SDI/TDI/ERDI Members’ Training Update

Fourth Quarter 2009

As members of International Training, you have agreed to review all standards and procedures changes in Training Updates throughout the year.  This is required reading for all TDI/SDI/ERDI Members.  Make the revisions in your SDI/TDI or ERDI Instructor Manual upon reviewing this update.

SDI/TDI/ERDI Manual Current Version is Revision 9.0, issued 11/14/2008

In this update:

New Products:

  • Divemaster Materials
  • ERDI Stickers

Amendments to 2009 3rd Qtr Update

  • Existing CCR Instructor – Unit Crossover/Upgrade
  • Intro To Tech Instructor
  • Course Overview Matrix

General Notices

  • Non-Diving Specialty Instructor
  • Renewed Status – Teaching Courses
  • Appropriate Ratings for Teaching Courses
  • New Members Registered in Last Quarter of the Year
  • Leadership Level Candidate Evaluation System
  • Liability Releases – Multiple Professionals
  • Liability Releases – Non Diving Courses

SDI Notices

v    SDI Leadership Level Courses Conducted Consecutively

v    SDI Instructor Crossover – Two IT Requirement

v    SDI Skin Diver Course

v    SDI Future Buddies Program

v    SDI Advanced and Master Diver – Deep and Navigation Specialties Required

TDI Notices

v    SDI DM Certification is a Pre-Requisite for TDI DM

v    TDI Divemaster Exams

 SDI/TDI/ERDI Standards and Procedures and IT Manual Updates

1.    New Products

Divemaster Materials.  A new, completely updated set of Divemaster materials, covering both SDI and TDI DM, is now available, comprising: Printed Manual, Instructor Guide and Instructor Resource CD.  Additionally, the Divemaster course is now available online at

ERDI Stickers.  Two different sizes

2.     Amendments to 2009 3rd Qtr Update

Existing CCR Instructor – Unit Crossover/Upgrade. Regarding the new standard for existing TDI CCR instructors crossing over/upgrading to different units;  One line was omitted in error and the new standard should read as follows:

7.12 Existing CCR Instructor – Unit Crossover/Upgrade.  Current TDI CCR instructors who wish to apply for an instructor rating on a different CCR unit from any already held, without completing a course of instruction with an Instructor Trainer, may do so subject to the following:

Applicants must:

o    Be an active TDI Instructor on another CCR unit, at the level they are applying for.

o    Verify formal training with the manufacturer or a TDI recognized agency at Diver Level on the unit for which the rating is being applied for.

o    Verify a minimum of 50 logged open water dives and 100 hours experience on the unit for which the rating is being applied for.

Applications should be submitted on a TDI Dive Instructor Registration Form, complete with documentation of the requirements.  Approval is subject to HQ Training Department review and, where applicable, the unit manufacturer’s authority.

CCR Instructor Trainers crossing over a different unit must still meet the minimum required student count to be eligible to apply for IT status on the unit.

Intro to Tech Instructor.  Regarding the amendments to the Intro to Tech Instructor rating, an omission was made in the procedures for obtaining the qualification and they should read as follows:

21.3    Who May Teach

Who may teach this course?

1.    Procedure One – A current and active status SDI Open Water Scuba Instructor or TDI Nitrox Instructor who has completed an Intro to Tech Instructor course conducted by a TDI Intro to Tech IT may be registered.

2.    Procedure Two – An active status SDI Open Water Scuba Instructor or TDI Nitrox Instructor who holds the ratings of TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures Diver certifications (or higher), or equivalent may apply for an administrative upgrade.

