This is the first step in a process that can eventually lead to TDI Full Cave Instructor certification. Those steps are:
- TDI Cavern Instructor
- TDI Intro to Cave Instructor
- TDI Full Cave Instructor
Of course, there are some instructors who have little interest in going beyond the Cavern Instructor rating. Either way, this is where you begin.
Bear in mind, there are some agencies that will let you self-certify as a Cavern Instructor merely by filling out an application and claiming to have made a minimal number of dives. The cave community, however, is very small and you are under constant scrutiny by your fellow professionals. The last thing you want to do is gain a reputation as someone who cuts corners.
Becoming a TDI Cavern 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 Cavern Diver eLearning course.
During the Orientation, we:
- Review your Cavern Diver eLearning student report.
- Review the TDI Cavern Diver course standards.
- Discuss many of the practical aspects of teaching an effective Cavern 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 Cavern Diver student, but at a demonstration-quality level.
- Teach, under the supervision of one of our CaveDiving.com staff instructors, all land- and in-water phases of a Cavern Diver course.
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be an instructor who has been in Active status with an internationally recognized scuba training agency for at least one year
- Have a minimum of TDI Nitrox Instructor certification or equivalent
- Have a minimum of TDI Full Cave certification or equivalent
- Have logged at least 100 full cave dives
- Have taught at least four TDI courses
According to TDI standards, candidates must also observe, assist with or co-teach at least one complete Cavern Diver course. Realistically, this will require interning with as many as three such courses (and possibly more).
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) Cavern Diver courses will take “as long as it takes.”