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What is included in the Crossover?

The Crossover includes:

  • Attendance and full participation in an Open Water Instructor Course (OWIC)
  • Pre-OWIC Instructor Resources pack
  • All Certification materials including:
    • Open Water Instructor Certificate
    • OWI qualification card

The first step is to register for the Crossover by booking online (you must be a BSAC member).
You will be sent a comprehensive Resource pack and need to do some study prior to attendance on the OWIC.

Following active attendance on the OWIC your qualification will be processed and you should recieve the certification shortly after the event.

Why is there a different process for branch and commercial Instructors?

The difference in process reflects the different environments in which the instructors will act as an Instructor.

For branch based instructors the ongoing support of the instructor and their training is delivered within the branch environment where other instructors and the Diving Officer are available for advice support and encouragement.

In a commercial environment instructors will be largely working in isolation and so the crossover process for them is tailored to provide a more complete grounding in BSAC and the procedures for administering a BSAC Commercial centre. Commercial Instructors should contact for more information.

What does the Crossover Resources Pack contain?

The comprehensive Resources pack provides all the materials necessary for an instructor from another agency to begin operating as a fully qualified BSAC Open Water Instructor (OWI).

The pack contents include(links represents retail materials available from BSAC Shop:

Do I have to be a Branch member?

BSAC training can only be conducted within branch system (or with a BSAC Centre). Independent instruction is not allowed within BSAC.

Members who are instructors and retain membership of BSAC through BSAC Direct are able to follow the crossover process. However, in order to teach they must be associated with a branch who are happy for them to instruct for that branch.

To find a branch in your area check out the Club Finder or contact

Is the OWI award automatic?

Yes, providing you participate fully in the OWIC?

This means that as a student you play an active role in all exercises including planning, inwater instructor demonstration, student lessons and providing feedback. There is no assessment on the course and all instructors who participate fully will be credited with attendance.

How long does the award of OWI take?

Once a course report from an OWIC is returned to HQ and the Chief Examiner, the results are processed within a few days and an OWI number will be issued. This will be reflected in your online record at that time.

Processing of Instructor Certificates and other HQ issued documents will be done within the following week. Qualification cards are produced by an external company and usually take no more than 28 days.

Why are there a limited number of Crossover events?

The Crossover process uses the standard Open Water Instructor Course (OWIC) as part of the Crossover process.

OWICs are normally scheduled to meet demand from members and normally take place during the spring and autumn seasons. Events are not normally scheduled over the winter months as limited daylight restricts available teaching time and water and surface temperatres are not sufficiently warm and reliable enough for effective learning and teaching. During the summer most volunteer staff (and students) go diving)

In addition the volunteer staff who teach on these events are engaged in other courses during the winter (IFC and TIE) and summer (AI, NI, FCD)

What happens on an OWIC?

The Open Water Instructor Course (OWIC) that is used for the Instructor Crossover is a one day course conducted at an open water venue. The course involves a number of components including:

  • Formal presentations on open water teaching
  • a group planning session with a group tutor
  • in Open Water
    • Instructor demonstration of an effective lesson
    • Student lessons (from lesson plan)
    • group feedback
  • Review of learning ond forward planning
  • consideration of wider teaching implications
  • Way forward presentation

Tutor Group - students work in a group of 3 students with an Instructor Trainer as the group tutor

Further information is available in the typical OWIC timetable and from student experiences.

What if I have an Instructor grade higher than Open Water Instructor?

The current process is geared towards the recognition of other agency Instructors the vast majority of whom will be at a similar level to BSAC Open Water Instructor.

Parity between instructor training schemes from different agencies is most consistent at this level (OWI) and approaches and content differ significantly beyond this point. The NDC Instructor Training Group (ITG) have reviewed the content of the most common higher grades encountered and do not currently consider there are any alternative qualifications that warrant higher recognition. This will be kept under review.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

For questions relating to the Instructor Crossover process

For questions about courses

For questions about membership and to find a branch near you

I did an IFC some years ago can I still Crossover?

Yes, previous members who have attended an IFC prior to 1 June 2011 are elligible to apply for the previous system. This requires provision of evidence of your Other Agency Instructor qualification and payment of an administration fee.

Please contact Central Bookings for more information
0151 350 6203

Can I start teaching before I attend the Crossover Course?

As of August 2014 a change has been made to the system. 

After registering and receiving the Crossover pack the OAI must review the relevant material and certify they have complete all exercises and are confident they are competent to deliver BSAC training under the supervision of a BSAC OWI. The form should be countersigned by a branch officer, usually Diving or Training Officer to confirm this competence. Once this confirmation has been acknowledged by BSAC HQ the OAI can deliver BSAC training within a BSAC branch under the supervision of a BSAC OWI.
Full details including guidance for branch officers are in the Crossover pack.

Why do I have to be supervised?

Until completion of the whole process you are not a BSAC qualified instructor. It is therefore not appropriate for you to sign off BSAC training in your own right and the supervising instructor must be the one who signs all qualification records. However, in recognition of your existing qualifications and teaching experience you are authorized to deliver BSAC training under their guidance. This will also allow you to become more familiar with BSAC training prior to attending the OWIC.