Course Overview Matrix.  Some omissions were made when updating the diver level course overview matrix.  Additionally, two units were omitted from the CCR matrix.  The ratings affected are amended as follows:


Section    Course Name    Minimum Age    Number of Required Dives    Student / Instructor Ratio in Open Water    Pre-required Certification       

6    Extended Range Diver    18    6 dives (2 > 100 ft, 4 > 130 ft)    4    Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures      

19    TDI – Mixed Gas Closed Circuit Rebreather, Unit Specific    18    6 dives 4 deeper than 130 fsw / 40 metres 8 dives if course is combined with trimix diver     2    TDI Air Dil Deco CCR Course or equivalent from agencies recognized by TDI.  50 rebreather hours over a minimum of 50 dives on the specific unit, TDI trimix diver unless combined with this course      

20    TDI – Advanced Mixed Gas Closed Circuit Rebreather, Unit Specific    18    7 dives, 5 of the mixed gas dives must be decompression dives

    2    TDI MG Diluent CCR Course or equivalent from agencies recognized by TDI. 100 CCR hours over a minimum of 100 dives on the specific unit. 50 % must be deeper than 100 fsw / 30 msw     

1.2  Rebreather Training Courses.  TDI offers training on the following CCR units:


Unit    Air Diluent    Air Diluent Decompression    Mixed Gas    Advanced Mixed Gas      

Copis    √    √    √    √      

Discovery MkIV    √    X    X    X      

Evolution    √    √    √    √      

Inspiration    √    √    √    √      

KISS    √    √    √    √      

Mark 15    √    √    √    √      

Megalodon    √    √    √    √      

Optima    √    √    √    √      

Ouroboros    √    √    √    √      

Prism    √    √    √    √      

Pelagian    √    √    √    √      

Sentinel    √    √    √    √      

Submatix 100    √    √    √    √      

Titan    √    √    √    √     

3. General

Non-Diving Specialty Instructor.  A new SDI/TDI/ERDI rating of ‘Non-Diving Specialty Instructor’ (NDSI)  has been introduced.  This rating is designed for members of the SCUBA Diving Industry, such as facility owners, service technicians or even former professionals who no longer actively dive, to function as an independent instructor of non-diving SDI/TDI/ERDI specialties.  Candidates will complete a ‘general’ instructor course with an active SDI/TDI/ERDI Instructor Trainer or IT Staff Instructor, in addition to the regular instructor level course for the rating they will be teaching.  The following courses will be available for graduates to teach:

1.     SDI Visual Inspection Procedures


3.    SDI CPR1st


5.    TDI Nitrox Gas Blender

6.    TDI Advanced Gas Blender

7.    TDI O² Equipment Service Technician

8.    ERDI Tender

9.    Other non-diving specialties, ie unique specialties, offered by SDI/TDI/ERDI (subject to HQ approval).

10.    Snorkeling

NDSIs may upgrade to other non-diving levels without having to complete the general instructor course again, but they must complete the appropriate specialty instructor course.

Graduates of the course will receive the rating of ‘Non-Diving Specialty Instructor’ plus the appropriate specialty instructor rating(s), as applicable.  Registration fee will be the same as the current full instructor rating but this will include the upgrade for one specialty rating, ie NDSI + TDI Nitrox Gas Blender.  Additional specialty ratings will attract current upgrade fees. 

A complete new standard for the rating is included in this update and is available in the members area of .  This will be incorporated into 2010 Standards & Procedures. 

Renewed Status – Teaching Courses.  Members must ensure they are in renewed, active teaching status prior to teaching or assisting with any SDI/TDI/ERDI course.  Student registrations received from members not in active status will not be processed. 

Appropriate Ratings for Teaching Courses.  Members must ensure they hold the appropriate instructor level rating prior to teaching any SDI/TDI/ERDI course.  Student registrations received from members who do not hold the rating to teach the course will not be processed.  If an instructor ‘upgrade’ is required in order to teach a course, it should be obtained via the methods detailed in current Standards & Procedures prior to commencement of the course.

New Members Registered in Last Quarter of the Year.  If a new SDI/TDI/ERDI member is registered in the last quarter of the year – 1st October to 31st December – then they are not required to pay a membership fee for the subsequent year but they must still submit a signed Membership Renewal form (make note in payment area regarding joining in last quarter) .  This only applies to new members and does not apply to existing members who are upgrading to any other leadership level. 

