Learn (or continue) to Scuba Dive!

Divers undergoing training

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? 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

Ocean Diver Theory

The first diver qualification with BSAC is Ocean Diver. This involves six theory classroom lessons (with the option for online instruction, or self-guided e-learning),  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) and the remaining kit (cylinder, regulator, buoyancy compensator, weight belt) is available to borrow from our stock of training equipment.

The time taken to complete the Ocean diver course depends on the individual, your spare time, and commitment, and availability of our instructors. 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. The only restriction is that we offer pool training through the autumn and winter months so you are ready to hit the water when the main UK diving seasons starts in spring/summer.

On gaining your Ocean Diver qualification you will be able to join in the club dives to a maximum of 20 metres (approx 65 feet). Depending on the type of diving you wish to do, you can progress through the BSAC diving qualifications, Advanced Ocean Diver and Sports Diver. This again involves e-learning and practical lessons with our instructors, and will ultimately qualify you to dive to 40 metres (approx 131 feet), which opens up the most of the easily accessible UK diving. More information about these courses can be found on the BSAC website ».

Divers from other agencies

If you are already a qualified diver through another diver training organisation such as PADI or SSI, you can join and dive within the limits of your existing qualification. Your experience will be recognised should you wish to join the BSAC and train with us. For example, if you are a PADI Open/Advanced Open Water you would cross-over to BSAC as an Ocean Diver, and we encourage you to start the BSAC Sports Diver course, which will develop your skills and experience, as well as qualify you in Nitrox diving, and drysuit diving if you wish. A list of equivalent diver grades is on the BSAC website.

To join Cotswold BSAC as a qualified diver we would ask you to speak to us initially. This allows us to see what you need from us, e.g. if you have not dived for a while or in the UK, or you would like to enhance your qualifications. We can then verify your existing qualification. You can then complete the membership application online. As a minimum we will conduct a brief ‘Introduction to the Club and BSAC’ presentation.

Further development for BSAC divers

Divers experiencing sidemount diving

If you are already an existing BSAC member who would like to transfer to our Club, then we can 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 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. You are now considered an experienced diver, and will be able to lead other less experienced divers, thus starts the continual circle of the Branch.

There are also a number of Skill Development Courses that are available, e.g. boat handling, oxygen administration, first aid for divers, practical rescue management, wreck diving, 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 once you have qualified as a Dive Leader. Equally, we have some divers in the Club who enjoy diving with multiple cylinders (Twinset and Side Mount) along with CCR divers, 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 Cromhall Quarry » near Bristol. For deeper or more advanced training we use Vobster Quay » near Bath, or Stoney Cove » near Leicester. 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.