Specialty Upgrade Procedures
Where: Member Resources
You can apply for new instructor-level credentials in three different ways. First, go to the SDI Standards and Procedures, Part 6: Forms and Applications, and download the SDI Specialty Upgrade Form. This new (for 2021) form addresses the first two ways to upgrade, corresponding with the two options listed on this form. Whichever option is chosen, it is important to keep the following things in mind.
Unlike our previous form, you may use a single form for multiple specialty ratings you wish to apply for an administrative upgrade for. Applications with multiple ratings will not be accepted under procedure #1 – a single form will need to be used for each course. Be sure to complete all requested personal and payment information. Refer to the current price list under Member Resources for upgrade pricing.
Certain specialties have additional requirements for instructor upgrades. Check the diver-level standard for the course to review them before applying.
Once completed, forms should be scanned and emailed to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or your regional office.
On the lower portion of the Specialty Instructor Upgrade Form, you will see two options for the instructor upgrade.
Participation in an Instructor Specialty Class – this option is mandatory for Assistant Instructors and is used for Instructors with between 10 and 24 specialty dives or who want to learn how to teach the course from a qualified Course Director or Instructor Trainer. A specialty instructor course is completed with the qualified CD or IT and then option 1 is filled out with the course facility or location, completion date, CD/IT signature and date, and the candidate signature and date.
Administrative Specialty Instructor Upgrade – this option is used for those who do not currently hold the instructor-level specialty but qualify for it through experience with a minimum of 25 specialty dives. Option 2 is filled out with the instructor signature and date, agreeing you do have the required number of specialty dives and you will adhere to the standards when teaching the course. For this option, the Dive History section at the bottom of the page must also be filled out with a brief description of your relevant experience for EACH requested specialty. Forms with irrelevant or blank dive history sections will not be accepted. For this method, also keep in mind option 2 does not apply to VIP or Scubility courses.
Request for a Specialty Instructor Upgrade – this option is used for those who want to create a brand new course not already established in the SDI database. These courses use a different form, found with the Unique Specialty Submission Guide in your Member Resources. This form is filled out with the instructor signature and date, agreeing you do have the required number of specialty dives and you will submit an outline for the specialty course. For this option, a detailed resume with a description of your relevant experience for the requested specialty, documentation of at least 25 dives in the specialty area, and a course outline must be submitted with the application. For guidelines on creating the standard outline, reference the Unique Specialty Submission Guide in your Member Resources prior to creating the document. Please keep in mind that new specialty courses must be reviewed by the training department and our insurance company, so processing time for these applications typically takes several weeks and they have a higher upgrade fee associated with them.