Welcome to Bristol Channel Divers!

Bristol Channel Divers

Training with Bristol Channel Divers

Bristol Channel Divers Sub Aqua Club (BCD) is affiliated to the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) but welcomes members with recognised diving qualifications from a variety of diver training organisations. Click on a link to find out more......

Try Dives Courses Medical/Fitness  
Ocean Diver Sports Diver Dive Leader Advanced Diver
National Qualifications Skill Development Cross-over Training  

If you want to find out what diving is all about, how about one of our Try Dives in the safety of the swimming pool? We run these throughout the year, subject to demand and pool availability. We take bookings from individuals or groups (such as Scouts and other clubs) or can issue a gift certificate so you can give a try dive as a present. Contact us if you're interested. If you are booked on a Try Dive, all you need bring is swim wear, a towel and an old t-shirt, we provide all the additional equipment.

If you come on a Try Dive we will show you:

Subject to you being comfortable, we will take you into the deep end of the pool and have you undertaking some simple exercises to try SCUBA kit for the first time.

The course lasts about 90 minutes.

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We offer a full range of BSAC diving courses, from entry level (Ocean Diver) through to Advanced Diver. In addition, we organise BSAC skill development courses that build on your particular diving strengths and interests. Ocean Diver will give you the skills needed to take an active part in most club diving trips and expeditions. For more information about BSAC qualifications, check out the BSAC Branch Diver Grades page.

You may have undertaken BSAC training to the old syllabus (pre October 2002). It is no longer possible to continue under this system if you wish to progress to the next diver grade. For this you need a new qualification record book (QRB) in addition to the student notes. There is a plastic wallet in the new QRB in which to keep your old blue qualification book. This will be provided as part of your course fee.

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You do need to be reasonably fit to dive and need to be able to swim 200 metres (any style, not timed). There are a number of ailments that would prevent you from taking up diving. Diving when pregnant is not recommended. Further detailed information is available on the BSAC web site. If you have any queries please contact a doctor from BSAC's list of Medical Referees.

You must be 14 or over to start a training course with BCD. There is no upper age limit!

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Classroom Training

The Ocean Diver course fee includes:-

You will also have to join Bristol Channel Divers.

Further course details are available on the BSAC web site.

The final stage of the course takes place in an open water environment, either at a coastal site or an inland lake and may be from the shore or a boat. You will need to complete 5 dives. As in the pool, the club will provide mask, snorkel, weight belt and full SCUBA equipment as part of the course payment. You will need to hire sea fins, bootees and a wetsuit or drysuit depending on the conditions. However, by this time you will have reached the stage where we would encourage trainees to buy their own mask, sea fins, snorkel & bootees. To minimise the initial cost we have established contacts where equipment can be hired.

Students will be expected to cover the cost of their own travel to and from open water sites, accommodation (if necessary) and any fees for boat hire or site entry (shared between group being trained).

Ocean Divers can dive to 20m. Following the course, diving experience must be developed in a range of different conditions before progressing to the next qualification, Sports Diver.

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Pool Training

We usually have a number of qualified Ocean Divers working towards their Sports Diver qualification on club dives. Sports Divers can dive to 35m on air. If you are already an Ocean Diver and would like to progress to Sports Diver, get in touch with us, we're very accommodating.

The course covers:

Further course details are available on the BSAC web site.

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After gaining experience as a Sports Diver you can extend your qualification to Dive Leader. This would qualify you to dive to 50m on air. The course comprises;-

Further course details are available on the BSAC web site.

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Due to the nature of the Advanced Diver qualification, training for this qualification will be organised on a personal basis. The formal course comprises:-

Before attempting this qualification you should have dived in a wide variety of conditions to depths exceeding 30m along with dive marshalling experience. Taking skill development courses will assist in broadening your experience.

BSAC consider this grade as being a fully trained diver.

Further course details are available on the BSAC web site.

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First Class Diver is the top qualification with BSAC and is awarded by BSAC HQ after a rigorous and demanding assessment programme. Training for this qualification does not take place within the branch. For more information click here.

Instructors are also trained and appointed by BSAC HQ. The first step is to participate in an Instructor Foundation Course which, upon completion, gains you the qualification of Assistant Instructor. Further training and experience allows you to progress to Open Water Instructor and then Advanced Instructor. BCD offers help and advice to would-be Instructors. For more information click here.

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There are many additional courses to be taken within the BSAC scheme. We organise these courses as requested by our members. Click here to see the full list of courses.

A diver gives the OK under training

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If you hold qualifications from another diving agency you are still welcome to join the branch and participate in all our activities within the limits of your current qualifications. We only offer BSAC training listed above, so if you want to advance your qualifications within the branch you would have to firstly convert your qualification to the equivalent BSAC grade before commencing the next level of training. Depending on your current qualification, conversion could be as simple as completing a form or more involved, requiring additional lectures and/or pool sessions. More information is available on the BSAC website. Please contact our training officer to discuss your requirements.

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