BSAC club membership is on the up.
Clubs that engage in the support on offer (available in the 'Grow your club section') are seeing great results. Support such as ‘How to fill an Ocean Diver course’ is doing its job.
However, a challenge is increasingly raising its head – having enough active instructors to service demand. Various activities and initiatives will come online through 2019 to support clubs that struggle with this. For now, however, the following short, medium and long-term tips should go some way to help relieve the problem.
Do you have enough active instructors to service demand?
Short term - If you need instructors now…
- Ask your Regional team
Instructors in your local regional team may be able to step in and help in the short term. Ask your Regional Coach. Find your regional coach.
- Ask BSAC HQ (Direct instructors)
BSAC can put a ‘call out’ to Direct member instructors in your area to see if anyone could step in to help. Contact Diving Support Advisor Geoff Bacon on 0151 350 6261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Go pro
You may have a BSAC centre nearby that could train your new members for you. It could be worth checking. Find a BSAC Centre.
Medium term - If you’re needing instructors in the next 6-18 months…
- Look to your Sports Divers and Dive Leaders
These guys could be your new instructors in 6+ months’ time. Look to engage them more in the club. How could they get to the next level in a way that works for them? Consider involving them in Try Dives and shadowing instructors. Sell the benefits of volunteering and remember Dive Leaders can get Open Water Instructor qualified in just one week with a combined event - Find Dive Leader training events.
- Networking with your local clubs
Is there scope to set up a reciprocal training arrangement with a neighbouring club or clubs? Some clubs have excess trainees, other instructors. Get in touch. Maybe you could help each other - Find your local clubs.
- Reactivate instructors
Some of your currently non-active instructors may want to get involved again if asked. Maybe something new could hit the spot such as getting involved in the Diving For All programme, starting a snorkelling section for young people or becoming a mentor for the ‘next generation’ of instructors. View all BSAC Instructor courses.
- Travel and train
Many clubs turn to overseas BSAC centres for the open water qualifying dives or indeed full Ocean Diver training. Some clubs have proven that they’re more likely to retain these members. Check out BSAC Centres overseas.
Long term…A sustainable pool of happy (not overworked!) instructors is what we need to be aiming for…
- Plant seeds early
Get new divers thinking about instructing. Even new trainees could get excited about the potential of becoming an instructor. Sell the benefits to all.
- Have a plan
Have a plan to manage and develop your members/instructors ongoing. It could start with encouraging Sports Divers to do the Instructor Foundation Course right up to ensuring newly-qualified Advanced Instructors (or National Instructors even) are having their needs/ambitions met. Consider instructor development mentors (similar principle to new member ‘buddies’).
- Consider member lifecycles
People’s ability to volunteer changes throughout their life. Look to adapt with them. Instructors with young children may only be able to manage confined water sessions (or a complete break may be necessary). 'Empty nesters', on the other hand, may have more time to take on open water sessions.
Unfortunately, a lack of active instructors is not a problem that will sort itself. The good news is, advice and support is at hand. If you’re not sure where to start please contact Diving Support Advisor Geoff Bacon on 0151 350 6261 or email email@example.com.