As we welcome the arrival of spring, it's time to catch up with BSAC Chair Edward Haynes. Let’s get ready for another fun summer season diving!

I hope you're all anticipating another fantastic diving summer! As spring is here already, I wanted to provide a quick update on what's been happening so far in 2024.

Despite the temperatures, many of us have been diving regularly, braving the exhilarating waters with the right training and gear. I recently had the pleasure of joining Dunoon SAC for two thrilling RIB dives aboard the 'Starfish Enterprise'.

Throughout the winter, our dedicated volunteers have been hard at work training and preparing for the upcoming season. A big thank you to all the volunteers involved in running Branches, Regions, and our Instructor Training Scheme – your efforts are truly appreciated!

Progress and keeping momentum

2024 is the third year of our three-year strategy and work is well underway in rolling the strategy forward to 2026 and beyond. It's heartening to see the fruits of the collective efforts taking shape. 

At the heart of our endeavours lies a focus on the recruitment and retention of young people, aged 18-35. Hopefully clubs have had the chance to visit the new support to help clubs recruit and retain more young people.

Another key priority for 2024 is to implement the new AMS (Association Management System). The contract with our chosen supplier, Sport80, was signed in March. I would like to thank the Working Group for their diligence and robust scrutiny in securing the best system for BSAC. 

We have started the “discovery” workshops with Sport 80 looking at current processes and finding ways of making these more efficient/smarter and focus driven for all users. The aim being to deliver the best possible experience for our members. I look forward to updating on this exciting project as it moves forward. 

Diver training recorded using the MyBSAC app continues to reach new milestones, as members and instructors discover the benefits of training on-the-go. As of April 2024, more than 64,000 lessons signed off by over 1,000 instructors. The MyBSAC app is available to members for free via the Apple Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android devices. 

BSAC Conference

BSAC Diving Conference

Celebrating our community

Mark your calendars for Saturday 19th October, as we come together for the much-anticipated BSAC Diving Conference. Open to all members the conference is a time to celebrate our shared passion, exchange insights, listen to world-renowned speakers and chart a course for our future. Have ideas for conference topics? Don't hesitate to reach out – your input is invaluable. Please contact Debbie at with your suggestions.

Plus, following on from the success of BSAC’s first NW Dive Festival at Capernwray last year, the event will be returning this year on 27th September. Designed to bring clubs and members together to celebrate and enjoy diving, the festival is open to all members.  

If anyone is interested in organising a BSAC festival somewhere else in the UK, the team will be keen to hear from you! Please email

Ensuring your peace of mind

While insurance may not be the most glamorous topic, and we all strive to remain safe whilst diving, occasionally circumstances out of our control can happen. Where a diving incident results in injury to a third party or damage to property it can give rise to a civil claim for damages. BSAC’s Third Party Liability insurance provides cover for such claims, to provide legal defence representation for the member and pay compensation should the claim be successful. Each claim will be considered on its own merits. 

To avoid confusion members should be clear what they are covered for, and, as importantly, what they are not covered for. For example, the policy is not:

  • A personal accident policy
  • A travel insurance policy
  • A medical insurance policy (In particular recompression treatment outside the UK has to be insured for as part of your travel policy)
  • Equipment Insurance

Please see Member insurance info online to find out more.

Sophie Heptonstall

Sophie Heptonstall, BSAC's Head of Diving and Training

Diving and training

I look forward to working with our new (as of March 24) Head of Diving and Training, Sophie Heptonstall. Sophie will be working on our products to ensure they meet the needs of our members, and prospective members, to become more accessible (make it easier for people to participate). 

BSAC Election 2024 

A reminder that the BSAC election is currently running. All eligible voting members should have received a unique link via email in order that they can vote. It is important for you to take the time to see who has put their names forward for this election. We have the National Diving Officer vacancy and two council positions available. Please take a look at and ensure you have your vote. 

Voting ends on 27th April. I look forward to seeing some of you at the online AGM on 11 May 2024. 

Challenging times remain

I’m acutely aware that cost-of-living increases are still high on members’ minds. These increases have also impacted BSAC, increasing our costs. 

As we navigate the evolving landscape of diving, challenges will inevitably arise. Yet, rest assured, we're here to support you. Whether it's facilitating pool sharing, offering guidance on grants, or providing fast-track training opportunities, our commitment to your success remains.

Please do reach out to us if you need support. Email and your message will be forwarded to the most suitable contact at head office, to help.

Underwater Surveyor

Become an Underwater Surveyor with BSAC's new Skill Development Course (SDC)


BSAC remains dedicated to preserving the marine environment through supporting various initiatives. 

BSAC’s Operation Oyster project focuses on supporting the restoration of oyster habitats. Meanwhile, the new BSAC courses Shore Surveyor and Underwater Surveyor, created in partnership with Seawilding, empower members to contribute valuable data on marine ecosystems, aiding in conservation efforts with our partners. Please do check these courses and initiatives out if you’d like to play a part in protecting our much-loved underwater world.

In addition, Kerry MacKay has written some fantastic articles in SCUBA magazine on how we, as divers, can continue to work safeguarding the UK's precious waters and marine life for divers. Read Kerry’s articles


As Chair, I’m responsible for our organisation’s governance. My day-job as a Chartered Internal Auditor has given me the knowledge and understanding of the subject to help guide the organisation. As much as we are moving towards the Sports & Recreation Alliance requirements, it makes good business sense to have a more robust Board. As such Council:

  • appointed its first Non-Executive Director to the BSAC Board. 
  • will appoint a second Non-Executive Director in May (provided the Special Resolution to amend our Articles of Association are approved, by at least 75% of those voting).
  • raised the profile of Council vacancies. (It was fantastic to see nine candidates for the two vacant positions. I may well be contacting those not elected to participate on Council sub-committees.)

Keep in touch

Please do email me at if you wish to give feedback on anything.

Thank you for being part of the BSAC community – I wish you all a great year ahead, with plenty of fun and fabulous diving and snorkelling.

Hopefully see you at the BSAC Diving Conference on October 19th!


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