We run BSAC courses ( Not PADI Open Water ) throughout the year. These range from entry level to advanced topics and are available at cost to all BSAC and CSAC members.  Cost usually means: the cost of learning materials, Air, equipment hire cost and any entry fee to dive facilities.

There are two main training organisations in the UK for diver training, PADI and BSAC. Which one you choose to go with, is based on several aspects. They are listed below… Both agencies are safe, competent and recognised the world over.

British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC)


Cost, usually cheaper than PADI. For us, entry level cost is in the region of £312 for an adult and £184 for a student. Membership and training fee differ between clubs.

All BSAC training is free to members, thus subsequent skills are not an extra cost. Indeed the entry level BSAC course covers more topics that the PADI entry level one.

Club based, so advice on kit is readily available without a commercial interest and we lend/borrow kit all the time.

There is a certain amount of flexibility in course schedules and numbers of trainees per course.


A course takes 10-12 weeks approximately which is longer than PADI. We don’t do the entry level course all the time and certainly not in the winter because its too cold and it will put you off.  Spring is an ideal time to start.

BSAC referrals ( where you do the theory in the UK and the open water training on holiday) are rare, this is more easily achieved with PADI .



Relatively quick, you can do the entry level course in 4 weekends ( Sat & Sun).

PADI as a brand is recognised worldwide, although BSAC training is recognised as being more thorough.

More frequent/short courses might suit an imminent holiday to the sun for instance.

You can do overseas referrals quite easily.


Cost is usually in the region of £350-450 range here in the UK for a PADI Open Water entry level course.

PADI centres and shops are a commercial organisation, further skills, which would normally be free under BSAC are in the region £100-£200 per extra speciality.

Once you have done the training, sometimes there is no club to keep diving with, its up to you to find a club and or dive buddies.

Age:  This is a complex area, PADI will do basic training from 8 years as will BSAC but only for snorkeling. BSAC will do Scuba training from 12. However, local BSAC clubs and PADI centre may have their own restrictions. For instance we do not currently provide entry level training under the age of 13 although BSAC are happy with 12.

Although are instructors are CRB checked and happy to work with children, it’s a decision that we have made collectively, that given Scuba diving, at least in the UK, requires a certain amount of maturity, both physical and mental, to dive safely. We believe, generally, under 13s are not safe. Hence we have this local age limit of 13 and above. Other clubs and centre may have lower limits.

So in summary, we allow try dives from 12 and training from 13 years of age.

Lastly, BSAC is a club like any other, we encourage everyone to participate in social events, training and organising trips but that means you have to feel comfortable with us, so a recommendation is always to visit a club before you commit! There are plenty of clubs in the Bucks/Berks/Herts areas to choose from.

What does training involve:

The entry level course in BSAC is the Ocean Diver, full info can be found here : bsac

The course comprises of a number of class room sessions for the theory, pool based exercises and then open water training like a lake.

Lessons are held in the community centre from 7.15pm on a Wednesday for 1 hr, then a pool session can be added on the end from 8.30 – 9.30pm.

Pool sessions are in the deep diving pool ( 3.8m depth) in the Chiltern Leisure centre.

All kit is included in the training cost, don’t buy anything just yet!

Entry to the pool is free to members, entry to the lake is £10 for Wraysbury Diving Lake where we do the initial open water training.

The Ocean Diver course is usually 6-7 evenings of classroom/pool sessions and 4 open water days.

When we schedule the course, we will discuss your availability and put together a schedule that works for everyone.

Recently we have been doing a residential training weekend at the National Diving Centre at Chepstow, this means we can do all the diving over a single weekend which works well.  We stay on site and can do up to three dives a day.

After Ocean diver is Sport Diver and Diver Leader, we conduct these courses also.

We do a number of bespoke courses for individuals at no extra cost, for instance divers needing a skills refresh after a break from diving or have a specific date they need to be qualified by… Just ask.

We also do O2 administration, First-Aid every year for all members to keep our skills up to date and in March/April there is a recommended skill refresh pool and lake session to ensure safe diving throughout the year.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the above!

Email David on

training@cheshamsubaqua . com









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