Training

Learn (or continue) to Scuba Dive!

Training at Cromhall Quarry, nr Bristol

Whether you’ve just completed a Try Dive with us and now want to learn how to dive, or you are already a qualified diver who wants to progress, or maybe you a diver who belongs to a different diving agency and wants to join BSAC? Whatever the case we can provide the training and support necessary to help you.

Why dive with BSAC?

Cotswold BSAC is part of the British Sub Aqua Club » which is the largest training organisation in the UK. BSAC is considered to be one of the most thorough training organisations for diving worldwide. Once you have completed the first course, Ocean Diver, you will be given a qualification card which will allow allow you to dive in the UK and on holidays abroad!

All diving training courses are delivered by our qualified instructors and assistant instructors over a series of weekly evening sessions. Diving skills are taught progressively – each new experience built upon, step-by-step. You will develop your diving in the safe confines of a swimming pool before progressing to your first open water dives. This combination of theory, pool sessions, open water skills and continual technique practice enables you to develop your diving in a safe and enjoyable way.

Just like my grandfather and my father, I am proud to say that I learnt to dive with BSAC, and share your passion for the sport and the underwater world. – BSAC President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge

Starting with Cotswold BSAC

Happy diver undergoes training

The first diver qualification with BSAC is Ocean Diver. This involves seven theory classroom lessons, five practical lessons in the pool and five practical lessons in open water (flooded quarry or sea). The practical lessons will normally be done on a one-to-one basis with one of our qualified instructors and you will be allowed to progress at a pace which suits you. You will be required to provide your own basic kit (mask, fins, snorkel) but, if necessary, can borrow the remaining kit (cylinder, regulator, buoyancy compensator, weight belt) from our stock of training equipment or join our equipment purchase scheme.

The time taken to complete the Ocean diver course depends on the individual and instructor. Like the Try Dive, instructors provide their time for free, so it depends on when both are available. The training is paced to suit the individual, so there is no pressure to proceed quickly.

On gaining your Ocean Diver qualification you will be able to join in the club dives and go down to a maximum of 20 metres (approx 65 feet). After doing some post-qualification dives to gain more experience, you will be encouraged to start the next level of BSAC diving qualification, Sports Diver. This again involves a series of theory and practical lessons with our instructors and will qualify you to dive to 35 metres (approx 115 feet).  More information about these courses can be found on the BSAC website ».

Divers from other agencies

If you are already a qualified diver, but through another diver training organisation such as PADI, your experience will be recognised should you wish to join the BSAC. For example, if you are a PADI Open/Advanced Open Water you would cross-over to BSAC as an Ocean Diver, a PADI Rescue Diver is equivalent to a BSAC Sports Diver, or if you are a PADI Divemaster you would cross-over as a BSAC Dive Leader.

To join Cotswold 332 as a qualified diver we would ask you to complete the membership application and medical forms, pay the membership fees, purchase BSAC decompression tables and any other BSAC training material you may require. We would check your existing qualifications, transfer you to the equivalent BSAC qualification and, as a minimum, ask you to attend a brief ‘Induction to the BSAC’ lesson.

Should you need any refresher training, e.g. if you have not dived for a while or in the UK, or you would like to enhance your qualifications then we would arrange this with you. Any questions then please feel free to speak to us.

Further development for BSAC divers

Sidemount/Twinset training

If you are already a member of Cotswold, or an existing BSAC member who would like to transfer to our Club, then we can probably help you to extend your training and skills. There are a wide range of BSAC training courses that we either run within Cotswold BSAC or can access via the BSAC regional and national coaching networks.

After becoming a Sports Diver, you can then progress to the Dive Leader. This will further improve your diving skills, but will extend and expand your lifesaving abilities and the responsibilities and safety of leading other divers. Once complete and with some post-qualification dives, you will now be able to dive to a maximum of 50 metres (approx 164 feet). You are now considered an experienced diver and will be able to lead other less experienced divers, thus starts the continual circle of the Club.

There are also a number of Skill Development Courses that are available, e.g. boat handling, first aid for divers, practical rescue management, underwater photography, and many more.

Perhaps you are hungry for more, and fancy taking the step up to Advanced Diver or even First Class Diver, BSAC’s highest diver grade. If instructing other students is more your thing, there are a range of instructor courses that are available. Equally, we have some divers in the Club who enjoy diving sidemount, so there are plenty of options, and we try to accommodate all divers where possible.

So what does all this cost?

Head on over to the Membership page to find out our latest prices and benefits for being a Cotswold BSAC 332 member.

Where do we train?

The Club does most of its sheltered open water training in either Cromhall Quarry », near Bristol, the National Diving and Activity Centre » (NDAC) near Chepstow or Vobster Quay », near Bath. Being in the Cheltenham and Gloucester area, salt water training sites such as Swanage, Plymouth, Brixham, Babbacombe etc are a little further away, but are equally important.