Career Development Programme

Live at the coast and become an Internationally Recognised Diving Professional with the Pro Dive Career Development Programme – a unique training programme available in South Africa.

The Pro Dive Academy has been established for 21 years and is one of the top dive centres in South Africa, having won numerous industry awards from PADI. It is a PADI 5 Star CDC Centre, situated at the coast and is unique in South Africa in so much as being able to offer EVERY aspect of the diving industry including Charters, Retail, Servicing, Training, Travel & Marine Research on a daily basis.

Pro Dive has embraced numerous marine projects where divers can contribute to research under the supervision of marine biologist Dr Shirley Parker Nance. As a diving professional, students get hands on experience with collecting data, marine species and education programs. Pro Dive has branches in Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay which helps students widen their experience and training even further.

Pro Dive is also well known internationally for our world class facility, safety standards, conservation & professionalism; and dive instructors that have been trained through Pro Dive have become highly sought after, both in South Africa and overseas.

Course Overview

The course is conducted in Port Elizabeth on a full time basis, over a period of 6 months from Jan – July.  The training starts from the entry level courses all the way to Instructor level.  Over and above the training courses you will obtain a minimum of 100 dives & gain valuable industry training to improve your job opportunities.

If you are unable to commit to these dates, please contact us as we have other programs running that might accommodate your requirements.

The course is based on a 5 day week, however time off is usually during the week as week-ends and holidays are peak times for charters and training.


  • The candidate can start the programme at 17 years of age but must be 18 years of age before starting the Divemaster Course.
  • The candidate must be medically fit for scuba diving (in date medical certificate)
  • A deposit is required to confirm your booking.


The full course from Open Water to Instructor is conducted over a 6 month period. The candidate then has the option to sign up for the Instructor Experience Programme before looking for employment locally or abroad.

Dates: 14 Jan – 31 July 2019

Note:  If you are unable to commit to either of these dates, please contact us as we have other programmes running that might accommodate your requirements.


Accommodation is available in a communal “divers house” which is serviced and furnished.  Cost is R2500 per month excluding meals.

The course is broken down into three parts i.e. the theoretical course, practical experience and industry training.

1. PADI Training Courses:

The following courses are conducted during the course of the programme comprising of theoretical and confined water training & sea dives.

  • PADI Advanced
  • PADI First Aid
  • PADI Rescue
  • PADI Deep Specialty Course
  • PADI Search & Recovery Specialty Course
  • PADI Enriched Air Specialty Course
  • PADI Divemaster Course
  • PADI Instructor Course
  • PADI First Aid Instructor Course

2. Practical Training

A minimum of 100 dives will be obtained during the programme, an essential component of the training made up of a combination of shore dives and boat dives.  Without this practical experience one cannot progress to Instructor level which is the final objective of this programme.

3. Experience Training

Once you have qualified as a Divemaster you will gain valuable experience leading dives and training alongside qualified instructors where you will be guided through practical scenarios providing you with the background you require for your Instructors’ course.

This aims at expanding the candidate’s problem-solving skills and addresses both attitudes and judgements.  Time is spent perfecting diving skills and supervising divers both in the swimming pool and open water.

4. Industry & Business Training

This programme will introduce you to the various aspects of the industry including:

  • Retail Store Management
  • Business of Diving
  • Product Knowledge
  • Selling Techniques
  • Marketing & Promotions
  • Charters
  • Equipment Servicing
  • Compressor Operation
  • Boat Maintenance & Care
  • Marine Biology

5. Marine Research Module

Pro Dive is unique in that we have a full time Marine Bioligist, Dr. Shirley Parker-Nance that we incorporate into the programme.  The students have a great opportunity to take part in a marine research project under her guidance.

6 . Week-end Away to Plettenberg Bay

A week-end package to dive in Plettenberg Bay will be arranged and includes return transport from P.E. to Plettenberg Bay, 2 Nights Accommodation, 1 Evening Braai, 4 Dives &  Airfills.

The aim is to introduce the candidate to marketing & promoting coastal trips.  Planning, logistics, sales, equipment requirements and dive planning.   The role as a diving professional in handling diving and after hour activities.

7. Uniform

Each student will be issued with 3 shirts, 1 cap, marine research rashvest and a waterproof jacket.  This clothing is suitable for on the boat and in the working environment and is to be worn during the training programme.  This prepares the candidates for uniform and appearance requirements in the work place.

Additional clothing can be purchased at an additional cost.

1. PADI Night & PADI Shark Specialty Courses:

Although not essential, we strongly recommend the PADI Night Diver Specialty training as not only will it increase your diving knowledge and comfort in the water, but it will be an asset once you reach the professional phase.
Algoa Bay is the home to the Ragged Tooth Shark and by combining this with the PADI Shark Specialty Course it offers the perfect opportunity to learn more about these amazing marine animals and sharks in general.

Included in the Specialty Module:

  • Tuition
  • Training Materials
  • Dives
  • PADI Registration

2. PADI Specialty Instructor Training:

This enables candidates to teach various specialty courses and increases their employment opportunities in the diving industry.

3.  SAMSA Skipper Course (Category C, 15 Mile)

The skipper’s course is broken down into the following:

  •  6 Lectures conducted over 3 full days.
  •  50 Hours of Practical Training
  •  Theory Exam
  •  Practical Exam
  •  Course Materials
  •  Use of charts, radios & navigation equipment
  •  Diving Endorsement

4. SRC Radio Course

  • Training Materials
  • Use of VHF Radio Simulators (with DSC)
  • Tuition
  • Registration with SAMSA

As a diving professional and to increase your employment opportunities it is essential to have your own set of diving equipment. There are however various options from second hand to entry level & top of the range equipment

  •  If you have signed up to the programme, you will automatically qualify for preferential rates on equipment. Please contact us to set up an appointment or request a quotation and the event that you have equipment of your own we would need to set up a meeting to evaluate whether it would be suitable for the requirements of this programme.

Scuba Gear :   

BC,  Regulator , Alternate Air Source, SPG, Computer, Compass, Cylinder.

Soft Gear:

5mm Wetsuit, Overlay or Chicken vest, mask & snorkel, booties, weightbelt, reel & SMB, Knife & Torch, Slate, wetsuit hanger and dive bag/bin.

In the event that the candidate meets all the performance requirements, and shows exceptional levels of expertise and commitment to the programme, Pro Dive will invite the candidate to complete an internship at our dive centre and obtain the PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating.

The candidate will be able to teach under the guidance of an experienced instructor and obtain at least 25 diving certifications.  This will provide the essential training you will need when looking for employment opportunities internationally.

To qualify, you will have to certify at least 25 PADI Divers and have earned at least five PADI Specialty Instructor certifications.  Being an MSDT signifies that you’ve got the experience and certifications to offer all the training a diver needs to become a Master Scuba Diver – the ultimate recreational diver rating.

It was most definitely one of the best years of my life and I would never change it for the world.

I learned about customer service, attention to detail, people management, sales, people skills, leadership  and taking responsibility for my own actions.

I still use the skills I learned during that time, in business and in life, on a daily basis.