Skill Development Courses (SDCs) and Workshops

Diver Training Progression ChartWhether you are looking to improve your diving skills or your knowledge of diving, through both the instructors within the club and the BSAC regional coaching scheme, we can offer our members the ability to attend the range of BSAC Diver training and Skill Development Courses (SDCs).

Skill Development Courses allow a diver to progress their training in a direction that may be of special interest to them. Such courses include photography, marine life appreciation, first aid for divers, diver coxswain and much more. SSAC runs many of the courses for its members. Some courses are run as a Southern Region event. At the same time, members are welcome to attend regional events elsewhere in the country.

To be able to attend any BSAC Course, you must be a member of BSAC. This includes all the SDCs. Some courses are open to all members of BSAC, whilst others may only be open to people who are qualified to a specific minimum diver grade or have attended a previous SDC.

If you are interested in furthering your knowledge, please speak with our Training Officer (see below). If there are others interested in the same course, we can look at running one within the club.

Any SDCs which are run within the club are advertised at the Clubhouse on the notice board and on the club’s Facebook group.

The cost to attend an SDC varies but is advertised in advance, along with the course. The costs will cover things such as out of pocket expenses for instructors, something towards the cost of the Clubhouse, student packs and any qualification cards (qcard). A Workshop, for example, may just have the option of a qcard, which will be extra if the student wants one.

List of BSAC Courses

Occasionally one of our members writes a story about one of the courses that we run. The lack of frequency of articles is not a reflection of the number of courses we run. far from it. Please do take a look at the Training News to gain a flavour of what we do.

 

Training News

Below are some stories showing a small sample of the additional course that we have run at Southsea Sub-Aqua Club.

     
Gas Blending     First Aid for Divers
     
Drysuit Workshop    
     

Other frequently run courses include Compressor Operator, Nitrox Workshop, Buoyancy & Trim Workshop & Oxygen Administration.

 

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Speciality Courses from other diving agencies

The BSAC recognises speciality or skill development courses that you may have completed elsewhere. If you wish to update them, as in the case of safety and rescue courses, we can offer the BSAC equivalent course.

 

To download the SDC equivalency chart, Click Here!

 

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Webinars

BSAC also host a number of Webinars (online lectures) which members can join live or watch at a later date. Past topics have included various wrecks, archaeology, disability and diving, diving equipment, expeditions run by different clubs, marine life, medical topics for divers, international BSAC clubs and diving in various counties of interest.

Programme of Webinars

 

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Non-BSAC Courses

Film Making for DiversWith the wealth of additional knowledge, experience and skillset within our club, we can also run additional courses that are not on the BSAC list. In recent years we have run a course to help teach people about making underwater videos.

These courses tend to be run within the club, but can occasionally be opened up to other clubs in the region. Any cost of the course is required to cover any materials and something towards the upkeep of the Clubhouse.

 

If you would like to speak to our Training Officer about starting this course, please speak to them on a club night or send them an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about these courses on the BSAC Website, where there is also a page where you can book yourself on a regional course.

 

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The First Class Diver course is the pinnacle diver course within the BSAC. Within the Southsea Sub-Aqua club branch, we’ve had a number of members complete this course over the years and their names appear on the club’s honour roll board.

Whilst the content of the course has changed over the years to cater for new diving technologies that are being used by recreational divers, this course has always been a challenge and has required a high level of dedication, experience and training to complete it.

 

The course is run on a national level and involves a number of trips around the UK where the candidate’s skills are put through the rigors of training, sharpened up and more. There are three segments to the exam that can be completed in any order. They include a two day Practical Diving Assessment, an expedition plan and a theory test. To help the students with the course, there are various people across the country that can help on a mentoring basis.

A First Class Diver is expected to have an above-average level of knowledge and capable of organising diving expeditions to previously unknown places.

 

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Prerequisites

As with previous courses, there are a number of criteria that you must have first completed prior to starting this course. You must have completed at least 100 dives in a range of conditions since qualifying (20 must be below 30m), be an Advanced Diver, and have successfully completed the following Skill Development Courses:

The award of First Class Diver is normally presented at the BSAC Conference.

 

If you would like to speak to our Training Officer about starting this course, please speak to them on a club night or send them an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about this course on the BSAC Website.

 

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The course costs comprise of the following elements and will vary over time. For a better understanding of the current estimated costs, please speak with one of our instructors:

  1. AD Student Pack (available either as an electronic pack (e-Pack) or as a hard copy
  2. Open water dives
    1. Transport to/from the dive site
    2. Entry to the dive site or Cost of diving from a dive boata
  3. Instructor “out of pocket” costs
    1. Transport to/from the dive site
    2. Entry to the dive site or Cost of diving from a dive boat

At the time of writing (February 2022), the student pack is £32.50 plus postage. There may be a different price for those transferring from another agency. For the current prices for the AD pack, please check with the Training Officer.

