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Advanced Diver

Wave Shape
Want to manage and supervise adventurous and challenging diving expeditions and activities?

As 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, rescue management skills, whilst building 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 enrol on the BSAC Advanced Course you must be 14 years or older. You must have already successfully completed a BSAC Dive Leader course (or qualifying certification from another recognised training agency).

What you’ll learn

You will learn dive planning and managment 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:

  • 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

The BSAC Advanced Diver course has relatively few ‘formal’ practical lessons and is much more heavily based on a structured broadening of experience, particularly dive management.

Experience dives

The BSAC Advanced Diver syllabus includes open water lessons and experience dives which should total a minimum of 20 dives and 600 minutes underwater time since qualifying as a Dive Leader. To ensure that students receive experience in a range of conditions, the open water dives must include the conditions in the following list. To ensure consolidation of the skill requirements, each of the conditions should be experienced on at least three dives:

  • Planned decompression dive – involving at least two planned decompression stops
  • Dive in tidal waters – involving a direct descent following a shot line, to dive on a specific site in a slack water window.
  • Drift dive – to a minimum depth of 15m in water moving at a speed which precludes a return to the point of entry

Only one of the above conditions may be logged per dive. In addition to the above, a further six dives should include at least three of the following conditions:

  • Navigation dive – requiring navigation around a site.
  • Search dive – involving the utilisation of underwater search techniques.
  • No clear surface dive – involving no clear surface, either cavern, wreck penetration or ice diving.
  • Mixed gas dive – involving use of mixed gas, either closed circuit rebreather or open circuit.
  • Advanced decompression dive – involving advanced decompression techniques and emergency gas deployment using decompression trapeze or lazy shot.
  • Surface location dive – involving the surface location of an unknown site using surface searching techniques, followed by suitable precautions when diving an unknown site.

Of the 20 dives:

  • At least ten should be carried out from boats.
  • On at least ten the student should act as dive leader
  • At least six should show depth experience greater than 30m
  • On at least five occasions the student should act as Dive Manager (including taking responsibility for carrying out all planning activities):
  • At least two should be full day diving activities, to sites which are unknown to the student Dive Manager
  • At least one should be for a duration of at least two days, involving overall planning of the event
  • The remaining two may be to either known or unknown sites

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Advanced Diver is defined as a diver who is comprehensively trained, experienced and responsible and who can manage and supervise:

  • A wide range of adventurous and challenging diving activities
  • Branch diving expeditions to explore unfamiliar locations
  • Branch diving activities including dives utilising developing technology and techniques

While Advanced Divers do not necessarily need to be qualified to use emerging technologies themselves, they need to know sufficient about them to understand how to safely incorporate them within branch diving.

How to do this course

You can do this course by joining a local BSAC club and training with other club members.

Your next steps

After this course you could further your training by working towards the BSAC First Class Diver award (the next Diver Grade course). This is BSAC’s highest diving grade which requires a higher than average level of theoretical knowledge, organisational and personal diving skills. BSAC First Class Divers are assessed through nationally conducted exams.

BSAC Advanced Divers who are Open Water Instructors can also progress to Advanced Instructor.

Useful links

Products that go with the Advanced Diver Course

Visit BSAC.com