- Is this a different Ocean Diver course?
The review of the training materials for Ocean Diver, as a result of the Diver Training Programme review (DTP), has resulted in completely revised course. However, the core Ocean Diver course, its skills and training standards (in line with International Standards accredited by the EUF) remain the same. We have improved the course training materials and resources to make it more effective for instructors to deliver and for students to have a more flexible way of training.
- What is different between this Ocean Diver course and the old one?
The key updates to Ocean Diver are the introduction of greater flexibility in its delivery, improved training materials, clearer visual aids and enhanced instructor notes as well as better tracking of individual student’s progress. The Qualification Record Book (QRB) with Ocean Diver now takes into account specific skills rather than a whole sheltered or open water lesson so the student can be credited for the skills completed. There are a series of skills videos for students to reference on YouTube and this library will grow to encompass different techniques for the same skills over time.
- Why have the changes been made?
The last full review of BSAC’s Diver Training Programme (DTP) was completed back in 2002 so a further review of all the diver grades was due. As a result of this latest review, the whole DTP will be progressing towards a more modular approach to course delivery. The updates to Ocean Diver will provide the foundation to further updates to the remaining DTP grades as they are rolled out.
- What’s driving the changes?
We are constantly striving to make BSAC training the best it can be for our members. Diving technique and theory evolves as well as instructional practice. Much has changed in the last 10 years since the last update and 15 years since the last major refresh, this brings the DTP up to date to meet current requirements.We have also listened to feedback from our members and implemented changes in light of that feedback.
- Will it take longer to deliver?
Ocean Diver has been specifically restructured so as to be able to be delivered in four dives. The modular approach is designed so that students can complete sections at their own pace and the delivery time will vary from student to student.
- Is it harder or easier to get qualified?
One of the aims of modularisation is to make it easier to slot training in around diving and very much learn new skills whilst going and doing ‘real’ dives.The number of modules in Ocean Diver 2017 represents a slight reduction in number with the emphasis on achieving clearly defined skills performance standards.
- Who can instruct what?
There will be clear guidance as to the instructor requirements for each module in the respective module Instructor Manual.The instructor requirements for Ocean Diver 2017 are the same as the old Ocean Diver syllabus.
- Will instructors need to buy a new manual?
No. There are new instructor materials for Ocean Diver and for each module which are available to all BSAC Instructors and Assistant Instructors in the download instructor materials section.
- Can students go off to centres or other branches and undertake modules?
Yes, this is a great way branches can help each other or leverage their local BSAC centre to help members train.
- What is direct vs indirect supervision?
As defined in the Instructor materials, direct supervision is having an instructor directly supervise the in the water all elements of the training delivered by an Assistant Instructor. Indirect supervision requires an instructor supervising an Assistant Instructor to review the dive plan, briefing and entry and then to conduct a debrief with the assistant instructor to discuss how the dive went any areas for improvement. For indirect supervision an instructor does not have to be with the student group during the dive.
- I’ve just started an Ocean Diver course, what should I do?
Continue as normal using the existing system. You have two years to complete any courses already started. You may continue to run courses to use up any training packs you may have in stock. When you next re-order, order the new system packs as they become available. The 2017 system modules will be available in late August as soon as stocks arrive.
- What changes will we see to the student’s Ocean Diver training pack, its contents and the QRB record sheet?
The Student Guide content has significantly increased with a page count more than double. The QRB has an additional section that allows recording of completion of individual module elements, which on completion can be signed off in the usual manner.
- Who will benefit from the ‘upgrade’ – trainees or instructors; or both?
The improvements to Ocean Diver – in terms of training materials and resources – will benefit both the student’s learning experience and the instructor’s ease of course delivery. The new materials set the foundation for future BSAC training development.
- Will the updated Ocean Diver course improve the trainee’s quality of experience?
The student can be easily credited for achieving each skill performance standard rather than completing an entire module in a particular session. This allows the student to monitor their own progression and clearly see where they need to focus their next lesson. Modular theory assessment allows for a more continual learning approach. The YouTube skills video library are intended for student use will give student access to visual hints and tips for skills. The videos will be available along with the student materials in late August.
