Learn Scuba Diving – Start the adventure with SISAC St Ives

learn scuba diving

Learn Scuba Diving with BSAC


Come and learn to dive NOW!

learn scuba diving

When you Learn Scuba Diving within a BSAC club environment – there is no rush, and no pressure to finish your dive grade in a weekend. Our instructors work on a one-on-one basis within a time-frame that suits each individual. You pay an annual subscription to the club which includes your training. No additional fees to pay whether it takes six weeks or six months to learn to dive. All your instruction is included within your course and annual subscription fee.

Club diving provides a wealth and breadth of experience and knowledge possessed within the membership. Learn to dive with us and other members will be willing to share there experience and knowledge. Within SISAC, we have a number of technical divers who enjoy deeper diving. Those who dive on Basic SCUBA equipment, Twin sets and rebreathers. We have members who enjoy underwater photography. Those who enjoy nautical archaeology, and yet others who have a penchant for marine life.

Club Membership and Why

So whatever your interest in learning when you learn to dive with SISAC, there will be members who share your enthusiasm. With an active dive calendar, there is an opportunity to enjoy your new dive skills adding to your underwater experience. The club organises day trips, weekend trips, and longer weekly trips to destinations around the UK. We have trips to a variety of locations such as Plymouth, Wales, Farne Islands, Brighton, Swanage and in the past Scapa Flow individual members have also organised trips to further-flung destinations including the Red Sea, Malta, Ibiza, Truk Lagoon, and the D-Day wrecks of Normandy.


When you Learn Scuba Diving there are four BSAC dive grades. These are Ocean Diver, Sports Diver, Dive Leader, and Advanced Diver. Training for all these grades can be undertaken within the club environment. All conducted at a pace suited to each individual. This guarantees the time, experience, and attention needed to become practised and proficient at each level.

Ocean Diver course

  • 6 Pool Lessons & theory assessment
  • 6 Theory Sessions
  • 5 Open Water Dives at an Inland Dive Site
  • BSAC Membership
  • SISAC Membership
  • Course Workbook
  • Qualification Record Book
  • Equipment Hire
  • Internationally Recognised Qualification
  • Qualification Certificate
  • Dry Suit Training

Not included: • Transport to/from dive sites • Entry fees to inland dive centres • Air fills at inland dive centres • Food and drink *Although all SCUBA equipment is provided during training, with the exception of protective wear for open water training which can be hired from the dive centres used, we would encourage students purchase their own equipment after qualifying.

What are the costs?

Ocean Diver

Ocean Diver

Ocean Diver is the first step towards Learning  SCUBA Diving.

This course is for you to learn to dive. The course is for beginners and provides the essential knowledge and skills needed to prepare for open water diving. The BSAC Ocean Diver course prepares for this.  Initial exercises with SISAC are in the safety of a swimming pool or sheltered water and an introduction to open water. Experience and confidence will be gained under the guidance of qualified instructors. Maximum depth – 20m.


Though within the BSAC system persons as young as 14 can undertake diver training, but within SISAC we only take persons 16 years of age or above.

To enrol on the BSAC Ocean Diver Course you must be 16 years or older. A basic level of comfort in the water is important and you will have to demonstrate that you can swim 200m in swimwear.

What you’ll learn

The BSAC Ocean Diver course has three main stages: 1). Theory lessons and theory assessment on the basic principles of scuba diving 2). Five confined water dives to learn the basics in the water (usually in a 3m deep swimming pool) 3). Five open water dives to further develop your scuba diving skills an an inland dive site.

The fun bit

Will hopefully be from start to finish! Learning scuba diving is a life changing experience for many people. Breathing underwater for the first time is something you will never forget and the experience of learning with others is great fun. Your instructor is trained to look after you every step of the way.

