BSAC’s second most popular course has been given a refresh, with updated student and instructor materials plus a smarter look and improved digital experience.

The review of Sports Diver follows the previous review of BSAC’s entry level diver training course, Ocean Diver and is part of BSAC’s ongoing drive to ensure all its Diver Training Programme (DTP) remains relevant and accessible.

Over recent months, the BSAC team has been working hard updating the Sports Diver materials, with the Instructor Manual and associated visual aids (VAs) now available for download from the Instructors’ section online. The updated student materials will be available from the end of August. The additional option of online learning for the Sports Diver theory sessions is also in the pipeline and due to be launched in October.

BSAC’s National Diving Officer, Dai Atkins, said that the Sports Diver review was the start of a continuous review process for the whole Diver Training Programme.

All training programmes should undergo periodic review to ensure the syllabus remains current and fit for purpose, satisfies current applications and is using the latest technology and techniques. And with our shift to digital materials, the whole DTP is now in a continuous review process, so any part can be reviewed more efficiently as and when pertinent changes are needed.

As a result of the review, Sports Diver also has a more modular approach so that it is easier for students to build skills that relate to the type of diving they are interested in pursuing or complete their training with different branches or centres.

Other key updates to the Sports Diver syllabus include:

  • The inclusion of the use of automated external defibrillator (AED) in the priority sequence for a rescue
  • Updates to instruction on diver lifts out of the water, using two people and stressing the importance of shore cover or a Dive Manager
  • A new standalone practical rescue lesson which encompasses all aspects of diver rescue and can be used to complement other safety training and skill refreshers. 
  • Greater focus on dive management skills, with increased related course content and practical skills. 

Dai welcomed the opportunity for Sports Diver students to be able to choose to complete most of the theory training online.

This work is almost complete and once live will make the process quicker and better suited to individual trainee’s time commitments.

What happens next:

BSAC Instructors will now be teaching Sports Diver using the new 2020 syllabus and instructor materials. However, the pre-July 2020 Sports Diver online materials will still be available for the foreseeable future to support the continuation of any part-completed Sports Diver courses and the pre-July 2020 physical training packs will still be valid.

The additional option of online learning for the Sports Diver theory sessions is due to be launched in October.


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If you are an Ocean Diver who wants to do more, the Sports Diver course will give you the freedom to explore. Being a Sports Diver allows most people to do all the diving they want in the UK and abroad.

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