I’m new to diving!
Here are the key questions that new divers typically ask, but if there’s anything that’s on your mind that isn’t answered below, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the training team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does BSAC dive training work?
Learning to dive involves a mixture of classroom theory, practical lessons in the pool and open water training (in the sea and sheltered inland dive sites). Successfully completing a combination of these elements will qualify you as a BSAC Ocean Diver, the first rung on the ladder of the BSAC Diver Training Programme. As an Ocean Diver, you can dive to 20m with other Ocean Divers (in familiar conditions) or expand you experience diving with instructors.
We strongly encourage all our trainees to strive for the next level of qualification, BSAC Sports Diver, as this really opens up the diving opportunities available to you and, in the course of your training, will provide a vast range of experience. BSAC Sports Divers can gradually progress their depth limit to 35m and can dive with other Sports Divers, giving them a greater degree of independence.
BSAC qualifications are internationally recognised and respected due to the competent divers BSAC training produces. Our instructors will continue to support you in progressing to whatever level you are aiming for and won’t lose interest in you once you’ve qualified!
What do I need to do?
Once you have paid your fees to SUSAC, you can attend theory lectures and pool lessons absolutely free. Use of SUSAC’s diving equipment is included in your membership and the only extra costs at this stage will be a BSAC training pack, which includes notes, a diving manual and a qualification record book, and a diving mask. A mask is a very personal piece of kit that must fit your face well to keep the water out – our members will happily advise you on what to look out for and we usually make a group trip to the Sheffield Scuba Diving Superstore (SDS) for mask buying.
Open water training requires some further pieces of equipment and involves travelling to an inland dive site (all of your instruction is still provided free of charge). To dive in open water you will need a drysuit, thermal undersuit, hood and gloves to keep you warm and a pair of fins to get you through the water. These items, like your mask, need to fit you personally and so SUSAC cannot provide them, however, we will provide you with everything else that you need to go diving as part of your membership.
How much will it cost?
As a member of SUSAC you don’t pay for your training on a ‘per course’ or ‘per qualification’ basis, you just pay your annual fees and do as much or as little training as you like. SUSAC membership is cheaper than many other dive clubs around the UK and includes the use of club equipment, the ‘all-you-can-eat’ approach to training also makes SUSAC a much cheaper way to train than comparable courses from other dive agencies. SUSAC membership is £80 per year (£60 for qualified BSAC Open Water Instructors and above).
Membership of BSAC is also required, this covers administration charges, gives you diver insurance (world-wide third party up to £10 million) and other benefits. Student BSAC membership is only £28 per year (subject to change by BSAC).
Additional costs include the training packs and your personal dive equipment. We estimate that you will spend approximately £30 on a good quality diving mask, approximately £80 on a good quality pair of fins for open water and approximately £500 on a good quality drysuit (and other thermal protection). Whilst this may seem expensive, this equipment will allow you to dive regularly in the UK for many years, and you would incur a comparable cost to travel abroad and dive once. SUSAC has a deal with the Sheffield Scuba Diving Superstore (SDS) to supply the best made-to-measure drysuits at the lowest prices and, whilst second hand drysuits may be available for less they can represent a false economy.
How long will it take?
This depends entirely on how much time you’re able to put into your diver training, like many other things, you get out what you put in. It is entirely possible to achieve BSAC Sports Diver within one year of starting your training, providing you come to theory and pool sessions and come on trips to open-water sites.