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Ocean Diver is defined as a diver who is competent to conduct dives: • to a maximum depth of 20m. • with another BSAC Ocean Diver or with a higher qualified Diver, within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered during training. • with a Dive Leader or higher grade, to expand experience beyond the conditions encountered during training, under the supervision of a Dive Manager or instructor. • not requiring mandatory decompression stops. • under the on-site supervision of a Dive Manager with respect to site selection, conditions and dive plan. Your training will begin alongside a series of theory lessons and in the pool at the (One Leisure Centre, St Ives), Once this has been completed, your training will continue with open-water lessons and experience dives in the open water environment. These are usually undertaken at the inland site Stoney Cove (Leics). Your membership fee includes the use of club equipment to complete your pool and open water lessons, your study notes needed for the theory lessons, as well as your dive book to chart your progress.

Sports Diver

Sports Diver

Sports Diver builds upon your skills after doing an Ocean Diver course?

BSAC Sports Diver training builds on the scuba skills you acquired in the Ocean Diver course (or entry level qualification from another agency) and helps develop your confidence, skills and experience in the water to allow you to enjoy a wider range of diving sites and conditions. The course builds a sound foundation of open water diving skills and experience with structured, practical lessons.

This is a good way of getting more dives under your belt whilst you learn scuba diving, learning under the supervision of a BSAC qualified instructor. Qualified BSAC Sports Divers are ready to take part in dives with other Ocean Divers or higher grade divers. Depth can be built progressively to a maximum of 35m after qualfying*. Sports Divers can embark on the first stage of the route of instruction. *To complete the depth progression you need be over 16 years old.


To enrol on the BSAC Sports Diver Course you must be 16 years or older. You must have already successfully completed a BSAC Ocean Diver course (or qualifying certification from another recognised training agency).

What you’ll learn

You’ll hone your scuba skills and experience in various areas including rescue skills, Surface Marker Buoys (SMBs) and Delayed Surface Marker Buoys (DSMBs), navigation, techniques with equipment, and more about breathing gas. In addition, BSAC Sports Divers are taught how to support a Dive Manager by acting as their deputy as the first step in developing this important role in support of safe diving. The BSAC Sports Diver course has both practical and classroom lessons run in an integrated sequence. The course includes a sheltered water lesson and five open water lessons.

The fun bit

You will love the variety in this course. To ensure you experience a range of conditions, your instructor will include five types of dive from the following for you to experience: shore dive, nitrox dive (using a breathing gas >21% Oxygen up to a maximum of 36% (nitrox)), dive using a shot line, low visibility dive, drift dive, small boat dive, large boat dive, wall dive or a dive in protective clothing (wet suit or drysuit).

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Sports is defined as a diver who is competent to: • conduct dives to 20m (if you choose to do the post qualification progress dives, the depth is increased in 5m increments to 35m) • conduct dives with a BSAC Ocean Diver within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered by the Ocean Diver • conduct dives with another BSAC Sports Diver, within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered during training. • Conduct dives with a Dive Leader or higher grade, to expand experience beyond the conditions encountered during training, under the supervision of a Dive Manager. • use breathing gas mixes up to Nitrox 36 • plan and conduct dives requiring mandatory decompression stops • rescue a casualty and provide basic life support • support the role of Dive Manager by acting as a competent deputy Typically this will be at Stoney Cove.

You will be required to complete a series of classroom and dry practical lessons to qualify at this grade.

In addition there are a range of experience dives which will complete your training.

Dive Leader

Dive Leader

Want to plan and lead on dives, organise and manage groups of divers and develop rescue management skills?

As a BSAC Dive Leader you are becoming an expert in your field of dive leadership. You will also be competent in planning dives for groups of divers and managing diving on the day including, if necessary, managing rescue situations. This comprehensive course is a mix of classroom-based and practical lessons that will give divers confidence to plan, lead and manage dives, and deal with emergencies. Leading a dive will develop enjoyment, confidence and experience as a diver. After qualifying, and if you wish, depth can be built progressively to a maximum of 50m. Dive Leaders are eligible to progress to Open Water Instructor.


