Tuesday, 2 April 2013


I recently had an article published on the TDI/SDI UK blog site so I thought I would share it with you below.  Alternatively the article can be found here.

by Timothy Gort
So why did I choose to be a SDI/TDI instructor? 
I started with my first TDI course on Semi-Closed Rebreather Drager Dolphin and moved on to Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures, Trimix, Cavern and Intro-Cave, and DPV before finally completing the Gas Blender and Service Technician course.  Having experienced the variety of courses SDI/TDI has to offer, it was a natural progression for me to move onto the instructor grade.  Here are a few things I would like to say about SDI/TDI and why I choose to teach for them:
Instructor crossover
I had been thinking about this for some time and by chance met Brian Carney at the Birmingham NEC dive show.  For those of you who don’t know, Brian Carney happens to be the President of SDI/TDI worldwide.  Wow!  I mean how many agency presidents would make an appearance at a UK dive show?  In my books this proves to show how much SDI/TDI value their instructor training.  An instructor crossover generally consists of a theory session reviewing the instructor materials and the standards and procedures, an eLearning session and a practical skills circuit.  If you wish to learn more about becoming an SDI/TDI instructor in the UK feel free to contact SDI/TDI UK here or contact Mark Powell at Dive-Tech here.
UK Instructors
From my experience, SDI/TDI instructors often introduce students to other SDI/TDI instructors if they can offer a better date or location to suit the student.
Flexibility of courses
SDI/TDI courses are flexible and work around the student.  There are no set skills assigned to set dives but rather a set of standards the student must achieve.  This allows the student to maximise their potential and strengthen their weaknesses.  This allows the instructor to plan a course for YOU.  For the students, the standards do not change; they are still required to meet the criteria and earn their certification before they are awarded their c-card. 
Instructor and student resources
SDI/TDI is constantly reviewing their materials so the students are taught on the most current information.  In the past month SDI/TDI have released new Decompression Procedures materials and made the theory portion of the Solo Diver course available as eLearning.  SDI/TDI is now looking at improving their Extended Range Diver course.
Leading from the front
SDI/TDI was the first agency to offer any type of solo/self-reliant diver training with its release of Solo Diver and it’s still the only course of its type to be recognised by insurance agencies.
But not afraid to follow
As well as leading, SDI/TDI isn’t afraid of listening to its members.  When the other agencies introduced a sub-50m helium course, SDI/TDI followed with the introduction of the Helitrox course.
The current trend
There currently seems to be a trend in diving and some traditional courses appear to have been forgotten about with some students buying equipment they may not need and completing a course which they either may not need to or may not be capable of.  Personally I feel that Intro to Tech is often the most overlooked course.  I would say that this course is probably the single most important course any student can take.  Intro to Tech is designed to help any diver decide if technical diving is for them, or help them to develop as a better diver at their current certification level.  Buoyancy and trim, equipment configurations, propulsion techniques (frog, flutter, back kick etc…) and gas management are some of the syllabus of this course.  If this is combined with Advanced Nitrox and either Decompression Procedures or Helitrox then the majority of divers will have earned the certifications to achieve most of their diving goals; especially here in the UK.  Regarding equipment, SDI/TDI has an open mind and as long as it is capable of doing the job it will be allowed on the course.  Any SDI/TDI instructor will be able to discuss the pros and cons of any equipment configuration questions any students may have. 
For me, the learning doesn’t stop here.  I am looking forward to my Full Cave in Florida this Spring and hope to complete my Advanced Trimix soon. 
So what are YOU waiting for?  Start your SDI/TDI training today and become the diver you’ve always wanted to.
rectotec is an SDI/TDI diver training facility offering all levels courses including Solo Diver and up to Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures.  Located in Ipswich and the West Midlands, rectotec is able to run courses at a time and location to suit you; the theory can be done on-site, through e-learning or even at yours if you would so wish.  rectotec is also happy to work with dive shops or clubs and run courses at your location. 
If you want to get in contact with Tim feel free to contact him on 07968148261 or tim@rectotec.co.uk.