Intro to Cave Instructor

This is the second step in a process that can eventually lead to TDI Full Cave Instructor certification. Although you could theoretically get to this level and stop, you are going to have students who will be counting on you to take them all the way through Full Cave. Therefore, it is better to think of this as a stop along the way.

As with Cavern Instructor, becoming a TDI Intro-to-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 Cavern Diver eLearning course.

During the Orientation, we:

  • Review your Cavern Diver eLearning student report (unless we have done this with you previously).
  • Review the TDI Intro-to-Cave Diver course standards.
  • Discuss many of the practical aspects of teaching an effective Intro-to-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 Intro-to-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 Intro-to-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 one year
  • Be in Active teaching status with TDI
  • Have a minimum of TDI Cavern Instructor certification or equivalent
  • Have a minimum of TDI Full Cave certification or equivalent
  • Have logged at least 150 full cave dives
  • Have taught at least three TDI Cavern Diver courses

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

Not yet a TDI Instructor? Find out how easy it is to cross over.

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) Intro-to-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 Intro-to-Cave Diver eLearning course
  • TDI Intro-to-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