Leadership Level Candidate Evaluation System.  The SDI/TDI/ERDI evaluation system is based on a 5 point scale as follows:

1 = Fail     2 = Needs Improvement     3 = Adequate     4 = Good     5 = Excellent

Scores for the parts of a presentation being evaluated are not averaged under the SDI/TDI/ERDI system – only 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is awarded.  Scores such as 3.5, etc should not be used by evaluators.  The lowest score allocated to a part of any presentation becomes the final overall score, the minimum passing score for which is 3 (three).  This means that stronger areas of a presentation do not bolster a failing point with an average score, allowing a passing mark for a presentation which may have contained incorrect information, for example.  Full details of the scoring system are contained in the current Instructor Trainer Manual.  

 Liability Releases – Multiple Professionals.  Several members have enquired about the use of Liability Release documents when two or more professionals are involved in the training or activity that the release refers to.  The use of ‘Professional Staff of  XYZ SCUBA’, or similar wording, is often entered onto such forms in order to name multiple professionals.  However, SDI/TDI/ERDI do not recommend this method as it is considered not specific enough.  If any local changes to the use of waivers are employed, it is recommended that Instructors/Facilities inform their insurer(s) and obtain approval.

Liability Releases – Non Diving Courses.  Members routinely enquire about the requirement to complete a Liability Release and Medical Statement for non-diving courses offered by SDI/TDI/ERDI – for example, CPR, VIP, Gas Blender.  More specifically, the enquiries are generally about the requirement to use a liability release or medical statement which is clearly concerned with actual SCUBA activities. 

The reason that ‘SCUBA’ documents are used for courses such as CPR is that, regardless of the activity, some form of participant agreement is required and, as the training is being offered by a SCUBA agency anyway, the existing documents are considered acceptable forms of obtaining a record of understanding and liability release.  Non-diving training offered by SDI/TDI/ERDI will generally involve physical activity (ie CPR, handling cylinders, etc), the use of compressed gas (ie CPROX, blending) or even direct involvement in diving operations (ie ERDI surface ratings), all of which are ‘covered’ in one way or more by existing SCUBA liability documents.  Indeed, much of the content of the existing documents will likely be ‘surplus to requirements’ for non-diving courses but it is considered wiser to obtain a fully completed document.     

4. SDI

SDI Leadership Level Courses Conducted Consecutively.  When SDI leadership level courses are conducted consecutively, ie DM followed by AI or professional development programs incorporating DM, AI and Instructor level training, instructors must ensure that registration forms for each level of training are submitted to HQ and approval is received before the next phase of training is commenced.  This ensures that the leadership certification pre-requisites for each level are met. 

SDI Instructor Crossover -Two IT Requirement.  Members involved with the crossover of instructor(s) to SDI from another agency are reminded that SDI is an RSTC member and as such, two Instructor Trainers (ITs) are required in the process of certifying an open water instructor – the IDC and IEC stages.  Therefore any instructor crossing over from an agency which requires only a single IT in the certification process may require a review by an active SDI IT, essentially ‘adding’ the second IT to the process.  This review is a minimum of the SDI IEC. 

SDI Skin Diver Course.  The SDI Skin Diver Course will now be known as the SDI Snorkeling Course.  A new draft standard 2010 Standards & Procedures will reflect the change.

SDI Future Buddies Program.  The SDI future Buddies program is now available to 8-12 year olds, vice 8-9 year olds. 

SDI Advanced Diver – Deep and Navigation Specialties Required.  With effect from 1st January 2010, the Advanced rating will now require students to complete the Deep Diver and Underwater Navigation Diver courses as two of the four specialties which count towards certification.  Advanced Adventure Diver already requires dives from these two specialties and, as they are also a pre-requisite for DM training, it is considered that this change will benefit the development of students who plan to progress to professional level. 


5. TDI

SDI DM Certification is a Pre-Requisite for TDI DM.  In accordance with current Standards & Procedures, a pre-requisite for enrolling on the TDI DM course is minimum certification as an SDI DM (the higher rating of SDI AI or Open Water Instructor is accepted).  Equivalent ratings from other agencies are not accepted for this TDI DM pre-requisite.  TDI Instructors who wish to enroll professionals from other agencies on the TDI DM program are advised to suggest an SDI crossover.