By way of an example, at the time of writing (February 2022), the entry fee to Vobster Quay, an inland dive site we often use, is £23 for non-members and £17 for members. Vobster Quay is around 85 miles and about a 2 hour trip from the Clubhouse. Diving from the Club’s RIB in the Selsey area would be about £20-£30 per dive. Selsey’s public slipway is 22 miles or 30 minutes from the clubhouse. There is a daily parking charge of £1.70 (East Beach, Selsey - correct as of February 2022).

For the deeper dives, which will often be further out to sea, the costs for the day will be a little more. For example, a space on a hard boat may be £50 or more.

Depending on the weather, Instructor availability and how well someone does, the open water dives could be completed over four days, with the depth progression dives completed over a period of three different days due to their depth and the decompression requirements.

Dependent upon the diving conditions, the lessons may be taught with one or two candidates. For safety, it would be anticipated that one-to-one would be more likely, with some cases of two-to-one.

 

If you would like to speak to our Training Officer about starting this course, please speak to them on a club night or send them an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about this course on the BSAC Website.

 

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The Advanced Diver (AD) course comprises of the following elements:

  • 4 classroom lessons, some of which may be completed online, using the BSAC e-learning facilities, or with one of our instructors at the clubhouse who can provide the lectures in person
  • two open water dives where the following skills are taught or reviewed:
    • rescue management scenarios
    • basic dive skills (mask removal, clearing, out of gas scenarios and weight removal)
  • two dry practical sessions at a dive site
  • 20 open water dives
  • Theory test with a pass mark of 70%

 

Due to the nature of this course, we also ask the candidates to organise many of the different elements of the course, such as when/where to go for different open water dives. This will include elements such as securing a suitable Instructor, picking a suitable training location and checking the local conditions.

Candidates are reminded that on this website, we have a few pages to help with dive planning.

Local Diving Information

 

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Skill Development Courses

Some of the lessons in the AD course are also included in the BSAC Skill Development Courses (SDCs). If these have been completed recently, then due credit can be given. For those skills which include rescue elements, it is recommended that everyone periodically completes a refresher session. These are arranged within the club.

The skill development courses relevant to the AD Course include:

In addition, as Oxygen Administration is included in the rescue part of the course, it would be expected that the candidate has completed an Oxygen Administration course. It would be beneficial if they have either completed this recently or completed a refresher course.

These SDCs are run both at the club and by the regional coaching scheme and are open to any qualified diver. If you wish to book yourself on such a course, please speak with the Training Officer. They may see a need and help to get a course arranged sooner within the club.

The candidate will also be required to complete a number of qualifying dives. A current list of these is provided with the Student pack and the Instructor and Training Officer can clarify this for you.

 

If you would like to speak to our Training Officer about starting this course, please speak to them on a club night or send them an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about this course on the BSAC Website.

 

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Advanced Diver candidates are likely to have a wide range of diving knowledge and experience and will also have a wide range of interests and equipment configurations. They will also be expected to be able to safely dive in a wide range of conditions. As such, they will be expected to have a range of dive gear capable of being used in a wide range of conditions.

Whilst knowledge of various dive technologies (i.e. Trimix) is expected, they do not need to be qualified in them. The Advanced Diver will be expected to be able to incorporate such technologies within branch diving.

Of note, the candidates will have to provide adequate main breathing gas for any dives, along with an adequate alternative gas supply to cover the most critical point of a given dive, a suitable alternative supply for their buddy, properly weighted and a suitable range of ancillary dive gear for a given dive that they are undertaking and it should be properly stowed in a manner so as not to hinder the dive.

Where mixed gas diving is used, the candidates must hold suitable qualifications, approved by BSAC, for such a dive. In addition, there are minimum requirements for a candidate who is diving with a Rebreather. Please check with the Training Officer for more details on these requirements.

Throughout the course, the candidates must follow the BSAC Safe Diving Practices and recommended practices.

 

If you would like to speak to our Training Officer about starting this course, please speak to them on a club night or send them an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about this course on the BSAC Website.

