Instructor Trainer Resources

Apnea International Instructor Course

Course overview:

The Instructor course is our highest level of training. The course is aimed to take everything you have learned on our courses, use all of your experience as a freediver and add a set of teaching skills to it.

Entry requirements:

  • Apnea International Stage C freediver or equivalent.
  • First Aid provider / CPR Provider
  • Age 21
  • Provide a medical certificate


  • Constant Weight: 40m’
  • Static: 04:00
  • Dynamic (fins): 100m’
  • Pass an Exam
  • Write an assignment and present it.
  • Pass water skills tests
  • Pass practical and theory exams


The course consists of theoretical and practical components including lectures, pool sessions and Ocean simulations.


  • Methodology of running a theory and practical session
  • Ethics
  • Physiology
  • Technique
  • Error correction
  • Anatomy
  • Psychology
  • Goal setting
  • Breathing
  • Risk Management


  • Stretching
  • Technique
  • recovery
  • Rescues
  • Relaxation
  • Breath-hold tables
  • Finning
  • Turns


  • Technique
  • Turns
  • Duck dives
  • glide
  • Timing
  • Relaxation
  • Alignment
  • Recovery breaths
  • Rescues
  • Equalisation

At the end of the course the instructors will be certified to teach the Apnea International B4s, Stage A and Stage B courses.

  • Depth Rating: max’ 20m


• The Instructor course may be conducted by an Active Apnea International Instructor Trainer with current CPR and First Aid training (completed within the last two years). The instructor must carry liability insurance for teachingfreediving. • The maximum student diver-to-instructor ratio for open water training dives is eight students per instructor (8:1). • The maximum student diver-to-instructor ratio for confined water training dives (static+dynamic) is eight students per instructor (8:1). • The maximum student diver-to-instructor ratio in theory lessons or other ‘dry’ activities is eight students per instructor (8:1).


Before commencing any in-water training, each student freediver must complete the following documents:

    • RSTC Medical Statement – this must be completed in full with students marking YES or NO to each of the medical conditions listed. If the student answers YES to any condition, they are encouraged to seek medical approval before taking part in any in-water activity. Whether or not the student is then accepted onto the course is left at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Students above the age of 42 are recommended to do a cardiovascular stress test.
  • Enrollment form for each student.
  • Apnea International Liability Release.

The AI Instructor trainer should hold these documents on file for a minimum of seven years. To conduct an AI Instructor course, the following is to be included: Total course duration – 60 hours- it is recommended to allow 7 days for this course.

    • 14 Theory sessions
    • 4 open water dives (Max’ 45m)
      • 2 delivery practice sessions
      • 1 technique sessions
      • 1 Performance review session
    • Certification depth – 40m
    • 2 dynamic session.
      • 1 Performance review sessions. Certification distance – 100m
      • 1 Delivery session.
    • 2 static sessions.
      • 1 Delivery session.
      • 1 Performance review. Certification time – 04:00


  • The theory sessions will take place in a proper environment – a quite room/class.
  • Each student must be provided with the Apnea International instructors manual
  • Powerpoint presentations and teaching slates are provided.
  • The instructor may use AI’s Instructor CD/DVD for as a supplement to the course.
  • Confined water dives (Static apnea and Dynamic apnea)

Static Apnea This session should be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water. The student freediver should have access to either a floatation device or pool edge to support them at the end of the breath hold. Dynamic Apnea This session should be conducted in a swimming pool or similar confined water. A swimming pool of at least 20m in length is recommended. The student should have access to either a pool edge or floatation device to support them on surfacing. Open water dives These dives should be conducted in open water with a fixed line to be used as a point of reference by the student. This line should be sufficiently buoyed and weighted.

  • The line should be at least 6mm in diameter.
  • A dive flag must be visible.
  • A medical kit must be available
  • A mobile phone must be available


Freedivers who complete all the performance requirements be certified as Apnea International instructors. Otherwise the student has to complete all the missing requirements by joining on the next course for completion of those requirements missed. A certification request is sent to AI though the Registration System.


Required Student Equipment – mask, fins or monofin, snorkel, appropriate exposure protection, lanyard (if circumstances require, see above). Required Instructor Equipment – mask, snorkel, fins or monofin, appropriate exposure protection, stop watch, depth gauge, floatation device, guide line, first aid kit, oxygen administration kit (in countries where this is permitted by local law) Optional Equipment – nose clip, goggles, bottom plate, tags, lights, weight belt, underwater video camera.pdf-sInstructor manual 2015   Word-Doc-Icon1EQ Quiz  | Breathing quiz  | Instructor Exam 2015

PDF versions of Manuals – low resolution

pdf-s Stage A Manual  |  Stage B Manual | B4s |

All content here is in PPT format. The following presentation could be used to deliver instructor course content.

More presentations will be uploaded as soon as they are ready for distribution

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