Do you have a scuba instructor qualification from another training agency? Want to teach BSAC courses?

To help you better understand what you need to do to become a BSAC Open Water Instructor, we have put together these frequently asked questions to set you on the right track.

What is included in the crossover? 

  • Attendance and full participation in an Open Water Instructor Course (OWIC).

  • Pre-OWIC instructor resources pack

  • All certification materials including an Open Water Instructor certificate and OWI qualification card.

The first step is to register for the crossover by booking online (you must be a BSAC member). You will be sent a comprehensive resource pack and need to do some study prior to attendance on the OWIC.

Following active attendance, on the OWIC your qualification will be processed and you should receive the certification shortly after the event.

Why is there a different process for club and commercial instructors?

The difference in process reflects the different environments in which the instructors will act as an instructor.

For club-based instructors, the ongoing support of the instructor and their training is delivered within the club environment where other instructors and the Diving Officer are available for advice, support, and encouragement.

In a commercial environment, instructors will be largely working in isolation and so the crossover process for them is tailored to provide a more complete grounding in BSAC and the procedures for administering a BSAC commercial centre. Commercial instructors should email us for more information.

What does the crossover resources pack contain?

The comprehensive resources pack provides all the materials necessary for an instructor from another agency to begin operating as a fully qualified BSAC Open Water Instructor (OWI).

The pack contents include:

  • OWIC materials (provided on attendance at OWIC)
  • IFC student pack:
    -   IFC student notes (dedicated crossover version annotated specifically for the purpose)
    -   The Diving Instructors Manual
  • Practical lesson videos online
  • Instructor Crossover materials (IC):
    -   Pre-OWIC Notes
    -   IC overview
    -   IC BSAC Diver and Instructor Grades
    -   IC methodology - how we teach
    -   IC statement of potential differences in training
  • BSAC materials:
    -   BSAC '88 tables
    -   BSAC Nitrox tables
    -   Safety and Rescue for Divers Manual
    -   BSAC Safe Diving - online
  • Induction report form
  • Instructor qualification card - issued on completion of crossover

Do I have to be a club member to crossover?

BSAC training can only be conducted within a club system (or with a BSAC centre). Independent instruction is not allowed within BSAC.

Members who are instructors and retain membership of BSAC through BSAC Direct are able to follow the crossover process. However, in order to teach, they must be associated with a club that are happy for them to instruct for that club.

Find a club in your area or email us.

Is the OWI award automatic?

Yes, providing you participate fully in the OWIC.

This means that as a student you play an active role in all exercises including planning, in-water instructor demonstration, student lessons and providing feedback. All instructors who participate fully will be credited with attendance.

How long does the award of OWI take?

The OWIC/ICC is a single-day course.

Once a course report from an OWIC is returned to HQ and the Chief Examiner, the results are processed within a few days and an OWI number will be issued. This will be reflected in your online record at that time.

Processing of instructor certificates and other HQ issued documents will be done within the following week. Qualification cards usually take no more than 28 days.

Why are there a limited number of crossover events?

The crossover process uses the standard Open Water Instructor Course (OWIC) as part of the crossover process.

OWICs are normally scheduled to meet demand from members and normally take place during the spring and autumn seasons. Events are not normally scheduled over the winter months as limited daylight restricts available teaching time and water and surface temperatures are not sufficiently warm and reliable enough for effective learning and teaching. During the summer most volunteer staff (and students) go diving.

In addition, the volunteer staff who teach at these events are engaged in other courses during the winter (IFC and TIE) and summer (AI, NI, FCD).

What happens on an OWIC?

The Open Water Instructor Course (OWIC) that is used for the instructor crossover is a one day course conducted at an open water venue. The course involves a number of components including:

  • Formal presentations on open water teaching
  • A group planning session with a group tutor
  • In open water:
    -   Instructor demonstration of an effective lesson
    -   Student lessons (from lesson plan)
    -   Group feedback
  • Review of learning and forward planning
  • Consideration of wider teaching implications
  • Way forward presentation

Tutor group - students work in a group of 3 students with an Instructor Trainer as the group tutorFurther information is available in the typical OWIC timetable and from student experiences.

So if the crossover course is an OWIC, why can't I book the cheaper OWIC event instead of the more expensive ICC event?

If you tried to book an OWIC having not completed an Instructor Foundation Course (IFC), the booking system would reject your request as you do not have sufficient qualifications.

The ICC event, although it will be an OWIC, includes the cost of all of the materials listed above, which those booking the OWIC would have already gained in their years as BSAC members.

What if I have an instructor grade higher than Open Water Instructor?

The current process is geared towards the recognition of other agency instructors, the vast majority of whom will be at a similar level to BSAC Open Water Instructor.

Parity between instructor training schemes from different agencies is most consistent at this level (OWI) and approaches and content differ significantly beyond this point. The NDC Instructor Training Group (ITG) have reviewed the content of the most common higher grades encountered and do not currently consider there are any alternative qualifications that warrant higher recognition. This will be kept under review.

I did an IFC some years ago, can I still crossover?

Yes, previous members who attended an IFC prior to 1 June 2011 are eligible to apply for the previous system. This requires the provision of evidence of your other agency instructor qualification and payment of an administration fee.

Please contact Central Bookings on 0151 350 6203 or by email for more information.

Can I start teaching before I attend the crossover course?

As of August 2014, a change has been made to the system.

After registering and receiving the crossover pack, the other agency instructor must review the relevant material and certify they have completed all exercises and are confident they are competent to deliver BSAC training under the supervision of a BSAC OWI. The form should be countersigned by a branch officer, usually a Diving or Training Officer to confirm this competence.

Once this confirmation has been acknowledged by BSAC HQ the other agency instructor can deliver BSAC training within a BSAC club under the supervision of a BSAC OWI.

Full details including guidance for branch officers are in the crossover pack.

Why do I have to be supervised?

Until completion of the whole process, you are not a BSAC qualified instructor. It is, therefore, not appropriate for you to sign off BSAC training in your own right and the supervising instructor must be the one who signs all qualification records. However, in recognition of your existing qualifications and teaching experience you are authorized to deliver BSAC training under their guidance. This will also allow you to become more familiar with BSAC training prior to attending the OWIC.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

For questions relating to the instructor crossover process, contact us on 0151 350 6203 or by email.

For questions about courses, contact us on 0151 350 6205 or by email.

For questions about membership, contact us on 0151 350 6201 or by email and find a club near you.

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