Having just passed my Instructor Exam I would like to thank Gerard, Sammi and Scuba Nation Dive Centre for giving me the skills and confidence to become an instructor. The Instructor Development Course was very comprehensive however, Gerard and Sammi (IDC Staff Instructor) were constantly on hand to give us their expertise and help me and the other candidates. Both would be on hand even into the night, helping us to prepare and lending advice. The IDC was well structured with lots of time in the pool, practicing skills and control. The theory was challenging but Sammi and Gerard made sure we had a good understanding before going into the IE. There were only 3 candidates on the course so the staff had plenty of time for all of us. We were more than prepared for the IE, which we all passed. I am now looking forward to working for Scuba Nation and teaching people to SCUBA dive.

Thank you very much Gerard, Sammi, Vicky and all the staff at SNDC for your help and support.

Alan Timmins #292931

I did the IDC Course and 5 specialties In Cambodia with Scuba Nation Diving Center over a period of three weeks totally.
It was a very special and challenging experience for me where i learned and practiced teaching people in theory and in practice!!
Many thanks to Gerard the Course director and the staff for the effort they put in to make us feel better and encourage us with all our tasks, and they made sure that we kept it up and reduced stress,. The food and the service was very good also.an unforgettable experience.
The Specialty courses were very professional, we did an overnight live-a-board trip where we practiced training dives, the staff kept us always entertained, amazing dives with a lot of nice creatures to see, very nice colors and pretty clear water!!! food was nice too 🙂
Many thanks
Yassin Benjemia #306477 from Sweden

When I decided to make the step up from PADI Divemaster to PADI Open Water Instructor I choose Scuba Nation as the dive centre where I would complete my IDC I could not have made a better choice for me personally. It really felt to me that as they are the ony IDC (Instructor Development Centre) in Cambodia, Scuba Nation does that little bit extra that I don’t believe you will find at other bigger well known IDC Dive Centres around the world. The Scuba Nation IDC staff were really friendly and supportive it felt like the Course Director (Gerard), Instructors (Vicky,Sammi,Craig) and candidates were all one big team striving towards the goal of producing the best possible PADI OWSI’s. I would like to thank the entire staff at Scuba Nation, your attention to detail and the extra hours you guys put in long after closing time gave me the confidence to undertake the IE (Instructor Exam) without the slightest bit of tension and anxiety. It was only after completing my first Open Water course, with real students who had never dived before, that I realised the benefit of doing my IDC at Scuba Nation… At Scuba Nation Gerard and his team did not just help me pass the IE rather they helped me become the best possible instructor I can be when it comes to the real thing.

Thanks a lot Scuba Nation for the great memories and the lost memories… Oh and did I mention they also throw an awesome IE graduation party.

Martin (PADI OWSI #303983) from Poland

I would like to share my experience during the IDC training with Scuba Nation in Cambodia. One word: Congratulations! The flexible timing for the courses and the training have been very helpful because my rest time was tight. Over four years I planned to go through the IDC course, but unfortunately I couldn’t manage two weeks holiday in the same time frame of any courses in Indonesia, Thailand, etc … with Scuba Nation during evening time I had the possibility to follow training in Phnom Penh city where I’m working. Afterwards the training in Sihanoukville was only ten days: convenient personal course teaching. By the way, I came back to diving, 5 years between DM and IDC. I based my success on the positive severity and strict quote of Gerard during the IDC. During the IDC training the exercise criteria where done to perfection, I couldn’t reach any 5! Repetition on repetition, re-structure guideline on guideline. Gerard & Vicky did a great job to push the level of the four candidates as far as possible. The excellent score of the four candidates during the IE is the best proof of quality liability. I even scored some 5’s in the IE!

One more time thank you to Scuba Nation.

Luc Grobet #969836 from Belgium

I feel the need to write and inform you of what an excellent experience my IDC was at Scuba Nation Diving Centre Cambodia. Not only did I have fun throughout the course and gain the skills and theory necessary to comfortably pass my IDC, I also become a much more knowledgeable and efficient diver. The experience I believe has given me skills such as communication, learning and teaching techniques, more team-building knowledge and much more that I will be able to use outside of my diving career. I believe credit should be given to PADI for excellent diving instruction courses but also Scuba Nation Diving Centre Cambodia and Gerard Leenen PADI Course Director for course delivery, professionalism, instruction and passing on a wealth of knowledge and experience successfully.

