STARTING OUT

BSAC current dive grades and training programme

We currently have two Nationally Qualified Instructors (Open Water Instructor) and offer training of all BSAC grades, up to and including Dive Leader. A full program of Skill Development Courses are also offered directly through BSAC, further details are avaiable here:


Ocean Diver

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to dive, this course is for you. This course is for beginners and provides the essential knowledge and skills needed to prepare for open water diving.

The BSAC Ocean Diver course prepares for this in the safety of a swimming pool or sheltered water and an introduction to open water in a controlled, safe manner. Experience and confidence will be gained under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Maximum depth - 20m.

Prerequisites

To enrol on the BSAC Ocean Diver Course you must be 12 years or older. A basic level of comfort in the water is important and you will have to demonstrate that you can swim 200m in swimwear.

What you’ll learn

The BSAC Ocean Diver course has three main stages:

  1. Lessons and theory assessment on the basic principles of scuba diving
  2. Five confined water dives to learn the basics in the water (usually in a swimming pool)
  3. Five open water dives to further develop your scuba diving skills

The fun bit

Will hopefully be from start to finish! Learning to dive is a life changing experience for many people. Breathing underwater for the first time is something you will never forget and the experience of learning with others is great fun. Your instructor is trained to look after you every step of the way.

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Ocean Diver is defined as a diver who is competent to conduct dives:

  1. To a maximum depth of 20m
  2. With another BSAC Ocean Diver or with a BSAC Sports Diver, within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered during training
  3. With a Dive Leader or higher grade, to expand experience beyond the conditions encountered during training, under the supervision of a Dive Manager
  4. Not requiring mandatory decompression stops
  5. Under the on-site supervision of a Dive Manager with respect to site selection, conditions and dive plan

  CONTINUING TRAINING

Sports Diver

Want to build on your skills after doing an Ocean Diver course?

BSAC Sports Diver training builds on the scuba skills you learnt in the Ocean Diver course (or entry level qualification from another agency) and helps develop your confidence, skills and experience in the water to allow you to enjoy a wider range of diving sites and conditions. The course builds a sound foundation of open water diving skills and experience with structured, practical lessons. This is a good way of getting more dives under your belt while learning under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

Qualified BSAC Sports Divers are ready to take part in dives with other Ocean Divers or higher grade divers. Depth can be built progressively to a maximum of 35m after qualfying*. Sports Divers can embark on the first stage of the route of instruction.

*To complete the depth progression you need be over 14 years old. Those under 14 years can qualify to Sports Diver but can dive to a maximum depth of 20m.

Prerequisites

To enrol on the BSAC Sports Diver Course you must be 12 years or older. You must have already successfully completed a BSAC Ocean Diver course (or qualifying certification from another recognised training agency).

What you’ll learn

You’ll hone your scuba skills and experience in various areas including rescue skills, Surface Marker Buoys (SMBs) and Delayed Surface Marker Buoys (DSMBs), navigation, techniques with equipment, and more about breathing gas. In addition, BSAC Sports Divers are taught how to support a Dive Manager by acting as their deputy as the first step in developing this important role in support of safe diving. The BSAC Sports Diver course has both practical and classroom lessons run in an integrated sequence. The course includes a sheltered water lesson and five open water lessons.

The fun bit

You will love the variety in this course. To ensure you experience a range of conditions, your instructor will include five types of dive from the following for you to experience: shore dive, nitrox dive (using a breathing gas >21% Oxygen up to a maximum of 36% (nitrox), dive using a shot line, low visibility dive, drift dive, small boat dive, large boat dive, wall dive or a dive in protective clothing (wet suit or drysuit).

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Sports is defined as a diver who is competent to:

  1. Conduct dives to 20m (if you choose to do the post qualification progress dives, the depth is increased in 5m increments to 35m)
  2. Conduct dives with a BSAC Ocean Diver within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered by the Ocean Diver
  3. Conduct dives with another BSAC Sports Diver, within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered during training
  4. Conduct dives with a Dive Leader or higher grade, to expand experience beyond the conditions encountered during training, under the supervision of a Dive Manager
  5. Use breathing gas mixes up to Nitrox 36
  6. Plan and conduct dives requiring mandatory decompression stops
  7. Rescue a casualty and provide basic life support
  8. Support the role of Dive Manager by acting as a competent deputy


Dive Leader

As a BSAC Dive Leader you are are becoming an expert in your field of dive leadership. You will also be competent in planning dives for groups of divers and managing diving on the day including, if necessary, managing rescue situations. This comprehensive course is a mix of classroom-based and practical lessons that will give divers confidence to plan, lead and manage dives, and deal with emergencies. Leading a dive will develop enjoyment, confidence and experience as a diver. After qualfying, and if you wish, depth can be built progressively to a maximum of 50m. Dive Leaders are eligible to progress to Open Water Instructor.

Prerequisites

To enrol on the BSAC Dive Leader Course you must be 14 years or older*. You must have already successfully completed a BSAC Sports Diver course (or qualifying certification from another recognised training agency).
 *Sports Divers who are aged 12-14 are able to complete those elements of Dive Leader that do not require depths in excess of 20m)

What you’ll learn

You will learn dive leadership skills through 12 classroom lessons, seven open water dives, two dry practical lessons and 20 dives (which may include the open water lessons) in a range of conditions. The BSAC Dive Leader course covers the role of the BSAC Dive Leader, Dive Planning and Management, Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) use (midwater deployment), dive leading demonstrations, basic life support with Oxygen administration and practical management of diving incidents, casualty assessment, dive planning, shot recovery by simple lift and review of rescue skills.

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Dive Leader is defined as a diver who:

  1. Can plan and lead a range of dives including those requiring detailed dive, gas and decompression requirements planning
  2. Has rescue management skills
  3. Is competent to manage and supervise branch dives to locations well known to the branch
  4. Can conduct dives with divers of any grade, to expand their experience beyond that previously encountered by those divers, under the supervision of a Dive Manager
  5. Can conduct experience building dives with trainee Ocean Divers, within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered by the trainee Ocean Diver, and under the supervision of a Dive Manager

BSAC also run a number of Skills Development Courses. For information about local BSAC SDCs, click South East or London.