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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.
     
    Dave Whitlow likes this.
  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 :)
     
    Dave Whitlow and Wibble like this.
  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...
     

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