Thank you very much for your time.

James Squires #266322 from UK

I would like to share my experience regarding my IDC with Course Director Gerard (Scuba Nation Cambodia). This was my first and only Instructor Development Course and I was unexpectedly nervous from the start. Even though I was around familiar words and faces, struggling with new terminology and just the whole feeling of study was sometimes overwhelming.

Over the 5 weeks, I was introduced to and had explained in great detail the PADI structure of courses and was given endless help and time which gave me a relaxed feeling, the confidence that I was going to pass, and I did. There were times when I needed in depth explanations of the simplest of theoretical and practical exercises which was given to me time and time again without question. I have no doubt that being spread over this time and combined with the kind of guidance and teaching was exactly what I needed to pass the IDC and IE.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Staff #494620 from UK

“Instructor Development Course-EXCELLENT”

This summer I did the IDC with Scuba Nation and Gerard and Vicky ran an excellent IDC. It was well organized and they went above and beyond to help the candidates be prepared for the IE. We had specific objectives each day which were built upon the previous day. We were challenged to think and be prepared for situations that we might really have to respond to as instructors. There was ample time for pool sessions, theory, OW water sessions (in fact we even had time to do extra sessions which I felt made me even more prepared for the IE:) What was really telling was when I taught my first course-I felt confident and prepared to teach the course. If you are looking to do your IDC Cambodia is a great place to go to do it-food, accommodation is cheap and of course the people are wonderful. Plus, Scuba Nation runs an excellent dive centre with friendly staff and if you are looking for a 5 star IDC centre then give Scuba Nation a try-you will be MORE than ready when you take the Instructor Exam! Thanks Gerard and Vicky, you ROCK!

Christine Wright from USA

I arrived in Cambodia as an Advanced open water in February. I had the idea of doing my divemaster here but i did not know about the local companies. After a quick interview with the Scuba Nation staff, and after a look on the reviews on the web, it was clear for me that I had to be trained by Scuba Nation. So then I did my rescue, EFR and finally my Divemaster training. I’ve been trained in a very efficient way with a great staff. That was not only about diving, that also about setting up day trips and overnight trips. To see all the logistic behind was very interesting and also their value of costumer care is amazing.

It’s because of all those factors that I’ve decided to stay with them to do my IDC in June. Gerard gave us a lot of time to prepare our IE in the most efficient way. Chris and I were ready for the IE by the end of the IDC and we both passed with very good scores.

Scuba Nation is more than a dive shop, it’s a career experience.

Sebastien from France

From zero to hero at Scuba Nation: When I started diving at Scuba Nation, I had no previous diving experience at all. And when I finished two month later, I was a Divemaster! It has been an absolutely amazing experience.

On my trip through South-East Asia, I planned to stay a couple of days in Sihanoukville to obtain the Open Water certification. I booked the course with Scuba Nation and immediately started with some theory lessons. We then went into the pool to get comfortable with the scuba gear. Breathing from a regulator for the first time was exciting, and after the first open water dive I was hooked.

I then booked the Advanced Open Water course and did my first night dive. I was holding a big torch in my hand and scanned the bottom of the sea for interesting things. The other divers were doing the same, and it all looked like a big laser show. I really had to be careful with my buoyancy to not touch any sea urchins. On another dive, I could take down my camera and shoot some nice pictures. There was plenty of time between the dives (the “surface interval” in diver lingo) to get some rest or to chat with other fellow divers and make some new friends.

One thing led to another and I also signed up for EFR (Emergency First Responder), Rescue Diver and the Divemaster course: A “couple of days” has become two month!

The focus has changed from just watching myself to watching everyone else around me. What potential dangers are there? What’s the emergency action plan? Uhm .. where’s my buddy? I also got a glimpse behind the scenes, from gear maintenance (let’s replace those O-rings..) to organizing the trips (did we pack enough eggs?).

Doing the Divemaster has been great fun and I was fortunate enough that I could do it with great people. I could learn a lot from Craig and Fabrice, who have been diving for .. ages! Gerard and Vicky have also been forthcoming in every possible way and I am very grateful for that. Anyone looking for a great diving experience should sign up for a course at Scuba Nation. What are you waiting for?

