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"Dive leader" training opportunities

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Tel, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    It's no more of a pyramid scheme than any other agency runs, all the tech ones included.

    You can do stand alone elements of Dive Leader using Skill Development Courses (SDC) and regions often have
    Dive Leader training days mostly for those in BSAC filling in gaps, but TBH their is no substitute for doing the course
    proper in a club environment. This way all the elements are done for real, on real dives using other club members as
    willing participants :)

    For theory Dive Leader is mostly made up three sections which can be done as a complete course or
    split into SDC's, For you you might prefer to do it as an SDC, so :

    O2 Admin - Includes First Aid etc. with medical issues related to gas use

    Practical Rescue Management - Theory and practical of managing fubars, depends who runs it,
    but these can be good and often very realistic. Includes Helicopter operations, risk assessment etc.

    Dive Planning & Management - Two day effort that involves a few dives and includes a lot of hands
    on experience. Also strays into elements of PRM.

    After this it's a range of skills on dives many of which you'd have already as part of other certs, so a breeze,
    but other elements including some variables in rescue that you may not.

    This last bit you may struggle a bit to do unless you are a member of a club.
     
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  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    As I see it there's two choices, BSAC & PADI.

    I believe PADI's focussed on a DiveMaster supporting their instructors whilst progressing to become an instructor. The DiveMaster is, AFAIAA, completely focussed on recreational diving with novices, be that in their training or leading a bunch of novices around a classic warm-water dive site. None of these things interest me in the slightest as I'm too old (and too selfish). I also have a massive issue with their experience and skill levels - minimum of 50 dives for a DiveMaster.

    The BSAC approach seems to be far more interesting. The issue here is the requirement for commitment to the club, which I just don't have much time and am not interested in diving from a club RIB (I prefer to pay a commercial operator and leave them to clean up and maintain the boat).


    My real issue, as an older diver, is I don't have time to not get on and dive. One medical problem and my diving's over, not to mention it won't get any easier as each year passes. Hence the focus on solo and self-reliant diving skills, plus pushing bottom times. Depressing thought.
     
  3. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    good idea. go for it.
     
  4. gg

    gg Administrator
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    Moved from other thread...
     
  5. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Do any other agencies aside from BSAC & PADI do "dive leader" level training?
     
  6. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Best way to look at the two is in series vs parallel

    PADI it's a linear route in recreational terms of Open Water and Advanced Open Water (the highest diver grade) then Rescue (not a diver grade as such).
    After that it all goes professional with Divemaster as a professional assistant grade and then Instructor grades OWSI, STAFF, Course Director etc.
    (ignoring AI which is half-way between DM and OWSI and half of OWSI).

    Ok so you've got a load of specialties in there as well, some of which if lumped together may gain MSDT, but this is less a diver grade and more a
    marketing ploy so lets not go there :)

    As all this is non-deco the late arrival on the scene is the PADI Rec courses and these are often a tangent path for those not interested in adding to
    the sales mill of DM. Again it does tend to be a linear path and TBH once past AOW or Rescue with so many other Tec outfits this is often seen as a
    weak choice.


    BSAC is quite different.
    Only the first level is recreational and after that it's deco all the way through the pure diver grades. Things like Nitrox, DSMB, Rescue, O2 Admin,
    First Aid, PRM, DPM, CPF (I've got loads more, but you get the drift) are included in each grade.

    However while all this is going on BSAC has a parallel Instructor path, so that each level of Instructor can only be gained if the diver grade is achieved
    first. So to get Instructor you need to be a Dive Leader. To get Advanced Instructor, Advanced Diver and to get National Instructor it will be First Class Diver.
    So the diver grade has to be there to progress, it's not just a case of doing more Instructor courses.
    Meanwhile and again with each grade more paths open up, which covers ADP, MIxed Gas, RB's etc. etc and again a similar Instructor path for that as well.

    The idea is that doing it this way the diver skills are always there (or should be) before even thinking about doing Instructor stuff.


    As for the club look at it like this :)

    Where I live I have about a couple of dozen (probably more than that) of gyms and fitness centers.
    One they want my debit card to put the same ££'s as a small deposit on a house to join and sign up for what seems like life.
    The next one though is 24/7, costs peanuts and has the latest machines :)
    In-between that lot each has it's own variant so the moral is don;t assume all are alike. If you have a particular situation or want there is a club that suits it.
    Sure may mean looking around a bit and waiting for email replies etc. but once found a good club can be a diving game changer :)
     
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  7. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    SAA (Sub-Aqua-Association) are the only other in the UK which is loosely based on BSAC, but the name gives it away. It;s an association
    of what can be fiercely independent clubs. A lot smaller than BSAC as a whole and as such may well find it a lot harder to get what you want.
     
