I’m Already a Freediving Instructor – What is involved?

With PFI joining the International Training family, we get this question a lot.  Here’s the simple answer – there are two paths for crossover:

  • If you are a Freediver instructor from SSI, NAUI, FII or Molchanov, you may be able to crossover administratively. You must be equivalent to an Intermediate level freediver* and hold an instructor rating equivalent to Freediver*. At a minimum, to crossover you will need to:
    • Submit a completed crossover application and all required supporting documents, such as your freediver level cards, instructor cards (must have IT sign-off), student count report, CPR/First Aid, Insurance, etc.
    • Complete the crossover eLearning
    • Complete the crossover orientation via webinar or in-person with a PFI or International Training representative
    • Complete the Freediver and Intermediate Freediver eLearning
    • Pass a standards exam for the level(s) crossing over

*Contact our training department with any questions regarding equivalencies or requirements

  • If you are Freediver Instructor from another recognized agency (including AIDA, PADI, Apnea Academy, or CMAS) the crossover process is pretty straight-forward.  You have to meet the minimum requirements for the PFI Freediver Instructor Exam.

So, what are those requirements? 

Here’s a list:

  • Certified as a PFI Intermediate Freediver or equivalent 
  • Be able to demonstrate all skills of the Safety Freediver and Freediver Supervisor courses.  Those skills include team safety and rescue, freediver supervision on multiple levels, and rescue evaluations.  
  • Once you have demonstrated those tasks, we then move on to the Freediver Instructor Crossover Evaluation.  This includes 
    • Completing the Freediver eLearning and earning a 90% or higher on the final exam, 
    • Completing the Intermediate Freediver eLearning with at least an 80%,  
    • Graded teaching presentations for classroom, confined and open water, 
    • S&P examination 
    • Demonstration quality skill circuit of all skills covered, a no warm-up static and dynamic apnea, 20 meter capacity dives, 20 meter stress test, and watermanship and stamina swims and tread.  
  • The Crossover evaluation is typically 3 days long.

You will want to keep in mind that during the evaluation, if the Instructor Trainer feels you haven’t met the demanding PFI standards, they may require additional classes at lower levels as remedial training prior to issuing the PFI Instructor credentials.

What if I’m a scuba instructor, but not a freediving instructor?

If you are scuba instructor and want to get the freediver instructor rating, you will need to go through an Intermediate Freediver course (if not already certified), plus take the Safety Freediver and Freediver Supervisor course prior to the Freediver Instructor evaluation.   This will typically take 6 to 10 days depending on if you have the Intermediate level certification already.

Getting started

To enroll in the PFI Instructor Crossover evaluation, you will need to either contact PFI Headquarters for an IT in your area, or you may contact the PFI IT or facility directly.  The IT will then go over course schedule, logistics, pricing, and more.

PFI offers some of the best customer service in the industry.  At Headquarters, we truly do feel that we work for the instructors, not the other way around.  New courses and specialties are in development, plus you may submit your own unique specialty for review.  You will have the flexibility to teach in a way that works for your students in your area, provided you meet standards and procedures.  You will also have access to five agencies (including sport, technical and public safety diving as well as First Response) for one low membership renewal fee.

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