- Does it make Ocean Diver quicker to deliver?
Ocean Diver retains its progressive delivery method and can still be delivered in within the time frames expected of a centre and of a club and adapted to suit the student’s pace of learning.
- Why has Ocean Diver not been advanced digitally?
When consulting on Ocean Diver as part of the DTP review process, there was a mixed response from clubs in relation to digital learning. What was clear to the review team, however, is that clubs value the students/instructor connection when delivering face-to-face training. The updates to Ocean Diver aim to improve on this face-to-face delivery with the enhanced visual aids (VAs) also being digitally compatible – all the VAs can be delivered effectively via virtual web-based methods such as Skype or webinar. We will be providing clubs with guidance on running webinars for their training programme if required. BSAC remains open to the opportunities of digital learning for its DTP and will continue to explore future options – if you have feedback on e-learning please email.
- Is the Instructor Foundation Course (IFC) going to be changed as a result of the changes and improvements in the Ocean Diver course syllabus?
BSAC Instructor training, including the Instructor Foundation Course, remains the foundation for effective instruction and the principles will not change. In course resources, such as Handbook extracts, will be updated to reflect the updates to Ocean Diver. Once students complete the IFC they are given access to the online Instructor materials to support their future instruction.
- Will the instructor materials remain available for the older Ocean Diver syllabus?
The current Instructor Resources for Ocean Diver will remain valid for students with the existing training materials and instructors should continue to use them when teaching that version of Ocean Diver. The resources will remain available until the end of July 2019.
- My club still has the previous Ocean Diver training packs, what should we do with them?
There will be a two-year transition period for all clubs (July 2017 – July 2019) to transfer over to the updated Ocean Diver. Please continue to use the previous style Ocean Diver packs you may still have, they remain valid and will result in the same standard of diver training and qualification for your student/s. This applies to students currently training using the previous packs and new club members starting Ocean Diver training.
- Can we not just trade our old packs in for the new one so we can start from now with the new course?
The previous style Ocean Diver packs are still valid and can be used, without any impact on the quality of delivery and successful outcome for the student. BSAC recommends that clubs continue with previous training packs if they still have them as a ‘trade in’ option is not necessary.
- Do Open Water Instructors need any further training or development to deliver the updated Ocean Diver?
All existing BSAC Instructors have been trained to deliver the skills in the new Ocean Diver syllabus so no additional instructor training is necessary. We’d ask instructors to download and review each new lesson before teaching it to make sure they are up-to-date.
- Does the updated Ocean Diver reflect the changes coming up in the rest of the Diver Training Programme?
Ocean Diver lays the foundation for further developments across the rest of the DTP – namely improved student and instructor resources and a more modular approach towards skills and learning. The clearly defined nature of Ocean Diver as a beginners’ course means that there are no changes to its syllabus but the improvements to Ocean Diver in relation to flexibility and improved materials will be rolled out across the DTP. The modular approach will be seen more significantly in the diver grades from Sports Diver.
- Can we expect more changes to Ocean Diver further down the line?
Ocean Diver is a highly successful entry-level course and the latest version released aims to improve on the quality of the learning and instructor experience. These latest updates to Ocean Diver are an expected outcome of periodic review of the DTP - BSAC is always open to feedback, please email.
- When will the next Diver Training Programme updates be released and what will they be?
The next release will be updates to the Sports Diver grade and further details on these updates and timescale will be communicated in due courses.
- Can both Ocean Diver packs (pre-2017 and new 2017) be used on the same course?
Whilst the two versions of Ocean Diver appear superficially the same they are different in both structure and content. The contents of the student packs are not interchangeable either. Consequently it would not be appropriate to combine students and packs from the two courses on a single event.
- Can I still buy old (pre-2017) Ocean Diver packs and if so until when?
There is a limited stock of the pre-2017 Ocean Diver student packs available. Once this stock is sold all training packs will be for the 2017 Ocean Diver course syllabus only.