TDI Divemaster Exams.  With the introduction of online training for Divemaster candidates, there is no longer a requirement for TDI DM candidates to complete a separate DM examination.  The online exam covers all required details for both agencies for candidates using this method.  However, for TDI DM candidates, the relevant TDI diver level course examination appropriate to the level being certified at must still be completed.   

SDI Standards & Procedures Updates

Part 1 Chapter 8.2 Active Teaching Status

3.  Submit proof of current liability insurance, in accordance with applicable local regulations

Part 2 Chapter 5 Future Buddies Program

5.1  Introduction

This program is designed to provide children between the ages of eight (8) and twelve

(12) an introduction  to scuba diving in a controlled environment under the direct

supervision of an insured Instructor.

Part 4 Chapter 12 SDI/TDI/ERDI Non-Diving Specialty Instructor 

The following new standard is for inclusion in the 2010 SDI S&P.  It will also be included – numbered appropriately – in the 2010 TDI & ERDI S&P

12.  SDI/TDI/ERDI Non-Diving Specialty Instructor 

12.1    Introduction

The SDI/TDI/ERDI Non-Diving Specialty Instructor course is designed to teach members of the SCUBA Diving industry, such as store owners, service technicians, etc the knowledge to safely function as an independent instructor of the non-diving specialties listed below:

11.    Visual Inspection Procedures

12.    SDI CPROX

13.    SDI CPR1st

14.    SDI CPROX1stAED

15.    TDI Nitrox Gas Blender

16.    TDI Advanced Gas Blender

17.    TDI O² Equipment Service Technician

18.    ERDI Tender

19.    Other non-diving specialties, ie unique specialties, offered by SDI/TDI/ERDI (subject to HQ approval).

20.    SDI Snorkeling

In order to become an instructor for one of the above courses; a candidate must be certified by a qualified Instructor Trainer or IT Staff Instructor – experience based upgrades are not available.  Instructors who hold equivalent certifications with another recognized agency, for example first aid instructors, who wish to cross over as a non-diving specialty instructor may do so by applying via current instructor crossover procedures

12.2    Qualifications Of Graduates

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may:

1.    Teach the appropriate SDI/TDI/ERDI non-diving specialty

Note:  The candidate may be certified to teach multiple specialties, so long as all corresponding pre-requisites are met and the IT or IT Staff Instructor conducting the course is qualified at all levels. 

12.3    Who May Teach

Who may teach this course?

2.    An Active SDI/TDI/ERDI Instructor Trainer or SDI IT Staff Instructor who is qualified to teach the instructor level specialty the candidate will be teaching after graduation.  

12.4    Student – Instructor Ratio


3.    Unlimited, so long as adequate facility, supplies and time are provided to ensure comprehensive and complete training.

Confined Water (Swimming pool-like conditions) – for Snorkeling only:

4.    16:1

Open Water (Ocean, lake, quarry, spring, river or estuary) – for Snorkeling only:

5.    10:1

12.5    Student Pre-Requisites

The Student must:

6.    Be at least twenty one (21) years old.

7.    Be affiliated with an SDI/TDI/ERDI facility.

8.    Have a minimum of one (1) year experience at ‘user’ level for the specialty which will be taught after graduation.  

9.    Meet all pre-requisites for the corresponding instructor level specialty they will teach after graduation (excepting any Assistant Instructor or Instructor requirements).

10.    Be certified in CPR and First Aid

12.6    Course Structure And Duration


1.    A minimum of twenty (20) hours for the entire course.  Fifteen (15) hours must occur under the direct supervision of a current Instructor Trainer or IT Staff Instructor.

