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Diploma in Professional Scuba Diving Instructor

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Our students make friends for life
Our students make friends for life

Our Dive Shop & Classes
Our Dive Shop & Classes

Take a walk through our student facilities here:

Our PADI Diving Instructor trainees love our facilities!

Diploma In Professional Scuba Instruction

Become a PADI Dive Instructor - If you are serious about a career in diving, the Diploma qualifications are for you! 

Enrolling now for August 2024.  This course meets the Governments Fees Free Policy criteria for eligible students

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY:  We have a limited number of scholarship opportunities available for the upcoming August intake. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship to help with your course fees please email to request full information.

Fancy working in the tropics and exploring the world’s most beautiful places? Become a PADI Dive Instructor and open up a world of awesome job opportunities!

All it takes is 1 year (or rather, 45 weeks including 4 weeks of study leave) and we will take you from non diver through to PADI Specialty Dive Instructor and qualify with a Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction. Our next intakes will start August 2024.

Dive Zone Whitianga are the largest training PADI Diving Instructor training facility in New Zealand.  We are able to offer all of your training to be done in some of New Zealand's best dive locations as they are right her on our doorstep - the eastern seaboard of the Coromandel Peninsula with all its coves, marine reserve and offshore islands.  In addition to this we take our students to offsite practicums where you may experience diving at altitude (Lake Taupo) or maybe a wreck (Northland).

We don't require you to own your own gear to start the course and we do offer excellent discount rates for our students to purchase gear during the course.  

As we are a training facility and we deal with large groups of recreational dive training, you will also have the opportunity to have hands on experience alongside our Senior Instructors.

Dive Zone Whitianga is OutdoorsMark certified as Adventure Activity Safety Audit approved facility.  We are also accredited as a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre and have our own PADI Course Director on staff. (Highest rating in the PADI system).  We have our own 12 metre, purpose built dive boats, "Scubadoo and Mystery Machine" and an additional dive purpose RIB.

Our programmes meet the criteria for the Government’s new Fees Free Policy and eligible students can benefit from the new Government policy.  If you are thinking that training to qualify as a PADI dive professional is for you then contact us to discuss how this will relate to your study fees.


Wondering if diving could be the career for you? Come to Dive Zone Whitianga, check out our facilities and if you are interested in our tertiary training course, we’ll take you out for a FREE DIVE EXPERIENCE on our purpose built dive boat with one of our awesome Instructors.  We reckon you will love it!  How could you now love a year of diving on the Coromandel Peninsula with offsite practicums as well.                            

Heard enough? Get in touch with Darrell to book your free dive experience or enrol in the Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction course.  Phone: 027 433 9433 Email:  Or read on for more info..... 

When you graduate, you’ll be registered internationally and are immediately able to apply your knowledge and skills in the dive industry, both here and overseas. 

Once certified as a PADI Divemaster (about half way through the Diploma) you have access to the PADI employment page with new jobs advertised around the world daily.

As a qualified PADI Dive Instructor the world is your oyster. Not only can you travel the world and work in the world’s most amazing places, there are some awesome job opportunities available. Qualifying as a PADI Dive Instructor opens the door to having adventure packed careers in jobs like:

  • Safety diver on film sets in the American film industry

  • A dive guide for the rich and famous on superyachts

  • Marine care diver at an aquarium

  • Owning and operating a Diving Charter Boat and/or Dive Shop

  • Underwater Photography/Videography

  • Creating and marketing specialised dive gear

  • Marine Conservation and Aquaculture

  • Police or Rescue Diver

  • Commercial diving (wrecks/underwater infrastructure/engineering)

Programme Features:

  • 44 weeks full time.

  • At least 100 dives - and many of these from boats and in some of NZ's best dive locations.

  • Free access to hire equipment during the course year (conditions apply).

  • Offsite practicums at other amazing New Zealand dive sites - giving our students breadth in their experiences.

  • Graduate as a PADI Specialty Dive Instructor with five specialty ratings.

Class sizes are limited to ensure individual attention and to help create a positive team environment.  Successful completion of the Diploma will see you trained to enter the dive industry as a competent and confident PADI specialty instructor.  You can choose a Diploma qualification that includes a variety of adventure based outdoor pursuits.  These activities provide the essential skills in confidence building, teamwork and leadership you will need as a dive instructor.

On successful completion of one of our Diploma qualifications, you will be able to facilitate and lead outdoor adventure activities. You will start as an entry-level diver and progress through the diver certification levels:

PADI Advanced  -  PADI Rescue  -  PADI Divemaster  -  PADI Instructor  -  PADI Specialty Instructor 

Diploma graduates complete NZQA unit standards in a variety of diving areas, including night, search & recovery, computer aided diving, deep, drift, altitude, marine species identification, wreck and hunting and collecting.  During the Diploma course you will learn how to plan and run dive trips, organise and maintain SCUBA gear, interpret weather information, and lead groups on underwater explorations. You will also gain a variety of other valuable skills such as Advanced First Aid, Retail and Sales techniques.  This programme encompasses the qualifications of all of the National Certificates in Diving and has been designed to produce dive instructors with the qualifications and skills necessary in this dynamic and exciting industry.Our Students get free access for their own use to our high quality hire equipment during the course year, and can even make use of it during their free time and weekends (conditions apply). 

* Academy of Diving Trust is registered as a Private Training Establishment by NZQA and has approval to sub-contract to Dive Zone Whitianga. Student loans and allowances may be available. 

What our students have to say...

I really enjoyed the atmosphere at Dive Zone Whitianga and the opportunities to meet Diploma Students - even getting to go on one of their trips to dive the HMNZS Wreck in Northland. I was really inspired to consider dive as a career and to keep exploring my passion for dive and desire to be able to use this career while travelling. I loved the class environment and the hands on learning we were able to do. As well as Dive Zone being situated to offer epic local dive sites and we were able to enjoy other offsite dive trips to some of New Zealand other best dive spots. The 4 days per week at Dive Zone was ideal. Spending approximately 50% of our time in the water diving. Our instructors were always helpful and we felt like we became a part of the family. Next for me is off to do the superyacht crew training course and I am then off to travel the world with my qualifications which should help me get some epic work in the big wide world.

- Julian


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