  8. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    @Tel did a good comparison and I suspect BSAC would be the better fit.

    As @Tel said, Dive Leader doesn't take so long. I accidentally did most of my dive leader by just booking SDCs (to be diving when the sea wasn't playing nice) and finished the last bit just in time to go and play at instructor with @Tel

    In addition to the SDCs BSAC sometimes organises weekends in which all the open water elements od Dive Leader are covered.

    There is BSAC Direct which, IMHO is a bad idea which undermines the branch system..

    Branches are all very different and the best match needs to be found. There is no requirement to be in just one branch. Before I moved here I used to dive with a few branches, including an SAA branch.

    Many branches do not have RIBs.

    Many divers in branches with a RIB don't use the RIB and just do hardboat diving.

    Some branch members do little diving with their branch whilst some maintain a rich mix. For example; one BSAC NI I know mixes branch diving, RIB and hardboat, BSAC training, Instructor training and deep CCR diving. All very different and has fun doing them all.

    I think you are worrying too much about age. There are many on here, myself included, who are older than you and manage soe good diving.

    Fitness and general health are more important factor than age (and not owning a boat :eek:) and until bad luck comes your way they will help keep diving options open.

    If you do join a branch when your diving days are over you can still be involved and play with the club boat.
     
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  9. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Interesting. Ended up doing my overhead training & diving for when the sea's not an option. Would make a lot of sense to "round out" the diving skills.

    Main thing for me with finding the right BSAC club is one where they are happy with technical/advanced diving and are happy to take someone as-is without all the conversion nonsense. Need to have a look around the local clubs (mid Sussex) where there's quite a few within a reasonable distance.

    This is a slow burner, so will look at visiting them on their club nights and seeing what's on offer.
     
  10. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    I hate doing courses and avoid them if I can but Dive leader was a brilliant course/set of lessons...
     
  11. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    You'll always have 'the conversion nonsense', but it should be a formality - There's little that BSAC do differently to PADI where they do overlap and that's easily picked up.

    Clubs should let you dive on your PADI qualifcations, for depth, if you can show evidence of them, but you won't automatically be granted a high status without completing the prerequisites.

    That's, possibly, a flaw in the BSAC conversion from PADI. You can get AOW divers who have done 10 dives and don't really have a clue and AOW divers who have done a thousand dives and are extremely competent (and everything in between and back to front), but the basic PADI '10 dives and you're ready' approach makes it very difficult to come up with a set of measures that would determine which level an AOW is at, so, effectively, they all start as Ocean Divers, albeit ones who can dive to greater depths or use Nitrox tables, etc, etc.

    As you say, though, the trick to any club is finding one where you fit in.

    M
     
  12. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    As a PADI AOW diver I was quite happy to crossover to BSAC and commence SD training.

    IIRC I had circa 40 dives at that point so it worked very well for me and I learnt an awful lot.
     
  13. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Very similar to my experience, but I dived with a group of divers (mostly AOW) last year who had done hundreds of dives and most were excellent.

    Not saying they wouldn't learn anything from SD training, but the standard was higher than any recently qualified SD, imo.

    M

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  14. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    Wibs - I did PADI Dive Master (with my LDS) and BSAC Dive Leader (with my club) at the same time / in parallel so have a pretty good and recent view of what's covered. For what it's worth, Dive Leader is more focused on diving and is useful as you can progress to 50m (though I think you might already have that?)

    But you don't actually need to join a branch. Yes, you need to be a BSAC member, but you could do it with a BSAC center as a stand alone course if you don't mind paying the £££. I'm pretty sure Jack Ingle could take you through the course and would be pretty thorough. Branch diving is useful though - as it teaches you to deal with the inexperienced buddy (which is the focus of the PADI course really).
     
  15. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Similar views to others, going from AOW to Ocean Diver and then taking the Sports Diver course, where I refreshed and picked up more knowledge. Frustratingly slow as the club was in a bit of a mess for training and I did the dives elsewhere.
     
  16. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Damn right. Clubs have a duty of care to ensure divers of any agency even their own are competent for the dive.
    A BSAC Sport Diver is seen no different than a PADI AOW diver on joining a club. So while on paper they may be
    accepted to dive to whatever the card says, in reality everybody should get a checkout.