12.7    Administrative Requirements

Administrative Tasks:

11.    Collect the course fees from all the students.

12.    Ensure that the students have the required equipment.

13.    Communicate the schedule to the students.

14.    Have the students complete Liability Release and Medical history forms.

15.    The Instructor must review the Liability Release and Medical Forms before commencing the course.

Upon successful completion of the course the Instructor must:

16.    Complete and submit the Registration Form to SDI/TDI/ERDI HQ.

12.8    Training Material

Required Material

17.    SDI/TDI/ERDI Standards and Procedures Manuals

18.    SDI/TDI/ERDI Instructor Trainer Manual

19.    SDI Assistant Instructor Manual (Chapters 1, 2, 5 & 7)

20.    Any materials required by current standards for the specialty being taught after graduation

12.9    Required Equipment

1.     Any equipment required by the current standard(s) appropriate to the specialty being taught by the

candidate after graduation

12.10    Required Subject Areas

Instructor Trainers may use any additional text or materials that they feel help present these topics. The following topics must be covered:

21.    SDI/TDI/ERDI standards and procedures.

22.    History of SDI/TDI/ERDI.

23.    Products and Procedures

A.    How to place an order

B.    Registration procedures

C.    Yearly renewals.

D.    Liability and Insurance.

24.    Risk Management

A.    Waivers and Releases (Remember, a wavier must be filled out for every course taken.)

B.    Filling out an Accident Report.

25.    Methods of instruction

A.    Teaching theory, methods and oral communications.

B.    Lesson preparation

I.    In Classroom.

II.    Confined Water (Snorkeling only)

III.    Open Water (Snorkeling only)

C.    Use of training aids.

D.    Home study program, use of Knowledge Quest.

26.    Successfully selling courses

A.    Budgeting courses.

B.    Recruiting students.

C.    Organizing and scheduling a course.

D.    Retail sales.

27.    Instructor ethics.

28.    All course content for the specialty the candidate will be teaching after graduation.

12.11    Required Skill Performance and Graduation Requirements

In order to complete this course, the student is required to pass all the following:

29.    Give a minimum of three (3) academic presentations (at least fifteen (15) minutes long) on subjects from the SDI/TDI/ERDI specialty they will be teaching after graduation.

30.    Give a minimum of two (2) practical presentations (at least fifteen (15) minutes long) on subjects from the SDI/TDI/ERDI specialty they will be teaching after graduation.

31.    Satisfactorily complete all skill performance and graduation requirements for the SDI/TDI/ERDI specialty they will be teaching.

32.    Demonstrate the ability to correctly remediate exam questions with a student.

33.    Satisfactorily complete the Standards & Procedures portion of the SDI instructor exam.

34.    Demonstrate mature and sound judgment concerning class planning and execution.

12.12    Course Credit

1.    Graduates of the Non-Diving Specialty Instructor Course may upgrade to other non-diving specialties without completing the full course again.  However, all pre-requisites, skill performance and graduation requirements for any additional specialty must be met and it must be conducted by a qualified IT or IT Staff Instructor. 

2.    Credit for this course from DM or AI level is not available.

3.    Credit towards DM, AI or Open Water Instructor from this course is not available. 


TDI Standards & Procedures Updates

Part 1 Chapter 7.2 Active Teaching Status

3.    Submit proof of current liability insurance, in accordance with applicable local regulations

Part 2 Chapter 19 Mixed Gas CCR

19.5  Student Pre-Requisites

The student must:

1.    Be a minimum age of eighteen (18).

2.    Have a verified log of a minimum of fifty (50) rebreather hours distributed over a minimum of fifty (50) dives on the specific rebreather. Fifty (50) % deeper than sixty six (66) fsw / twenty (20) msw. All to be deeper than twenty (30) fsw / nine (9) msw.  If the diver has fifty (50) hours on another CCR unit recognized by TDI, only twenty five (25) hours are required to be on the specific unit.

3.    Have completed and qualified the TDI Air Diluent Decompression Procedures Rebreather Course or equivalent from agencies recognized by TDI.

ERDI Standards & Procedures Updates

Part 1 Chapter 4.5 Active Teaching Status

3.  Submit proof of current liability insurance, in accordance with applicable local regulations

IT Manual Updates

Part 2 Chapter 1.1 Active Teaching Status

3.  Submit proof of current liability insurance, in accordance with applicable local regulations


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