Towards the end of August, we plan to start rolling out some updated Instructor resources to support the practical elements of BSAC Sports Diver. Following the release of a fully updated Ocean Diver qualification in 2017 the Diver Training Programme (DTP) has continued to be reviewed and the diver grade currently being updated is Sports Diver.

In reviewing the available materials for Sports Diver no evidence has been identified of a need for any significant changes in the content of the course. As a result of this, emphasis is being placed on the updating of instructor resources to support the delivery of the practical elements of the course, as this should allow an immediate benefit for students whose instructors are making use of the revised resources with the need to obtain different student training materials.


One of the core changes to Ocean Diver was to formalise a buoyancy standard to be achieved by students from the outset. The revised Sports Diver materials will continue the progression on from that foundation in order to ensure students are prepared for the extension of their diving horizons for safer, deeper, longer and using nitrox in a wider variety of types of d. The progression of skills will also be reflected in the link or otherwise between skills in the order in which lessons or modules need to be conducted. Consequently, for example, whilst SMB and DSMB use some similar components (a reel and a buoy and the skill of winding in during ascent) they are discrete skills in their own right and so can be completed in any order.


The DTP review is moving to a process of continual review and updating. The release of Ocean Diver was implemented alongside the provision of all instructors’ resources for download online. This allows for more reactive updating of instructor materials and so is more suited to a continual review process. This should minimise delays in producing and releasing revised materials so that if those revisions do not impact on other content they can be released for use as soon as they become available. This should ensure that instructors have access to the most up to date content as possible. Sports Diver instructor resources for the sheltered and open water practical elements are being updated to bring the content into line with the level of detail provided for Ocean Diver. This is being addressed first before work commences on the Theory content, which will ultimately impact on the student Manual.


As the review team have been working through the instructor resources for the practical elements they have identified a additional content that they feel would be valuable to support diver training. One such area is in the link between training and ‘experience’. All diver grades have a requirement for the student to demonstrate experience of different conditions as training progresses. This is often seen as a simple ‘tick box’ process rather than a serious link between the skills being taught and expanding the students diving interests. A simple ‘Diving Experience Record’ document will be available to help all divers record their experience and perhaps identify other areas they may decide they want to consider trying.

A Plea

One of the biggest challenges with the development of Visual Aids and student resources is finding appropriate images and illustrations. If you think you can help with this either from your own image library or are willing to work to a brief please email  

Think SAFE – Dive SAFE

Jim Watson
BSAC Safety and Development Manager



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