    Divers tell porkies and big-up what they've done, that is sadly a fact and it can put existing members at risk.
    Doesn't have to be anything more than a low-key fun checkout dive with the odd skill thrown in, but it's needed.

    It's not difficult and it's not a flaw. The agency (both PADI & BSAC) set a baseline which is always the assumption
    that it's the day after a course has been completed. This means that at the very least a diver has (or should have)
    completed a known list of skills and number of dives. Anything past that is down to the club, dive school or Instructor
    to gauge if suitable for the planned dive or course.

    PADI AOW equates to BSAC Ocean diver because AOW is non-deco, has no Nitrox, Rescue, First Aid, DSMB, Line laying etc. etc.
    With so much missing it can't be considered the same.

    Going the other way BSAC Sport is considered by PADI to be equivalent to Open water. This is because AOW is a 30m and Sport
    is only 20m post-course prior to progression. Add 20 dives onto that and PADI say it's ok. .

    BSAC is a bit more honest in this respect, they work on what's missing to work out the grade. With PADI though it's a bit ironic
    that AOW can be completed at 19m and BSAC Sport 20m yet the reason cited for AOW being seen as superior is 30m !!!!
    The cynical may think that by doing this PADI get to sell an AOW course to the BSAC diver, but surely they wouldn't do that :p :p
     
  17. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    I guess you missed my point that AOW can cover a multitude of sins.

    Someone with AOW could have done all the things you list, with the probable exception of Rescue, but it will come in the form of a spec, or just experience, not their basic qualification.

    I agree that there's a baseline and, honestly, I don't see any alternative to assuming the most basic skills, but having AOW tells you next to nothing about a diver's skills, which was really my point.

    As you also said, you can't really assume anything about any diver from their qualification alone. We had a signed off Sports Diver come and dive with us one weekend and she was unable to make a stop at 6M, she just merrily shot past it to the surface every dive!

    I'm sure you'd agree that that's something any qualified OW or Ocean Diver should be able to do!

    Seems her qualification had been signed off by her boyfriend at the time... mmmmm.....

    M
     
    #17 snowman, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  18. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    AOW is a novice diver grade IMHO. When using @Tel's point that the diver's assumed to be at the level of the day after the course, that's definitely right.

    From what I've read and heard, the BSAC Sport Diver grade's much more rigorous than the PADI AOW. Maybe the SD's more equivalent to the Rescue Diver qualification, but that can be obtained with minimal dive numbers.


    Was interesting on the boat in Scapa where some other divers were logging their dives in readiness of reporting them to their club's Dive Officer. I find that concept rather difficult to understand. But then again I don't even keep a log; I just use my computers, infrequently downloading them to my laptop where I might stick a place on the dive or a brief note if something special happened. Horses for courses though as some people get a great deal of enjoyment out of logging dives and writing great long missives about them with diagrams and pictures even.
     
  19. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Yes, and again, I totally agree - The training in Sports Diver far exceeds AOW, which is really little more than a chat and few dives (I've done both :) ) - but someone can be a very experienced AOW (some divers never feel the need for formal training, do they?) or a very inexperienced one, which was all I was trying to point out (not that well, it seems :) ).

    I'm sure Tel's better at explaining the purpose of logging dives and reporting them to the Diving Officer, but a degree is down to accountability. As a free agent, you're only accountable to yourself (unless you're negligent) and no-one else is accountable for you, but in a club the Diving Officer (and BSAC ultimately) are responsible for you and so they need evidence of safe diving practices if anything should go wrong - At least, that's how it's been explained to me.

    As you say, some people's log books are works of art - Mine's never that exciting :)

    M
     
  20. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
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    Sports Diver, IMO is the best all round recreational diving course anyone can do & it’s perfect for UK south coast (or anywhere for that matter) diving.
    35m
    Rescue
    Nitrox
    Line laying
    Drysuit
    DSMB
    Deco

    In terms of Wibs comment, for DL there’s lots of dives you need to do as it’s about the experience. If someone went on holiday & did dives that could be proved (boat, deeper than 25m, wreck etc...) I would happily sign them off at branch when they got back. These are easily proved between a logbook, even better with a centre/resort/boat stamp & a dive computer. I wouldn’t however sign off dive leads unless it was a club trip as that is harder to prove.

    TPG


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