To enrol on the BSAC Dive Leader Course you must be 16 years or older*. You must have already successfully completed a BSAC Sports Diver course (or qualifying certification from another recognised training agency).

What you’ll learn

You will learn dive leadership skills through 12 classroom lessons, seven open water dives, two dry practical lessons and 20 dives (which may include the open water lessons) in a range of conditions. The BSAC Dive Leader course covers the role of the BSAC Dive Leader, Dive Planning and Management, Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) use (midwater deployment), dive leading demonstrations, basic life support with Oxygen administration and practical management of diving incidents, casualty assessment, dive planning, shot recovery by simple lift and review of rescue skills.

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Dive Leader is defined as a diver who: • can plan and lead a range of dives including those requiring detailed dive, gas and decompression requirements planning. • has rescue management skills. • is competent to manage and supervise branch dives to locations well known to the branch. • can conduct dives with divers of any grade, to expand their experience beyond that previously encountered by those divers, under the supervision of a Dive Manager. • can conduct experience building dives with trainee Ocean Divers, within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered by the trainee Ocean Diver, and under the supervision of a Dive Manager.

Advanced Diver

Advanced Diver

Advanced Diver is a BSAC Qualification and is the most advanced award that can be gained within the club. It extends on previous awards so that divers can further the limits and experiences of their own diving. It is ideally suited to those who want to broaden the horizons of adventurous diving. Extending abilities to explore new sites and finesse their broad range of skills.

A BSAC Advanced Diver you are a highly qualified branch diver. This course is for divers who are interested in extending still further their skills in planning and supervising diving groups. This will include rescue management skills, seamanship and developing further leadership qualities. The BSAC Advanced Diver course develops knowledge and skills. Divers gain experience in planning dives at different sites and circumstances. Additional skills will be gained in using small boats, chartwork and navigation and many other related skills. Advanced Divers who are Open Water Instructors are eligible to progress to Advanced Instructor.


To enroll on the BSAC Advanced Course you must be 16 years or older. You must have already successfully completed a BSAC Dive Leader course. Alternatively hold a qualifying certification from another recognised training agency.

What you’ll learn

You will learn dive planning and management skills through four classroom lessons, two open water lessons, two dry practical lessons and 20 dives (which may include the open water lessons) in a range of conditions, since qualifying as a Dive Leader. • The BSAC Advanced Diver course covers: • The role of the BSAC Advanced Diver • The responsibilities of a BSAC Advanced Diver • Advanced diving • Organising diving from different platforms • Review of diving conditions and on-site first aid • Expedition planning • Diving and rescue skills review • Rescue skills and management review • Dive planning and management

Skill Developement Courses (SDC)

A Skill Developement Course

Build on a wide range of BSAC skills attained or required as you advance through your diving career. A number of which we can run locally through the club with our own qualified instructors.

The process to learn scuba diving is not just about the activity. Other skills may be acquired along the way. SDC training keeps you learning and adds to you initial requirement to learn scuba diving.

Details of each of these courses we will be running in the near future is included below.

Current Skill Development Courses available within SISAC

On and Out of the Water

Dive Planning and Management

Learn how to plan and manage dives? Meticulous planning and good management help make diving trips successful, and this course will show you how. Aimed at potential Dive Leaders and Advanced Divers, this two-day course introduces and extends existing knowledge and practical skills in all aspects of the process of planning and managing dives. 

Equipment Care

Want to learn how to prolong the life of your dive gear? This one-day course is great for divers that own their own equipment or look after their club’s kit. The course acquaints you with the maintenance requirements of modern diving gear. It also distinguishes between what maintenance the owner may safely undertake and what should be left to a trained repair technician. The course covers typical problems and has a mixture of lessons and hands-on sessions so you can practice and develop your new skills.

