Diver Grades

Ocean Diver

Ocean Diver is the first qualification in the BSAC training scheme. This course teaches you the essential knowledge and skills to dive in open water. As an Ocean Diver you can dive to a maximum depth of 20m.

To qualify as an Ocean Diver you need to pass a multiple choice theory test and complete a number of assessments during your first open water dives and get your instructors to sign your Ocean Diver Assessment Sheet. To prepare for the theory test there are quizzes on the BSAC website.

Sports Diver

Sports Diver is the second qualification in the BSAC training scheme. As a Sports Diver you can build up your maximum depth to 35m and if you have some spare time you can give us a hand with pool training.

Qualifying as a Sports Diver is very similar to qualifying as a Ocean Diver - there's a multiple choice theroy test and assessments to do in open water.

Dive Leader

Dive leader (DL) is the next qualification after sports diver. DL training will help you plan and lead a wide range of dives including decompression dives. During the training you will explore the role of DL in extending both your own and others experience. DL's are competent to organise and marshal branch dives to locations well known to the club or using experienced skippers. The most important part of the training is understanding the responsibility of the DL, as an independent diver and when diving with people who they are responsible for. DL's can dive to a depth initially limited to 35m but which can progressively be extended to a max. of 50m. They can dive with any grade diver including trainee OD.


The DL theory lectures are usually run in the Spring term culminating with the exam. There are 12 class room sessions covering a broad range of topics the syllabus can be found here. Most of the open water assessments can be carried out on weekend trips the rescues however are usually run at PK and Skomer. You can find a DL open water assessment sheet here or contact the committee for more information.

In addition to the 'formal' BSAC training, DL's work towards expanding their own experience when diving with other DL's. BSAC recommend a minimum of 600 mins underwater time although most people who complete DL within the club will have in excess of 100 dives, which cover an extensive range of conditions. The emphasis of the open water dives is on gaining experience acting as a DL and also gaining experience diving depths in excess of 25m. To complete the DL training students need to complete the O2 & PRM SDC's and act as a dive marshall on at least two trips.

DL is the minimum requirement on the BSAC instructor courses (OWIC, PIE & TIE).

Advanced Diver

A diver who is comprehensively trained, experienced and responsible and can manage and supervise a wide range of adventurous and challenging diving. This will include organising diving expeditions to explore unknown locations and branch activities including dives utilising developing technology and techniques. There are 4 classroom lessons with a theory assessment at the end, however training towards Advanced Diver relies much more on the progressive build up of experience than on 'formal' lessons. Most divers in the club will have completed 300+ dives before qualifying as an Advanced diver. These dives need to cover a range of dives acting as DL and exploring depths in excess of 30M. They should also include both known and unknown sites where the student should act as Dive Marshal.

The BSAC consider this grade as being a fully trained diver.

First Class Diver

This is the highest diving grade achievable within BSAC.

Unfortunately we do not provide any training for First Class Diver. For more information about First Class Diver training, including all the resources you will need are available here: BSAC First Class Diver Training Programme