assistant Instructor Program teaches you how to teach. Then this program the, Instructor Course, teaches you how to teach in an uncontrolled environment such as during emergency skills training or Open Water Checkout dives.

East Coast Divers’ instructors have the knowledge and confidence to run open water training programs here or anywhere else in the world. While the Assistant Instructor program will teach you the methods, philosophies, and applications of teaching theory it is all done in a controlled environment. Whether that be in the classroom or pool, the safety of the students and control of the group is easily managed. In the Instructor Training Course, we build on these teaching techniques and also teach how to safely and efficiently control a group of scuba students. Once completed graduates of the Instructor Training Course are eligible to participate in the final Instructor Evaluation or (IE)

Specialty Instructor
After you have completed your IE when you are certified as an SSI Open Water Instructor, you can also qualify for further SSI Specialty Instructor ratings. To teach additional SSI Specialties, you will need to qualify by attending a Specialty Instructor seminar, co-teaching or by resume. These Specialty programs include Deep Diving, Nitrox Diving, Dry Suit Diving, Ice Diver,  Night/Limited Visibility Diving,  Search & Recovery, Stress & Rescue, and Underwater hunting & Collecting.

Advanced Open Water Instructor (AOWI)
Once you have four Specialty Instructor certifications and you have issued 15 Specialty program certifications, you will automatically be upgraded to Advanced Open Water Instructor. After certification, Advanced Open Water Instructors are qualified to teach, supervise, or issue certifications for Advanced Open Water/Junior Advanced Open Water, Divemaster and Snorkel Instructor programs, plus any additional Specialties you are qualified to teach.

Before Class

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Diving medical signed by an MD
  • Minimum of 75 logged dives (totaling 50 hours or more)
  • Certified Assistant Instructor
  • Certified Nitrox (up to 40%)


  • Provide your own Total Diving System for local diving with the exception of cylinders and weight
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • BC with power inflator
  • Weight system
  • Gas delivery system with cylinder, regulator, & alternate air source
  • Information system with SPG, depth, and time (a dive computer is required)
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the environment with appropriate ballast
  • A cutting device
  • A compass (can be integrated into a dive computer)
  • A signaling device for deploying from depth (red surface marker buoy is recommended, but follow local guidelines)
  • A reel or spool (appropriate for the maximum planned depth)
  • One (1) surface signaling device (whistle or similar)
  • Logbook (physical or digital)
  • All academic sessions and online training (typically five (5) classroom sessions)
  • Minimum of 3 (3) pool/confined water skill development session of 60 minutes or more
  • Water fitness evaluation
  • Presentations & evaluations of confined water teaching emergency skills
  • Presentations & evaluations of open water teaching session (typically five (5) sessions)
  • Maximum of eight (8) students per instructor
  • Must reach a minimum of 100 logged dives (totaling 65 hours or more) before eligibility in Instructor Evaluation (IE)


Assistant Instructor Addon

The SSI Assistant Instructor course is the prerequisite to the Instructor course. Both courses are offered in a combination package referred to as the Instructor Training Course or (ITC).

The SSI Assistant Instructor program provides you with the knowledge and training necessary to perform the duties of an assistant instructor. These duties include conducting entry-level scuba training under the indirect supervision of an Open Water Instructor, and independently conducting Scuba Skills Updates, Try Scuba, and Perfect Buoyancy programs.

During the Assistant Instructor course, you will learn what goes into Classroom and pool presentations. You will practice giving classroom teaching presentations and learn how to develop knowledgeable dive students. You will also learn about each skill taught to scuba students in confined water (pool training). During the East Coast Divers Assistant Instructor course, you will learn and practice the teaching techniques for training scuba students and get an opportunity to work with real students.

After the course, you are able to teach pool and classroom sessions with indirect supervision from a current instructor. After completing the Assistant Instructor course the next step is Instructor. During the Instructor Course, you learn how to teach skills that require more control such as emergency skills in the pool and the Open Water Checkout Dives of the Open Water Course not to mention specialty programs such as Nitrox and Dive Guide.