Mixed Gas Blender/Nitrox Gas Blender

Want to be able to mix diving gas (nitrogen, oxygen, and helium)? This one-day course provides training in mixing Nitrox (or also helium mixes). Both courses covers theory, complemented by practice to test skills learned in aspects of mixing gas. Successful candidates will be confident to mix gas to within safe diving tolerances for either Nitrox or also gases using helium. 

Chartwork and Position Fixing

Want to learn how to get a boat to a dive site and back? This two-day classroom and practical course will teach you the basic techniques of marine navigation including how to locate a dive site. This will ultimately help you plan and manage dives undertaken by BSAC branches in any type of boat. The course focuses on the techniques of chartwork, position fixing, and navigation. This course goes hand-in-hand with the practical Boat Handling course. 

In Water Skills

Accelerated Decompression Procedures (ADP)  

Longer, safer bottom times and optimum decompression using rich mixes. Building on the foundation of Nitrox knowledge contained within Ocean Diver and Sports Diver training. The course develops this knowledge and in particular highlights the benefits that can be gained from using high oxygen mixtures. This course takes your diving to a higher level. 

Buoyancy and Trim Workshop –Considered an essential Skill Development qualification

Perfecting buoyancy control is a major step towards safe and comfortable diving. This workshop aims to build on your existing skills by equipping you with the correct buoyancy and trim techniques needed to get the most out of your diving. The key aim of this one-day workshop is to help you to experience and understand the issues that affect buoyancy and trim, overcome over weighting and to maintain good buoyancy and trim at varying depths. There are four levels of achievement to be awarded – bronze, silver, gold and black – based on the levels at which the student’s buoyancy can be maintained.

The Buoyancy and Trim workshop consists of a theory presentation and a practical session: • Principles of good buoyancy; issues and causes of poor buoyancy control • Correct weighting; drysuit and BC • Perfecting your trim – body positions and techniques


Search & Recovery  

Learn effective search and safe recovery of underwater objects? This two-day course teaches divers how to use the correct techniques and procedures required for search and recovery projects. It also provides practical experience of underwater search methods and the use of buoyancy to lift objects. Search and Recovery SDC covers DO4 in the Dive Leader syllabus and this element can be signed up after the course.

Lifesaver Award – Considered an essential Skill Development qualification

Looking to build on your core first aid and lifesaving skills in a diving environment? The Lifesaver Award assesses students’ lifesaving proficiency and diver rescue skills within a pool or sheltered water environment. The course also allows for additional or refresher training as required. Holders of the Lifesaver Award will have demonstrated their lifesaving proficiency in diving and non-diving situations.

Practical Rescue Management – Considered an essential Skill Development qualification

Want to learn how to be an effective manager in a rescue situation? This one-day course teaches divers how to manage the resources at their disposal in order to make the most effective use of them in a rescue situation. Although the emphasis is on the development of rescue management skills, the course also provides an opportunity for further instruction in personal rescue skills. This course involves hypothetical scenarios to practice and test your management skills. It helps divers avoid pitfalls that untrained divers can fall into in a rescue situation. 

First Aid

First Aid for Divers – Considered a minimum and essential Skill Development qualification

Be able to provide first aid in a diving environment? This one-day course teaches the basics of non-resuscitation first aid likely to be needed in the BSAC diving environment. There is lots of practice on the course (under the guidance of experienced instructors) giving you the confidence to give first aid in a real emergency. It includes making use of the resources likely to be available at the time including improvisation of dressings and splints using materials and equipment commonly found at the dive site or in a boat. If you already have first aid training, this course is a quick and easy way to ‘practice, practice, practice’ your skills, while learning the best way to apply them in diving. 

Oxygen Administration – Considered a minimum and essential Skill Development qualification

This one-day course is designed to teach the administration of oxygen as a means of increasing the effectiveness of First Aid treatment of diving accidents. Oxygen treatment takes place on the surface – either on a boat or dry land. This course gives confidence to divers so they can assist with a diving-related injury. The course concludes with a practical and theory assessment. Only those who pass the assessment will be able to apply for a qualification card. 

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