Do you want to extend your personal diving skills and plan and lead dives for others?
Are you ready to learn how to manage groups of divers, and develop your rescue-management skills? If so, Dive Leader is the exciting next step in your development as a diver.
Also if you want to become an Open Water Instructor with BSAC you need to be a Dive Leader.
I was looking to run club dive trips and start instructing so this was the obvious next step. Dive Leader has also helped me to learn more about myself as a diver and expand my experience so that I can take part in more adventurous diving.
- Russell Blything, Wreake Valley SAC
This course is perfect for BSAC members who want to take a more active role in their club and/or become an Open Water Instructor.
Dive Leaders are key members of their BSAC clubs who are able to lead inexperienced and experienced divers to gain new experiences. They are also able to organise dives and have the skills to deal with situations where something unexpected may have occurred.
To enrol on a Dive Leader course you must have successfully completed a Sports Diver course, other agency equivalent and have a nitrox qualification. You must also be aged 14 years or older.
Sports Divers aged between 12 and 14 can complete the elements of Dive Leader training that do not require diving deeper than 20m.
The qualification is accredited to the International Standard ISO24801-3 (2014) ‘Training for Dive Leader’.
Dive Leader has three core elements; leading inexperienced and experienced divers, dive management, and rescue management.
The formal learning consists of five assessed theory modules, five open-water training dives and three practical lessons. For divers who need refresher training, or those coming from another agency, there are also optional practical and theory lessons to ensure you are ready to progress.
It is essential that Dive Leaders have adequate experience so before gaining the qualification you’ll need to have at least 60 dives in variety of conditions relevant to your local environment.
What you’ll qualify to do
You’ll be qualified to dive with divers of any grade to expand their experience and, within constraints, complete depth progression dives. You can also support trainee divers to practise skills they have previously been taught by an instructor.
You’ll also be able to plan and manage diving at sites that are known to your BSAC branch. After consideration of the various factors that impact on a dive, you’ll be able to brief the group, delegate activities and liaise with the skipper to ensure everything runs smoothly. On site you’ll be monitoring the situation, analysing what is happening, predicting potential changes and planning your response.
During the dive planning you’ll have prepared for the unexpected and will be ready to act as a rescue manager. You’ll be able to co-ordinate the response in order to ensure the best possible outcome.
What diving experiences will this open up for me?
Introducing divers to new experiences and managing diving for divers in your club is hugely enjoyable – and of course the more experienced your fellow members are, the more fun you can all have.
Assistant Dive Instructors who qualify as a Dive Leader will be able to progress towards Open Water Instructor by completing the Open Water Instructor Course and the Theory/Practical Instructor exams.
You can sign up to do the Dive Leader course by joining a BSAC club. Find a club
Training at your local BSAC club allows you to learn at your own pace, spreading your training sessions over several weeks. You’ll be taught by volunteers who are keen divers, and will attend club training sessions with other BSAC members.
You can get involved in social events at your club, and start building a network of friends to go diving with in future. Many clubs have access to boats, compressors, and diving kit that members can use.
At this stage in your diving you will own much of the equipment you’ll need including open-water dive kit, a dive computer and delayed surface marker buoy. You can view other products to go with the Dive Leader course, such as a Dive Management Boat Slate at the BSAC shop.
Your next steps – developing your skills
After qualifying as a Dive Leader, your diving and instructing choices significantly expand.
- You could learn the skills needed to organise dive trips to unknown sites by doing the Advanced Diver course, the final grade in BSAC’s Diver Training Programme to be awarded at club level.
- You could continue to develop specific skills to expand your diving interests further. There are more than 30 BSAC Skill Development Courses (SDCs) including Closed Circuit Rebreather Diver courses and Sports Mixed Gas Diver trimix training.
- You could start on the road to instructing by signing up for BSAC’s Instructor Foundation Course to become an Assistant Diving Instructor.
- Already an Assistant Diving Instructor? You could further your instructing skills by attending an Open Water Instructor course, taking your Theory Instructor Exam and your Practical Instructor Exam.