Training with BSAC

BSAC, the UK's National Governing Body for scuba diving, has an excellent modern training system with a strong emphasis on safety.

Diving skills are taught progressively so that each new experience is built on step by step, allowing students to advance at a rate at which they feel comfortable.

The system has been specifically designed to fully equip divers with the self-reliance, skills and knowledge needed to dive safely in British waters. Our colder waters can be more challenging to dive than many more tropical seas, but are also often more rewarding. If you can competently dive in the UK's temperate waters, then you are more than capable of diving abroad!

For these reasons, BSAC diving qualifications are widely recognised and highly regarded worldwide.

Going Further

The best divers never stop learning, and all our members are encouraged to continue their diving training to the highest levels at a rate that suits them and allows them to get the most our of their diving.

BSAC's diver training scheme has a sucession of qualifications leading upwards from the entry-level Ocean Diver which recognise the increased skills and ability of a diver as he/she completes training and gains more experience.

The scheme recognises diving qualifications from PADI and other training agencies, so if you already hold a diving certification you can begin working towards the next higher BSAC diver qualification.

Sports Diver

Sports Diver with surface marker buoySports Diver is the most popular training level as this qualification opens up more adventurous diving. The course focuses on practical scuba skills such as dive planning, underwater navigation, and use of surface marker buoys and lines - all real-life techniques which necessary for safe participation in more challenging dives especially in our temperate waters. Buddy rescue and basic life support skills are also included so that, should the worst ever happen, a Sports Diver is well-prepared.

PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water divers (and those with similar qualifications from SAA, SSI, NAUI, CMAS, etc) who join Birmingham 25 and wish to continue training normally start with this course. If you've learned to dive abroad, then we'll introduce you to delights and challenges of British diving, and include drysuit training if you require it as part of your Sports Diver course.

Sports Diver training begins with sheltered water lessons (during our Monday evening pool sessions at Stechford Cascades) to refresh and then further develop rescue skills, before moving onto open water usually at our regular club dives at our local inland sites, Dosthill Quarry and Stoney Cove. Before qualifying, Sports Divers must demonstrate some varied diving experience by taking part in five different types of dive. The course also includes classroom and dry practical sessions (normally done weekly before our pool session but sometimes as a block at weekends), and a multiple-choice theory assessment.

Qualification as a Sports Diver enables you to use nitrox (enriched air) mixes up to 36% as breathing gas, either for increased dive safety or for longer dive times; and after suitable experience building dives supervised by an instructor, to undertake dives with other Sports Divers to a maximum depth of 35m.

Dive Leader, Advanced Diver and beyond

At higher levels there is a shift from essential diving skills to dive leadership and management and gaining much wider diving experience through participating in different styles of diving. All training is based in the classroom or in open water. In addition to these formal lessons, qualification requires demonstration of diving experience, a theory assessment and dive management practice.

Dive Leaders practising basic life support rescue skillsYour Dive Leader training covers the responsibilities and safety aspects of leading less experienced divers on open water dives, rescue management skills to cope with unforeseen emergencies, and dive management skills to supervise dives at familiar locations and sites. After progessive depth experience dives, you will be qualified to dive to a maximum of 50m.

Qualification as Advanced Diver means you are fully-trained as a diver to manage and supervise adventurous and challenging diving, and organise branch expeditions to explore unfamiliar diving locations.

If that is not enough, then your diving abilities can be assessed through nationally conducted examinations for the higher than average level of theoretical diving knowledge, personal diving skills and organisational ability required to lead major diving expeditions; and you can obtain the highest level of BSAC diving qualification, First Class Diver.

Members qualified to these higher grades can contribute to the club by organising and supervising its diving activities for the benefit of all our members.

Other qualifications

Divers studying a nautical chart during a boat-handling course In addition to the progression through the above diver grades, there are a range of additional shorter Skill Development Courses available. Some of these contribute towards gaining the higher diving qualifications, and others introduce more specialist interests such as Accelerated Decompression or Boat Handling.

Our members are able to participate in many of these courses within the club or via BSAC's Regional Coaching Scheme.


Our instructors

Most of your training within the branch will be delivered by our dedicated team of volunteer instructors - ordinary members who teach scuba to share their enjoyment of the sport and to develop their own personal skills rather than for financial reward. A major strength of the BSAC system is the time and effort given freely by enthusiastic instructors and members for the benefit of all.

The quality of our training is very important to us. We maintain close connections to the BSAC Regional Coaching and Instructor Training schemes so that we are kept up-to-date with the latest thinking in scuba diving and instructing techniques, skills and equipment; and our more experienced instructors mentor and guide new instructors as they progress through their instructor training.

BSAC instructor training is accessible and affordable, so that any member who wants to can easily get involved without committing large amounts of time and money.

A Sports Diver can begin instructing by taking a two day Instructor Foundation Course and becoming an Assistant Diving Instructor. Dive Leader is the minimum diving grade required to take the further courses and exams required for qualification as an Open Water Instructor. An Advanced Diver can take higher instructing qualifications and become involved with diving instructor training and development.


Contact Details

Find us on Monday evenings from 8.45pm at:

Stechford Cascades Leisure Centre

Station Road



B33 8QN

Tel: 07970 749486

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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