Wave Shape
Wave Shape

National Instructor Exam Rob Sewell

Waves Shape

So where do I start with my journey, that led me to the National Instructor Exam. I started my journey back in 2004. A few friends and family members decided we would learn to scuba dive prior to going on holiday. That was when I caught the diving bug (Still can’t shift that bug). I joined Thistle Divers then known as Kirkintilloch Thistle, started diving regularly, building my Experience and Qualifications. I passed my Open Water Instructor Exam in 2007.

Then passed my Advanced Instructor Exam in 2011 then became an Instructor Trainer in 2012.
I started the Preparation for my National Instructor Exam in 2014, yes, two years ago. You do the organised Prep events and meet both the Examiner Team and the other candidates. These prep events are a quite a steep learning curve and raise your Instructor level very dramatically.
Finally I arrive at Exam time, August 2016. Packed my car with everything that I could possibly need (Chocolate biscuits and cake, kitchen sink excluded) and did the ten hour drive to Plymouth. That was this year’s venue (It changes every few years so that people don’t get complacent).

The Exam is four days, however since it was in Plymouth it took six days for me due to travel.
When the Exam starts you are under constant examination throughout the four days. Twenty-three elements are examined. These elements cover teaching of Open Water Instructors all the way up to National Instructor and First Class Diver Exam. The stress levels are horrifying, nothing to do with the Examiners, it is all down to you, imposing pressure, you want to pass so badly, you don’t want to let anyone down. You over analyse everything that you do wrong or that does not go to plan, however with the timetable being so tight you need to just move on to the next element. This is where working with the other candidates as a team really helps as everyone is trying to help each other. You need to keep positive and march on. Sometimes you are picking up the others and at times they will dust you off and pick you up. You just need to keep smiling and working (sense of humour is an absolute must).

You can read on the BSAC Website for more information on what is covered in the Exam, what the Twenty-three elements are. It gets described as trying to eat an Elephant, how do you eat an Elephant?

One bite at a time is the answer, Twenty-three bites in total. I don’t wish to bore you all too much.

The Exam took a lot of effort and hard work, but it wasn’t over when I got home. We had 10 days to write up our project dive and produce a project report and submit it as part of the Exam.

Then when the pressure drops and everything’s handed in, nothing more can be done. Every day that you wait for your results feels like a week. People were asking how you did in the Exam. You don’t know, but wish you did. I think the results came out 5 ½ weeks later, absolute torcher.

However every cloud has a silver lining and as we all know because I never stop to mention it, did I tell you, did I……. I passed my Exam and also managed to coup the prestigious Weezle Award and of course the Wilkinson Sword Award.

Thanks for reading my story.
Rob Sewell
N.I. 263

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