Full Cave Instructor

This is the final step in the process of becoming a TDI Full Cave Instructor. As with Cavern and Intro-ro-Cave, becoming a TDI Full Cave Instructor is a two-phase process.

  • The first phase is Orientation. This can take place before, during or after the Internship phase — although it’s best done before. The only prerequisite for this phase is that you complete the TDI Overhead Environments eLearning course.

During the Orientation, we:

  • Review your Overhead Environments eLearning student report.
  • Review the TDI Full Cave Diver course standards.
  • Discuss many of the practical aspects of teaching an effective Full Cave Diver course.
  • Answer any questions you may have.

The next phase is Internship. During this phase, candidates will be expected to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Perform all of the skills expected of a TDI Full Cave Diver student, but at a demonstration-quality level.
  • Teach, under the direct supervision of one of our staff instructors, all in-water phases of a Full Cave Diver course.


These include:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be an instructor who has been in Active statues with an internationally recognized scuba training agency for at least two year
  • Be in Active teaching status with TDI
  • Have a minimum of TDI Intro-to-Cave Instructor certification or equivalent
  • Have a minimum of TDI Full Cave certification or equivalent
  • Have logged at least 200 full cave dives
  • Have taught at least three TDI Intro-to-Cave Diver courses

According to TDI standards, candidates must also observe, assist with or co-teach at least one complete Cave Diver course. Realistically, this will require interning with as many as three such courses (and possibly more).

During the in-water phase, candidates must be evaluated by at least two TDI Full Cave Instructor Evaluators or one Full Cave Instructor Trainer and one Full Cave Instructor Evaluator.

Time Frames

The orientation portion of this program generally takes a morning, afternoon or evening. With sufficient notice, we can generally conduct this program when and where it is most convenient.

Interning with at least one (and, more likely, three or more) Cave Diver courses will take “as long as it takes.”

Course Location

We usually conduct the orientation session either at our office in Gainesville, Florida, or in the classroom at Blue Grotto Dive Resort in Williston, Florida.

Internship can take place at any of a variety of popular north-central Florida locations. Conditions will generally dictate where for any given course.

Required Equipment

As there is no in-water work associated with the orientation session, no equipment is needed. During the internship phase of the program, however, you will need to supply a complete set of personal cave diving equipment, including:

  • Mask and flat-bladed scuba fins with adjustable or spring heel straps
  • Adequate thermal protection for prolonged exposure to 22° C/72° F water
  • Sidemount or backmounted doubles harness
  • BC air cell with adequate lift for the cylinders used
  • Either backmounted doubles or two sidemount cylinders
  • Two separate regulator first and second stages
  • At least one mission-capable dive computer
  • Slate or wet notes
  • Two Z-knives or comparable cutting tools
  • One primary light
  • Two backup lights
  • Two safety reels/spools with a total of at least 50 m/150 ft of line


The orientation portion of this program includes:

  • TDI Overhead Environments eLearning course
  • TDI Full Cave Instructor registration fee


  • The internship phase of this program will entail additional costs. Learn more…
  • There may be additional savings if you take this course in conjunction with one of our other instructor training programs.

Additional Courses