At Southsea Sub Aqua Club we offer training to internationally recognised standards with the British Sub Aqua Club. Training is offered free of charge as part of your membership of SSAC and is conducted by club members who are qualified BSAC instructors. We deliver training at all levels: BSAC Ocean Diver, Sports Diver, Dive Leader and Advanced Diver. Having our own clubhouse and training equipment means we can offer a wide range of training for beginners and more experienced divers. We host a number of BSAC regional Skills Development Courses (SDCs) such as Diver First Aid and can also arrange specialist courses such as RYA/Boat handling if there is sufficient interest. Please discuss your training requirements with the Training Officer or Diving Officer.

Welfare and Safeguarding

The safety and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults is of primary importance to SSAC. This club is committed to providing an environment where young people can learn and participate in the sport of scuba diving free from harassment and abuse. All club members working with children have a moral and social responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare and safety of children and vulnerable adults. The club follows the BSAC safeguarding Policy to promote and protect the welfare and safety of both children and adults. All SSAC instructors have been DBS checked in accordance with the BSAC safeguarding policy.

Beginners (Ocean Diver Trainee)

If you have never tried scuba diving before, it's a good idea to arrange a ‘Try Dive’ before deciding whether to take up diving as a recreational sport/pastime. We arrange these periodically, and you should contact the Club to find out when our next Try Dive session is scheduled. The first stage of learning to dive within a BSAC Club environment involves a number of pool sessions to master basic skills. This early training will be in a local swimming pool hired specifically by the club for the purpose.  Unfortunately, we no longer have regular access to a suitable swimming pool, so beginners courses are only arranged periodically when there are suitable numbers to make the hire of a pool financially viable.  For beginners, training progresses at a pace that is suitable for the trainee. Everyone is different and there are no set timescales. Instruction is usually conducted on a 1:1 or 1:2 basis in the pool which makes for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

After several pool sessions and an assessment, you will ready for the first open water dive. Theory training tends to be in slightly larger groups of 6+ so you can learn as a team and help each other along. 

The pool sessions are supplemented by lectures, student notebooks and practical exercises before you progress to sheltered 'open water' to complete the Ocean Diver course. Once you have reached the appropriate level of competence you can begin to dive in open water with other members of the Club. Training can continue within the club environment and you will hopefully reach a standard when you too can start down the road to becoming an instructor.

Autumn is the ideal time to come to learn to dive at SSAC, enabling new divers to train through the winter and make the most of the summer dive season but new members are welcome at any time of year. Read full details of the Ocean Diver course.

Further BSAC Training for Divers from Other Agencies

Many of our members and instructors began their diving careers with other agencies and have chosen to join SSAC to meet and dive with other people with a passion for UK diving. We are also able to help people who have completed training with other training agencies to transfer and continue training under the BSAC guidelines. There are some slight differences in the content of training courses delivered by other agencies to that of the standard BSAC grades and this can be easily enhanced through a 'cross-over' training course which is designed to cover the differences. If you are already qualified by another agency and wish to continue to develop your skills and knowledge then please speak to the Training Officer or Diving Officer about what additional training you would like to do.

Qualification Equivalent To Can Start Training For

PADI Open Water Diver

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

SAA Open Water Diver

SSI Open Water Diver

SSI Advanced Open Water Diver

BSAC Ocean Diver BSAC Sports Diver

PADI Rescue Diver

SAA Club Diver

SSI Advanced Open Water Diver with ‘Stress & Rescue’

BSAC Sports Diver BSAC Dive Leader

PADI Divemaster

SAA Dive Leader

SSI Dive Control Specialist

BSAC Dive Leader BSAC Advanced Diver


For a comprehensive list of equivalent diver qualifications, please click here (BSAC page).