 

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To enrol on the BSAC Advanced Diver course with Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, you must:

  • be 14 years or older
  • be a current full diving member of both the BSAC and Southsea Sub-Aqua Club
  • be considered "fit to dive"[1] and have completed the Dive Leader course or equivalent (i.e. Dive Master).
  • prior to completing this qualification, the candidates must have completed twenty dives in a range of conditions, since qualifying as a Dive Leader (or equivalent), with an additional 600 minutes dive time
  • in addition to the number of dives, the Advanced Diver candidate must also show a range of diving experience that will include the following:
    • planned decompression dive - dive involving at least two planned decompression stops, of a total of at least 6 mins, using an appropriate equipment configuration and decompression technique
    • dive in tidal waters - dive involving a direct descent following a shot line, to dive on a specific site in a slack water window. Ascent either via shot line or under DSMB as appropriate to tidal conditions at end of dive
    • drift dive - dive to a minimum depth of 15m in water moving at a speed that precludes a return to the point of entry

Only one of the above conditions may be logged per dive.

In addition to the above, a further six dives should include at least three of the following conditions:

  • navigation dive - dive requiring navigation around a site, involving multiple changes of direction throughout and returning to the entry point. Compass and/or pilotage/and/ or distance line techniques used as appropriate. Minimum duration 30mins.
  • search dive - A dive involving the utilisation of underwater search techniques.
  • no clear surface dive - A dive involving no clear surface, either cavern, wreck penetration or ice diving.
  • mixed gas dive - A dive involving the use of mixed gas, (Nitrox alone does not qualify) either closed circuit rebreather or open circuit.
  • advanced decompression dive - A dive involving extended decompression at different depths and emergency gas deployment using either a decompression trapeze or a lazy shot.
  • surface location dive - A dive involving the surface location of an unknown site using surface searching techniques, followed by suitable precautions when diving an unknown site.
  • Of the twenty dives:
    • at least ten should be carried out from boats. Of these, at least three should be carried out from boats of at least 9m in length, and at sites in exposed locations with surface water conditions producing significant boat motion
    • on at least ten the student should act as dive leader
    • at least six should show depth experience greater than 30m
    • on at least five occasions the student should act as Dive Manager (including taking responsibility for carrying out all planning activities):
    • at least two should be full-day diving activities, to sites that are unknown to the student Dive Manager (Note; Practical lesson AP2 may qualify as one of these)
    • at least one should be for a duration of at least two days, involving the need for organising logistics and suitable accommodation, as well as planning and management of the diving activities, including site location. (Note: this should follow after completion of practical lesson AP1)
    • the remaining two may be to either known or unknown sites
    • At least 6 should show experience of dives to greater depths than those suggested for skills training, and to be adventurous

BSAC Equivalence Chart

 

If you would like to speak to our Training Officer about starting this course, please speak to them on a club night or send them an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about this course on the BSAC Website.

 

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[1] "Fit to dive" is assumed on the basis of a completed Self Certification Medical Form or a Certificate to Dive issued by an approved Medical Referee.

 

The course costs comprise of the following elements and will vary over time. For a better understanding of the current estimated costs, please speak with one of our instructors:

  1. DL Student Pack (available either as an electronic pack (e-Pack) or as a hard copy
  2. Open water dives
    1. Transport to/from the dive site
    2. Entry to the dive site or Cost of diving from a dive boat
  3. Instructor “out of pocket” costs
    1. Transport to/from the dive site
    2. Entry to the dive site or Cost of diving from a dive boat

At the time of writing (February 2022), the student pack is £32.50 plus postage. There may be a different price for those transferring from another agency. For the current prices for the DL pack, please check with the Training Officer.

By way of an example, at the time of writing (February 2022), the entry fee to Vobster Quay, an inland dive site we often use, is £23 for non-members and £17 for members. Vobster Quay is around 85 miles and about a 2 hour trip from the Clubhouse. Diving from the Club’s RIB in the Selsey area would be about £20-£30 per dive. Selsey’s public slipway is 22 miles or 30 minutes from the clubhouse. There is a daily parking charge of £1.70 (East Beach, Selsey - correct as of February 2022).

For the deeper dives, which will often be further out to sea, the costs for the day will be a little more. For example, a space on a hard boat may be £50 or more.

Depending on the weather, Instructor availability and how well someone does, the open water dives could be completed over four days, with the depth progression dives completed over a period of three different days due to their depth and the decompression requirements.

Dependent upon the diving conditions, the lessons may be taught with one or two candidates. For safety, it would be anticipated that one-to-one would be more likely, with some cases of two-to-one.

 

If you would like to speak to our Training Officer about starting this course, please speak to them on a club night or send them an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about this course on the BSAC Website.

