Training

Safety and competence lie at the heart of our diving activities, and we run a full programme of courses and refresher sessions so that we are all as skilled as we need to be for the dives we undertake, and as prepared as possible for the unexpected.

Our instructors are not professionals - they are club members themselves, who have the experience and formal training to act as instructors. They are also there in the long-term, unlike a holiday session where you are on your own after it has ended.

It's why a club like ours is so much better a way to take up diving, at least we think so.

Try-dive

We run try-dive sessions a few times a year, and it's the perfect way to get an idea of this exciting sport.

One of our instructors will be your guide. He or she will first of all show you the basic scuba equipment and how to assemble it, then take you into the pool to show you how to breathe and move about under water.

We provide all the equipment - all you need bring is a swimming costume and a T-shirt. There's a £10 charge for the session and you can be any age from 12 up to well - anything! (For parents: our club's training activites conform to BSAC's safeguarding protocols so are suitable for children and young people.)

What to expect at a try-dive.

At the social session afterwards, we would explain all you need to know about the club, the training and the equipment, and answer any questions you might have.

If you enjoyed it and then wanted to learn to dive, we would enter you on the Ocean Diver course, which teaches you to dive at up to 20m depth. There is no charge for the lessons from our instructors, but BSAC make a charge for the documentation, and you will need to borrow our kit (small charges apply) if you don't have your own. We offer an all-in package of documenation, kit and air fills, so you can budget your costs at the start.

After you qualify, you are licensed to join us on our diving trips up to your qualification level, both at home and abroad, and to take on additional training to progress to higher skills levels.

Here's a brief description of the qualification levels that you can reach with training in our club:

Transferring from PADI

Lots of people are learning diving on a holiday trip to warm water seas, and you have already been bitten by the diving bug we are happy to keep your interest alive by exploring the UK coastline.

If you are a qualified diver with SSI, PADI or any other of the recognised certification bodies, we'd love you to come and dive with us - you do not have to do any cross-over or further training (unless you want to!).

Quite a number of us have specialised interests such as underwater photography, wreck exploration, and marine ecology and conservation - so if you have a particular passion for nudis or wreck photography you're likely to find a fellow enthusiast.


Ocean Diver

If you’re keen to learn to dive, the BSAC’s Ocean Diver course is the place to start. This entry-level open water diver qualification will equip you with the core skills to dive to a maximum of 20 metres in open water, in the UK and abroad. Lots of people are learning diving on a holiday trip to warm water seas, and you have already been bitten by the diving bug we are happy to keep your interest alive by exploring the UK coastline.

The BSAC Ocean Diver course is open to anyone from the age of 12. You’ll just need to demonstrate that you can comfortably swim 200m in a pool, and the only kit you’ll need is a swimsuit and towel.

On your open water diving course, you’ll:

  • Learn how to use basic dive gear, including your mask and snorkel.
  • Control your buoyancy and underwater movements
  • Understand your basic scuba diving safety skills – you’ll find out the importance of time, depth and gas
  • Discover how to plan and manage your diving

At depths of down to 20m, Ocean Divers have plenty of chances to encounter a fascinating variety of wildlife and shipwrecks in seas, rivers, quarries, lochs and lakes.

We have the exclusive use of a private swimming pool once a week for training courses.

Sports Diver

The next step up is Sports Diver. You’ll learn how to spot if something is wrong and what to do in an emergency including self-rescue, recovery of unresponsive divers, and basic life support – these are among the most valuable skills any diver can learn.

The course includes six theory modules, a practical session on how to support a Dive Manager, a sheltered-water rescue skills session, and six open-water dives with plenty of time to practise your skills.

Being competent to dive to 35m allows most divers to do all the diving they want in the UK and abroad. At these depths you can access the majority of UK wreck diving, and with Sport Diver skills you can extend your dive times safely and relax to take in your surroundings and any wildlife you encounter.

Should you be interested, you are able to branch off and start down the route to being an instructor by attending a two-day Instructor Foundation Course, which will allow you to help with our try-dives and other training activities.

Bath Diver speeds through the water

Sports Diver takes you down to 35m.

Higher levels

The next stage on from Sports Diver is Dive Leader. At this stage you start to develop your dive management skills, extending your sphere of responsibility to that of managing other divers on trips to known sites.

This is also the stage when you can complete your instructor training and become and Open Water Instructor. From there both branches continue on to Advanced Diver and then First Class Diver and beyond.

Other opportunities

Many of our members are interested in developing their skills with boats, which form a natural complement to diving in UK waters, and here too we offer courses in boat handling, coxwain skills, radio operation, search and rescue, and many others.

There is also a range of more specialised skills courses for people with a particular interest, perhaps in shipwrecks or in cave diving. We may not always be able to provide these within our own club, but being part of BSAC means that there will be the chance to get this training from their regional activities.