In our experience choosing a smaller dive shop that has an IDC Staff Instructor for your AIC can be beneficial, because you will be in a smaller group of students and receive more specialized attention from your instructor, thereby making you better prepared for the following parts of the IDC. Your dive shop should also handle all the arrangements for you to take the OWSI and IE sections of the course at a nearby instructor development center. It’s also worth noting that if you are interested in working at a specific shop after you complete your IDC, then it would be beneficial to do as much of your IDC through them as you can. This will let you establish a relationship with the instructors and management of the dive shop, thereby getting your foot in the door for future employment opportunities.
An important thing to look at when deciding when and where to do your IDC is when the IE will be offered in that location. In some places in Thailand such as Khao Lak or Koh Chang the IE is only conduced twice a year, whereas on Phuket and Koh Tao it’s conducted once a month. For up to date information on when IE’s will be held in Thailand please check the PADI IE Schedule.