VA Approved PADI Instructor Development

Our V.A approved PADI training programs have been approved by the Florida Board of Education and Veterans Affairs Department for Rainbow Reef Career Development Center(RRDC) in Key Largo, Florida.

How do I sign up for VA Benefits?

Please note that attendance is mandatory but understanding that some students are still active duty we will do what we can to work around operational commitments.

  1. Apply for or transfer your VA/GI Bill Benefits:

    • If you have not yet applied for your VA/GI Bill Benefits you need to download and fill out VA Form 22-1990.

    • If you have already used some of your benefits you'll need to transfer the remaining funds to us and can do this by downloading and filling out VA Form 22-1995.

    • This can all be done online at

    • When applying, the name of the school is Rainbow Reef IDC, and make sure to include the names of all of the programs you will participate in.

  2. Collect all post high school transcripts as well as your DD-2586 and submit to RRDC VA Director.

  3. You'll then receive an acceptance letter and your “Certificate of Eligibility”, submit these to the RRDC VA Director.

  4. Depending on the type of VA/GI Bill benefits you qualify for there are a few other things you'll need to know:

    • If you are post 9-11, you are pretty much done. Tuition and fees will be paid directly to Rainbow Reef Dive Center, books and supplies money as well as your B.A.H will go directly to you.

    • If you are pre 9-11, you will need to certify that you are attending monthly (submit forms online) and you will be responsible for paying the tuition monthly once you've received your monthly stipend.

  5. RRDC can not guarantee that your VA benefits will pay for this as we do not make the call on who gets the benefits or what amount.

    You are ultimately responsible for the cost of the courses you participate in. This includes the cost of the course and additional fees incurred for books. The difference may be covered by your book stipend.

What does the VA/GI Bill cover?

The VA/GI Bill will currently pay for tuition, registration fees and all educational tools necessary for a veteran’s academic success. Also you will need to apply for any Per Diem or Stipends directly.

Is lodging available?

RRDC will have lodging in one of our apartments on a space available basis.

VA Approved Courses We Offer:

  • VA PADI Professional DiveMaster

    VA PADI Professional DiveMaster card image

    The Professional Divemaster program expands the recreational diver's knowledge and skills to transition them to the first level of PADI professional membership. The PADI Professional Divemaster program develops a student's leadership abilities, qualifying them to supervise dive activities and assist instructors with student divers as well as prepare candidates to lead, mentor and motivate other divers as well as enhance the student's ability to organize and solve problems while helping others. Successfully completing the Professional Divemaster program qualifies a student to attend the PADI Assistant Instructor Program.

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  • VA PADI Assistant Instructor Program

    VA PADI Assistant Instructor Program card image

    The PADI Assistant Instructor course is a program designed to prepare PADI Divemasters or equivalent to become PADI Assistant Instructors. The PADI Assistant Instructor rating authorizes a student to function as an instructional assistant and independently conduct certain PADI programs. Successful completion of the Assistant Instructor course qualifies you to participate in the Open Water Scuba Instructor course.

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  • VA PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

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    The OWSI introduces the Student to the entire PADI System and focuses on further developing the Studentís abilities as a professional dive educator and preparing them to function as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. PADI Assistant Instructors as well as instructors from other dive training organizations who want to become PADI Instructors must complete this program. Successfully completing the program qualifies a Student to attend a PADI Instructor Examination.

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  • VA Emergency First Response Instructor (EFR)

    VA Emergency First Response Instructor (EFR) card image

    The Emergency First Response Instructor allows a student to teach skills based on internationally recognized emergency care guidelines that can offer the course to anyone. Successfully completing the program qualifies a Student to teach the Emergency First Response Course and is a pre-requisite requirement to attend the PADI Instructor Examination.

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  • VA MSDT Prep Program

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    The Master Scuba Diver Trainer Prep requires the completion of five PADI Specialty Instructor courses chosen from a list of over thirty options conducted in a fully integrated manner over four days. The MSDT is designed to train instructors in how to organize, market and conduct PADI Specialty Diver Courses. A Discover Rebreather Course is also included in to allow candidates to begin their transition into the world of closed circuit diving to allow them to increase their market with the use of rebreathers.

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DiveHeart Certification and Training Offered: (Approved by VA)

  • DiveHeart Adaptive Dive Buddy

    The DIVE HEART Adaptive Dive Buddy course introduces Adaptive Diving to anyone interested in learning about diving with a disability. By the end of this program, a candidate will be able to be a successful and comfortable member of an Adaptive Dive Team.


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  • DiveHeart Advanced Adaptive Dive Buddy

    The DIVE HEART Advanced Adaptive Dive Buddy requires additional scuba certification prerequisites while introducing advanced adaptive scuba buddy skills, techniques and protocols as well as knowledge of specialized advanced adaptive equipment.


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  • DiveHeart Adaptive Scuba Instructor

    The DIVE HEART Adaptive Scuba Instructor program introduces the open water scuba instructor to innovative Diveheart Adaptive Diving protocols, assessment tools and techniques to prepare him to work with divers with disabilities.


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