Meet The Go PRO Team of PADI Instructor Trainers

Your PADI Course Director and the people that teach professional level courses are of utmost importance to your success throughout your internship and as a foundation for your career as a professional.

At Downbelow we have a dedicated full time team of highly trained instructor trainers to guide you and teach your professional level diving courses. We are the only PADI 5 Star IDC Centre in Sabah to boast TWO resident PADI Course Directors.  British Platinum PADI Course Director, Richard Swann heads-up the team along with local Sabahan PADI Course Director Fauzi (aka Pablo).  Having resident PADI Course Directors means that they are excellent mentors for the team and they do not split their time between difference dive schools. Downbelow has built a reputation for training and delivering PADI Instructors that are ready for the work place. Awarded for our contribution to Instructor Development and achieving Platinum PADI Course Director Status over consecutive years support our claim for excellence.


PADI Platinum Course Director – Richard Swann

Richard Swann - Platinum PADI Course Director

Downbelow Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann is a highly experienced Instructor Trainer, with almost two decades of professional diver training.

Richard leads our Go PRO team with his considerable knowledge and oversees the conduct of all the diver training in our professional courses. A PADI Course Director is the highest level of professional rating in the PADI system of education and to be awarded the Platinum level is indication of our commitment to instructor development. There are currently only 71 Platinum PADI Course Directors worldwide.

Richard’s Instructor Qualifications

PADI Course Director – Fauzi Bin Mohd Sofian – AKA ‘Pablo’

Fauzi - PADI Master Instructor

Pablo is a highly respected PADI Course Director and underwater photographer.

He decided to pursue his diving dream under the tutelage and mentorship of PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann, and enrolled in our company-sponsored Go PRO internship program to qualify as a Divemaster in 1 year. He showed a lot of promise with his enthusiastic attitude and inquisitive nature, so Downbelow offered a further sponsorship to enroll in the February 2013 IDC for the next level: PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI). During the following years Pablo excelled in professional level diver training and we decided that our ever growing PADI 5 Star IDC Centres required a second PADI Course Director and we supported Pablo in his application and training to become a PADI Course Director. He is now an integral part of our management and development team.

Pablo’s Instructor Qualifications

Master Instructor – Joanne Swann

Joanne Swann - PADI Master Instructor

Downbelow Director and PADI Master Instructor Joanne has been a dive educator since 2001, and teaching Instructor-level courses for more than a decade. Joanne leads the Head Office team with her extensive knowledge on the ‘business of diving’.

Joanne possesses the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of an individual’s career in the scuba diving industry. With the consideration of our candidates professional needs, Joanne & her team will tailor your internship program with the best possible mix of training and experience so by the end of your internship you are a confident PADI professional ready to work. At the same time Joanne will ensure you are receiving great value for money since at this stage of your PADI career every penny counts!

Joanne’s Instructor Qualifications

Go PRO Advisor – Alice Siniong

Alice - GoPro Advisor

With several years of experience in Sabah’s tourism industry, Alice is one of our experts in tailoring unforgettable holiday packages and she specialises in designing suitable itineraries for professional scuba diving internships. Based at our Downbelow Travel Centre in our Kota Kinabalu HQ, Alice will be the candidates’ first friendly correspondence with Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures.

Go PRO advisor Alice keeps in close contact with Go PRO interns to ensure our excellent customer service is maintained. She’s a dedicated counsellor, and assists interns beyond the scope of their professional dive training, such as arranging accommodation of any budget, flights, visa requirements, and almost anything and everything else!

IDC Staff & Supporting PADI Instructors

IDC Staff

We have a large team of supporting PADI IDC Staff Instructors, PADI Speciality Instructors and PADI Open Water Instructors. Our entire team at some point completed their IDC Course here at Downbelow and our team have a variety of speciality instructor ratings to their portfolio of qualifications from Digital Under Water Photography, Diver Propulsion Vehicle, Deep Diver, Enriched Air and many more.

During Instructor Development Courses (IDCs), PADI Staff Instructors work alongside and assist PADI Course Directors, in a similar way to that of a certified assistant (PADI Divemasters and Assistant Instructors) for a PADI Instructor. A PADI IDC Staff Instructors role can be organising, evaluating and presenting any number of components with the IDC course. The role of a PADI IDC Staff Instructor during an Instructor Development Course (IDC) is to assist in training candidates attending the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC), while at the same time expanding their own instructor training abilities.

Begin your Professional Scuba Diving Internship !

  • Adventure Lodge

    Adventure Lodge (5)

    Our Adventure Lodge accommodation based in KK Times Square is ideal for those people wishing to combine basic clean and secure comfort at an affordable price.
  • Downbelow Shop

    Downbelow Shop (242)

    We have the largest range of dive and adventure equipment in Sabah. Selling dive equipment, apparel, gadgets, hiking gear and various diving and adventure accessories.
  • PADI Go PRO Courses

    PADI Go PRO Courses (20)

    A professional diving internship as a PADI Divemaster, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor or beyond is a very rewarding opportunity for scuba divers, with 1 to 3 months to spare.


It doesn’t get any better than Downbelow!
They planned our entire 2 week stay in Borneo, we didn’t have to lift a finger. We saw everything you can imagine; Pygmy Elephants, Orang Utans, Proboscis Monkeys, Crocodiles, Horn bills!They know all the best local spots and really take care of you which is so important when traveling somewhere new!
Tamsin & Phil, Independent Travellers
One stop shop for marine and wildlife adventure
I spent a month with Dive DownBelow studying to be a PADI Open Water Instructor. Great location (near markets, shops and cafes), professional staff and a fun experience all round.
Carl Charter, GoPro Intern
A very memorable holiday!
The whole Dive Downbelow team is great and this was a huge contributor to us having a very memorable holiday with you. Thank you for your help all through the trip, and also thank you to Tim who was very professional, patient and made our diving course so enjoyable and successful.
Dmitry & Helen, Independent Travellers

Our Commitment to Conservation!

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM project_aware_logo

During the past 15 years the company has established itself as a leading conservation and education provider locally and on the international platform. At Downbelow we are committed to responsible tourism. We design experiences and provide courses that foster appreciation, awareness and conservation of our environment and development of local people. In the course of this labour of love, our effort has been acknowledged by various publications and awards. To date, Ghost Net Removals, Underwater and Beach Clean Ups, Coral for Life, Tree for Life & Project Aware remain a large focus of our day to day life Downbelow!

What Makes Downbelow Different ?

  • Customised Itineraries To Save Money & Maximise Time
  • Genuine Focus On Conservation & Outreach Community Programs
  • TWO Full Service Island Based PADI 5 Star IDC Centres – Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
  • Own and Operate Our Adventure Lodge Accommodation – KK Times Square
  • Fully Comprehensive Quality Control Standards and Procedures
  • TWO Resident PADI Course Directors – In House and Full Time
  • Gained International Awards for Excellence, Education and Experience
  • Awarded the PADI Green Star Award for Environmental Practices to Reduce our Environmental Footprint
  • Hassle FREE – airport to airport service all under one company
  • Dedicated experienced travel consultant for planning your trip, during your trip and post trip support
  • Approved British Ministry of Defence Commercial Dive Centre
  • Company Profits Support Welfare & Marine Conservation