 

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The Dive Leader (DL) course comprises of the following elements:

  • 12 classroom lessons, some of which may be completed online, using the BSAC e-learning facilities, or with one of our instructors at the clubhouse who can provide the lectures in person
  • Seven open water dives where the following skills are taught or reviewed:
    • dive leading (demonstration and practice)
    • dSMB
    • recovering a shot line
    • rescue management scenarios
    • basic dive skills (mask removal, clearing, out of gas scenarios and weight removal)
  • Practical session at a dive site (Dive Marshal)
  • Theory test with a pass mark of 75%
  • Three Depth Experience dives to 40m, 45m and 50m, respectively

Due to the nature of this course, we also ask the candidates to organise many of the different elements of the course, such as when/where to go for different open water dives. This will include elements such as securing a suitable Instructor, picking a suitable training location and checking the local conditions.

Candidates are reminded that on this website, we have a few pages to help with dive planning.

Local Diving Information

 

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Skill Development Courses

Some of the lessons in the DL course are also included in the BSAC Skill Development Courses (SDCs). If these have been completed recently, then due credit can be given. For those skills which include rescue elements, it is recommended that everyone periodically completes a refresher session. These are arranged within the club.

The skill development courses include:

These are run through both at the club and by the regional coaching scheme and are open to any qualified diver. If you wish to book yourself on such a course, please speak with the Training Officer. They may see a need and help to get a course arranged sooner within the club.

The candidate will also be required to complete a number of qualifying dives. A current list of these is provided with the Student pack and the Instructor and Training Officer can clarify this for you. Typically they will include things such 20 dives comprising experience showing dives off a boat, low visibility, planned decompression dives, night dives, drift dive, wall dives and wreck dives. There is a minimum amount of dive time for these 20 dives of 600 minutes.

 

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Required Gear

Whilst someone may have been diving for a while prior to starting this course, there may be occasions when a Dive Leader candidate may not have all their own dive gear at the start of the course. It is highly recommended that the candidate would be familiar with their own Scuba gear and any additional items which they will be diving with during the dives. Some items may be available to hire from the club if required, for example, a diving cylinder.

Full Scuba gear, including: mask; fins; snorkel; buoyancy compensator; regulator set (equipped with a main demand valve, alternative supply demand valve and contents gauge); depth gauge & timer/watch or dive computer; diving suit, weights and weight belt/integrated weight system; knife or line cutter; copy of the BSAC 88 Nitrox Tables or Dive Computer; a torch; and a suitable diving cylinder for the planned dives (i.e. 12 or 15 litre) or two. The DL candidate should also pay consideration to an alternative gas supply, should their main gas or that of their buddy’s fail.

 

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Recommended Gear

To allow members to dive all year round, most club members use a Drysuit, but a few do wear semi-dry or wetsuits during the summer months. If you have not completed suitable training for the Drysuit, we can offer a Drysuit Workshop which consists of a couple of lectures and an open water session.

Almost all members dive with a Dive computer and one that supports Nitrox would definitely be a better choice. Whilst all new Dive Computers support Nitrox, it is possible to purchase Air only dive computers from second-hand sources. If the candidate has not previously completed a Nitrox Course, we can offer a Nitrox Workshop which consists of a few lectures and a theory test.

For diving in UK waters, we definitely recommend diving with gloves and a suitable hood as they will keep the diver warm. During the summer some divers may wish to not dive with gloves, but consideration should be made to the type of diving too (i.e. deep, wreck). As such many would consider these essential. A dSMB, reel, compass, knife or a line cutter would all form an essential part of any UK diver’s gear.

With regards to diving gas, the DL candidate should consider an alternative source such as a side-slung cylinder or twin set.

If you are unsure about what would be best for you, please feel free to chat with one of our Instructors, on a club night.

 

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To enrol on the BSAC Dive Leader course with Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, you must:

  • be 14 years or older
  • be a current full diving member of both the BSAC and Southsea Sub-Aqua Club
  • be considered "fit to dive"[1] and have completed the Sports Diver course or equivalent.
  • have completed twenty dives (which may include the open water lessons), in a range of conditions, since qualifying as a Sports Diver (or equivalent)
  • completed a minimum of 60 dives in total on qualification of which a minimum of 40 dives since Ocean Diver (or equivalent)

 BSAC Equivalence Chart

 

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[1] "Fit to dive" is assumed on the basis of a completed Self Certification Medical Form or a Certificate to Dive issued by an approved Medical Referee.

 

Subcategories

As a branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club with our own clubhouse, we are in a great position to offer training courses at Fort Widley, as well as at a variety of different diving locations. Depending on the requirements of the members, a course may be run more frequently than others. Details of courses being run are posted on the club's noticeboard in the clubhouse. They may also be mentioned in the club's year planner or calendar.

Some of our members are also members of other groups related to diving, such as the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and we have been able to host their training courses too at the clubhouse.

During the past few years, our club's Instructors have been busy teaching members, old and new, more skills. The video below includes much of both the club's diving activity and training.

 

 The articles below give a flavour of some of the courses we have run or hosted.