Learning to dive
Initial Diver Qualification
The initial qualification for a beginner is BSAC's Ocean Diver, which gives you the skills needed to dive to a depth of 20m. Diving is taught progressively so that each new practical skill builds on previously learned skills. You will develop your diving in the safe confines of a swimming pool before progressing to your first open water dives - these are performed in flooded quarries around the UK. The main locations we use are Capernwray in Cumbria, Eccleston Delph in Lancashire, and Stoney Cove in Leicestershire.
How long does it take?
The time to qualification varies for each diver depending on the individual and the instructor. As previously stated, training is paced to suit the individual, with the mantra being 'confident and competent'; when both instructor and trainee feel that this has been achieved for a skill, then training can progress to the next skill. There is no pressure put on trainees to move too quickly through the skills as this is ultimately counter-productive.
Elements of Ocean Diver Training
To give some insight into the training requirements of the Ocean Diver qualification, it consists of the following elements:
Following the theory lessons you will need to sit a multiple choice assessment. For the ‘in water’ lessons you will be assessed by your instructor and signed off on all of the required skills as you complete them, when he or she deems that you are confident and competent in their execution.
Of course to become qualified takes some commitment from both you and the instructors - remember, the instructors are volunteers and just do this for the love of diving!