Safe and fun training!

Diver Training

The Scottish Sub Aqua Club has a training program with three distinct threads: snorkeling; scuba diving and instructing.

A competent swimmer joining ScotSAC without any diving experience or qualifications may benefit from working first towards the Snorkel Diver qualification and younger recruits (min 8 yrs) will start with the Junior Snorkeler qualification. The Snorkel Diver Award is attained by completing the swimming assessment, basic snorkel assessment, advanced snorkel assessment and open water snorkel assessment.

Most of our new members progress straight into scuba training but first the candidate must demonstrate competence in the water by completing the swimming assessment and basic snorkel assessment. Both of these are a part of the Snorkel DIver Award so of course a trainee with that qualification is ready to start scuba training

Scuba training starts with the Sport Diver Award which consists of a series of training and assessments in the pool (or confined open water) followed by similar activities and assessment in the open water (usually the sea). There is also a short theory assessment based on the lectures which form the backbone of this training. Until this training and assessment is completed to the satisfaction of the Branch Diving Officer (BDO) the trainee may not dive unless accompanied by an instructor approved by the BDO. Just ten open water dives are required for this award and the newly qualified diver must build up their experience before progressing to other qualifications and should not normally dive deeper than 30m.

In addition to our core diver training, there are a series of "diver endorsements" which are typically short stand alone courses, sometimes taught at branch level but often at regional or national level. These include a number of diver welfare courses such as Oxygen Administration, diver first aid and heartstart and diving skills courses such as drysuit use, deep diving and deep rescue. The dive leader course is often included as a part of the Master Diver program (below).

Training diagram - click on each box for more detail.

progress diagram UW Archaeology Nitrox Sport Diver Master Diver 1st class 1st aid heart o2 drysuit deep dive deep rescue swim ass basic snorkel assess BI RI CI Junior Snorkel snorkel diver O2 admin adv snorkel open water snorkel dive leader
Sport divers with more than 75 logged dives can work towards the Master Diver Award which provides for increased technical knowledge and deeper dives up to 40m. Finally, those with more than 200 dives, and experience of diving in a wide variety of conditions, can train towards the 1st Class Diver Award, this being the highest scuba diver award of ScotSAC.

The instructor thread starts with the Branch Instructor Award (BI) which can be undertaken with the approval of the Regional Coach, usually after obtaining the Master Diver Award although in some cases, by Sport divers. The BI can train and assess beginners in the pool and open water under the supervision of the BDO.

The Regional Instructor Award (RI) is intended for experienced divers who have been Sport Divers and BIs for some time and now also hold the Master Diver Award. Holders of the RI award may be appointed as a Regional Coach, by the National Coach and NDC, and assigned to assist Branch Diving Officers in one or more branches. They will be invited to assist with training courses at national and regional level.

The Club Examiner (CE or Examiner) is the highest level of instructor and is automatically a member of the National Diving Council (NDC) where they assist the National Diving Officer (NDO) with development and delivery of the ScotSAC training program.


Booking a place

We offer a full range of courses to all our Members. Core training, including Sport Diver and Master Diver, are delivered by Branches under the co-ordination of the Branch Diving Officer.

Many of the other courses are delivered at Regional or National level. If you wish to find out more information on any course, please follow the links on the diagram or contact us

Where course dates are advertised, contact HQ to confirm your place on the date of your choice. If no course dates are advertised, contact HQ to have your name added to the course book.

Most ScotSAC courses are now available free of charge to members. To book your place on any ScotSAC course you will be required to complete the relevant booking form, and hold any required pre-requisites. Where courses require payment, a 50% deposit will be required to secure your place. 

Some courses will require endorsement of your Branch Diving Officer or Regional Coach prior to booking.

Already have a Qualification?

ScotSAC welcomes divers with previous experience and/or qualifications. Visit our crossover page for more information.

Upon joining, your Branch Diving Officer will review your previous diving qualificiations and experience and advise on any training or assessments required to transfer to ScotSAC.


Regional Coaches

Each Branch is assigned a Regional Coach responsible for liaison between the National Diving Council and the Branch. A Regional Coach will be qualified to at least Regional Instructor level and will provide support, assistance and guidance to the BDO when required.

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