Instructor and Branch Officer update - BSAC Diver Training Programme

As reported at the 2016 BSAC Diving Conference, the Diver Training Programme (DTP) has been undergoing a refresh and the first elements are now due to be released in 2017.

Listening to our instructors, Branch Officers and members, the DTP review has focused on ensuring that each of our diver grades are up to date, appealing and accessible. It has been 15 years since such a thorough review has taken place and the recommendations represent an exciting phase for BSAC diver training.

2017 saw the start of the implementation of the review, beginning with launch of the fully revised Ocean Diver in August. The remaining diver grades – Sports Diver, Dive Leader and Advanced Diver – will following suit in due course.

National Diving Officer Sophie Heptonstall said the review’s implementation would introduce a new, more flexible structure to BSAC’s diver training whilst making the DTP easier to deliver.

One of our key strategic goals is to grow the number of people participating in BSAC training and this review has identified key ways to improve flexibility and delivery in our DTP. The updates will make our training even more accessible by catering for the diver’s individual needs while ensuring core skills and safety remain at the heart of the programme.

One of the most significant updates to the DTP will be the introduction of a modularised format which will allow divers the flexibility to tailor their training to meet their own interests and local requirements.

This modular approach will also firmly place the emphasis on skills rather than lessons, bringing together theory, practical, sheltered/open water sessions and theory assessment in a more effective, student-focused way.

This new modular, skills-based format will be integrated mainly from Sports Diver and above, while Ocean Diver sets a foundation for modules it retains its foundation course format, but includes significant improvements to its student training materials and support resources for instructors.

The starting point - Ocean Diver

 The updated Ocean Diver course is now ready, with instructor materials already available online and student packs available.

The Ocean Diver syllabus remains firmly the foundation to the BSAC Diver Training Programme (DTP).  However, the changes introduced are designed to make the course as easy as possible to deliver in branch as well as to be flexible enough for delivery in centres. Updates to materials are also to make the course as visually engaging and as accessible as possible – for both student and instructor.

Core updates to Ocean Diver coming in 2017 include:

  • The concept of modules introduced to the syllabus to ensure it is consistent with the rest of the DTP updates and terminology as they come online.
  • Completely updated PowerPoint presentations for theory modules with simplified language and updated Instructor Manual, to ensure ease of use and accessibility.
  • Redesigned Student Guide, with improved visuals and more detailed guidelines on performance standards.
  • A more modular approach towards theory assessments.

Watch the review team’s full presentation of the DTP Updates at the BSAC Diving Conference 2016 below.

How the review will make DTP delivery easier for clubs and instructors

The DTP refresh aims to support instructors by providing:

  • Clearer guidance on the required performance standards for each grade.
  • Clearer guidance on how training can be delivered.
  • Smaller packages to allow easier delivery over a period of time.
  • Ability to assemble modules to make larger courses if desired.
  • The ability to deliver training tailored for skills relevant to a club’s particular local diving conditions and typical diving.
  • Modules that are skills based and don’t have to be completed in a set number of dives, rather when skills can be performed to the required standard.
  • Updated Qualification Record Book (QRB) that will allow recording of module components rather than lessons, enabling easier record keeping if a whole module isn’t completed in one go.

 And for students...

  •  Allows members – from Sports Diver and above - to follow their own interests.
  •  Opportunity to learn skills/gain knowledge as they want/need them.
  •  Less daunting module based theory assessments rather than large course based theory assessments.

Making the transition

There will be a two year transition period for each of the course updates as they are released, starting with Ocean Diver in 2017. During this transition period, students who have already started courses from the previous (2007) syllabus can complete the grade they are working on.

With the introduction of the new updated Ocean Diver, it is important that clubs and centres carefully plan their course offering for Ocean Divers and use the optimum training pack. The Ocean Diver qualification is the same regardless of which version course is followed.

You can order your Ocean Diver training packs from the BSAC Shop.

What happens next

Following completion of the updated Ocean Diver, further appropriate updates will be provided to all instructors and BSAC members in due course. There will be a progressive roll out of the remaining diver grades.

In the meantime, you can read DTP review FAQs

The DTP review team are interested in your feedback or any further questions you may have on the Diver Training Programme updates

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