What is BSAC?
The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) is a recreational diving organisation based in the UK. The BSAC awards diving and instructor qualifications that are internationally recognised, so when you go on holiday, show them your BSAC qualification card and you’ll be good to go!
What are the Levels of Training?
BSAC offers 5 diving qualifications, which can take you from a complete novice to an expert diver.
- Ocean Diver: If you’re keen to learn to dive BSAC’s Ocean Diver course is the place to start. This entry-level diving qualification will equip you with the core skills to dive to a maximum of 20 metres in open water, in the UK and abroad.
- Sports Diver: If you are an Ocean Diver who wants to do more, the Sports Diver course will give you the freedom to explore. Being a Sports Diver allows most people to do all the diving they want in the UK and abroad. This will qualify you to dive up to 35m.
- Dive Leader: Are you ready to learn how to manage groups of divers, and develop your rescue-management skills? If so, Dive Leader is the exciting next step in your development as a diver.
- Advanced Diver: Advanced Divers are role models in BSAC clubs, able to lead groups in new situations, which can be remote and require detailed planning backed up by a huge amount of experience.
- First Class Divers: (FCD programme is managed by BSAC HQ) First Class Diver (FCD) is BSAC’s top diving grade reflecting a high level of theoretical knowledge, organisational and personal diving and dive management skills. First Class Divers have gone on to lead groundbreaking missions worthy of national recognition.
Can I Crossover from Another Agency?
Yes you can! If you are a qualified diver and have suitable experience diving in the UK, we will allow you to dive with the club. However, if you wish to undertake further training, you will need to train as a BSAC diver. Sports Diver, Dive Leader and Advanced Diver courses can all be taught as crossover courses, so you don’t need to start from the bottom! If your training is very basic, you may need to start training as an Ocean Diver.
The BSAC equivalency Chart below will tell you where your current qualification sits in the BSAC scheme.
I’ve Only Dived in Warm/Tropical Water Before. Can I dive with you in the UK?
Yes you can! However, we must first make sure your dive skills are suitable. We may ask you to join us in the pool or an inland diving site to assess how you cope with colder water. You will need the correct kit. In the UK this is a thick wetsuit or a drysuit. If there are gaps in your training, we can help fill these. Once you’re ready, you can begin UK diving with us.
I’ve only dived in a wetsuit before and want to try a drysuit?
We offer free drysuit training in the pool. You will need to purchase your own drysuit. You can find second hand ones online for reasonable prices. We will work with you until you are confident controlling your buoyancy before taking you out.
I want to be an Instructor
Training the next generation of divers is vital for any club to stay running.
If you are a sports diver or above, you can instruct. If you are non-BSAC qualified, talk to our diving officer about instructing.
BSAC run instructor courses for budding instructors. The first stage is the instructor foundation course (IFC) to become an assistant diving instructor. You can then progress through the open water instructor course (OWIC), the theory instructor exam (TIE) and the practical instructor exam (PIE) to become an Open Water Instructor (OWI).
Note: the minimum diving grade for becoming an OWI is Dive Leader.
The following chart illustrates the route to becoming an instructor.
I want to Devleop my Skills. Is everything I need in the diver training programmes?
Yes and no. Our diving courses are very comprehensive, however, if you wish to go down the technical route or learn skills that aren’t scuba (e.g. boat handling), BSAC offers skill development courses and technical courses. These can help you focus your efforts in diving that interests you. These range from wreck diving, advanced decompression to boat handling and more. These are usually run at the regional level.
For the up-to-date list of courses and availability, to the the BSAC website here: https://www.bsac.com/training/.