Daniel from Germany

I went here in Cambodia at Scuba nation in November to do the “from Zero to hero” program course. I was looking for something different and new to learn and new experiences to add to my traveller life and I realised that the staff was so good to teach and transmit their passion that I wanted to get through the IDC so after 6 months here I am!! I would thank all the staff; they are very professional and excellent teacher!! I would recommend Scuba Nation to anybody want to take any certifications or just an underwater adventure here In Sihanoukville!!! Best diving school in Cambodia!!

Jaccopo Brozzi from Italy

After much thought I finally decided to do my IDC, the course that I feared the most. I have dived all over the world and have heard many horror stories about IDC’s, so I did heaps of research before I committed to a dive centre. When I went into Scuba Nation, the course director Gerard was happy to spend some time with me to chat about the course and discuss all aspects of the upcoming IDC, which made me immediately comfortable with Scuba Nation. When I finally signed up for the course there was only one week before it started so I had my work cut out to get prepared. During this time all the staff were always ready to help me with any problems I had and definitely made the preparation process easier.

After starting the course I realised that all my fears were unfounded. Even though it is an intense course the materials were delivered in a structured professional manner making it less intimidating. The staff went out of their way to make sure that all the candidates had support and were able to focus on the job at hand. Along with Gerard, we had the IDC staff members (Tony and Vicky) available to help with the many queries and problems we had, even if it meant a late night in the classroom. During the course I definitely had the feeling that we were being trained to teach scuba diving, not just shown how to pass the IE.

When the time came to do the IE, I was so happy with the quality of the training we received that it just felt like just another day on the course. I think Gerard, Vicky and Tony were more stressed than the candidates when it came time to sit the IE. It was funny to see them nervously awaiting our results like expectant fathers. I’m happy to say that all the candidates didn’t just pass the IE, we nailed it. I can see why Scuba Nation has a 100% pass rate for the IE because the training was thorough and definitely developed an instructor out of me

I would like to thank Gerard and all the staff of Scuba Nation for making the IDC a great experience that resulted in a successful IE. To my amazement, doing the IDC was actually fun and has given me many good memories and friends.

Thank you Scuba Nation.

Pete #361992


I completed my Divemaster course in Cambodia with Scuba Nation, and continued my education with this group of fantastic people. The IDC candidates were from various countries, which made it very interesting to get us all work together and become a team. In our group everyone was very focused on getting the maximum result becoming an OWSI instructor. This focus and preparation prior the IDC made it so that we sometimes had tensions in the group. With this focus we lost the idea of being a team sometimes. Fortunately the IDC team and the other members of staff at Scuba Nation are wonderful people managers, and they got everyone working and helping each other out with learning difficulties, language and cultural backgrounds. Perhaps the IDC staff had more hard work than the candidates themselves during my IDC, but they managed it smoothly and made everyone feel important and along the way during the process they managed to bring us from a strong links to an even stronger chain.

In my IDC i learned more about people’s behaviour, managing and adapting learning styles and made me a better diver. At the end that’s what it’s all about. Your IDC training is to show others how beautiful the underwater world is and pass your passion forward to new people from all over the world. The IDC staff at Scuba Nation are already a long time in this business and they share all their experience (24 hours a day if you really wish for it ) with the candidates to make them better and stronger and get them prepared for a job as OWSI instructor. The IDC program will give you what you put into it. Scuba Nation, Vicky and Gerard give you all the opportunities of getting you work in the dive industry. The network they know and have is already a good argument to conduct your IDC with Scuba Nation if you want to become an OWSI and get yourself a career in the diving industry.

The IDC staff does not take the IDC as a light program and they prepare you so good to make you a worthy IE candidate. If you pass the IDC with the ‘Godfather’ of diving in Cambodia then for sure you will find the IE more easy to handle. The only ones who you see become nervous around you during the IE are the IDC staff, because they like to maintain their 100% first time passing rate and wish to see all the candidates as a representation of the quality of Scuba Nation. Personally for me as I gave up my livelihood in Holland the IDC for me had more to do with the focus on learning, adapting all new formats and honestly trying to get the most out of it. The fun part started when the IE kicked off, I felt like a kid in a candy store with an unlimited budget to spend.  Now, one and half years after my IDC I still get an enormous smile on my face because I got what I wanted…  a diving career! And all of the candidates during my IDC have that same magical smile as well.

Thanks for the wise lessons from the ‘Godfather’ of diving in Cambodia, PADI Course Director Gerard Leenen and thanks to  all other IDC staff , Vicky, Tony, Simon and of course all the other people from Scuba Nation behind the scenes.

Emile Burggraaf

OWSI : 340704