From beginner to experienced, BSAC provides a full training programme that enables divers to progress through a framework of qualifications at their own pace.
There are five internationally-recognised BSAC diver grades, from the entry level Ocean Diver through to our highest grade, First Class Diver.
BSAC Diver Grades
BSAC has been training people to dive since the early 1950s. During this time the Diver Training Programme has been regularly updated and improved to keep pace with developments in equipment and diving knowledge. The programme is designed to build confidence and self-reliance, whilst keeping safety uppermost.
Diving skills are taught progressively so that each new experience is built upon step by step. Following basic training in the safety of a swimming pool or protected area, students soon complete their first open water dives to achieve Ocean Diver certification. This progression continues to Sports Diver and beyond, where open water skills and techniques are further developed and experience gained.
All diver training courses are delivered at the club, by our qualified volunteer instructors over a series of weekly evening sessions and weekend open water training, with the opportunity for regular diving to hone your skills. You can also complete your training over a shorter period of time through a BSAC centre.
With BSAC, the choice is yours – this is YOUR diving journey and we are with you every step of the way.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
As a BSAC Advanced Diver you are a highly qualified branch diver. This course is for divers who are interested in extending still further their skills in planning and supervising diving groups, rescue management skills, whilst building seamanship and developing further leadership qualities.
The BSAC Advanced Diver course develops knowledge and skills. Divers gain experience in planning dives at different sites and circumstances. Additional skills will be gained in using small boats, chartwork and navigation and many other related skills. Advanced Divers who are Open Water Instructors are eligible to progress to Advanced Instructor.
BSAC's highest diving grade requires a higher than average level of theoretical knowledge, organisational and personal diving skills. First Class Diver is a very challenging award to achieve. BSAC First Class Divers are assessed through nationally conducted examinations.