British Sub-Aqua Club
|Motto||Dive with friends|
|Formation||15 October 1953|
|Legal status||Limited Guarantee Company incorporated in England|
Recreational diving services, training and advocacy|
National governing body
|30,000 in 2009|
|Prince William, Duke of Cambridge|
The club was founded in 1953 and at its peak in the mid-1990s had over 50,000 members declining to over 30,000 in 2009. It is a diver training organization that operates through its associated network of around 1,100 local, independent diving clubs and around 400 diving schools worldwide. The logo (pictured right) features the Roman god Neptune (Greek god Poseidon), god of the sea.
BSAC is unusual for a diver training agency in that most BSAC instructors are volunteers, giving up their spare time to train others, unlike many other agencies, in which instructors are paid employees, or self-employed.
Given that UK waters are relatively cold and have restricted visibility, BSAC training is regarded by its members as more comprehensive than some. Specifically it places emphasis on rescue training very early in the programme. BSAC also maintains links with other organisations, such as NACSAC.
For earlier events, see Oscar Gugen.
- 15 October 1953: BSAC founded by Oscar Gugen, Peter Small, Mary Small, and Trevor Hampton
- 1954: First BSAC branch formed, in London.
- 1954: Members of the newly formed BSAC Branch No.9, Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, invent the new sport of "Octopush" - a game now played internationally and more commonly known outside of the United Kingdom as Underwater Hockey.
- March 1955: BSAC is accepted by the Central Council of Physical Recreation.
- 1957: Alan Broadhurst became BSAC's second national diving officer. He modernized BSAC official diving terminology, including getting rid of the word "frogman".
- October 1957: BSAC's first overseas branch is formed in Kingston, Jamaica.
- January 1959: First edition of the BSAC Diving Manual appeared and cost ten shillings (now 50p). It was written by George Brookes and Alan Broadhurst.
- January 1957: BSAC and 14 other national diving federations agreed to found Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS)
- November 1960: First Diving Officers' Conference, at St. Abbs, with fifteen delegates.
- 1965: Fort Bovisand diving center opened.
- 1973: The Diving Incident Pit at Diving Officers Conference presented by E. John Towse.
- 1988: Release of the BS-AC 88 dive table
- 1995: BSAC allows Nitrox diving and introduced Nitrox training.
- 20 May 1997: BASC was expelled from the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS)
- 2001: BSAC allows rebreather use by BSAC branches.
- 2006: BSAC mixed gas diving.
- 2006: BSAC is the first recreational diving agency to introduce Nitrox diving as part of core training.
The BSAC is recognised by Sport UK as the National Governing Body (NGB) for ‘Sub Aqua’ within the United Kingdom. It has held this status since 1954. Sub Aqua (or Sub Aquatics) is a broad term that includes both recreational underwater activities such as recreational diving and snorkelling, and competitive underwater activities including underwater sports such as underwater hockey. It is also recognised by Sport England as the NGB for ‘Sub Aqua’ in England.
BSAC is one of four NGBs representing 'Sub Aqua' in the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. The others are the Northern Ireland Federation of Sub-Aqua Clubs (Northern Ireland), the Scottish Sub Aqua Club (Scotland) and the Welsh Association of Sub Aqua Clubs (Wales), with the British Sub Aqua Club being the NGB for the United Kingdom as a whole; a role it has held since 1954.
The BSAC has offered two separate training schemes since the 1950s - the Diver Training Programme (DTP) for scuba diving and the Snorkeller Training Programme (STP) for snorkelling.
Diver Training Programme
- Ocean Diver - Basic skills, non-decompression diving (depth limit 20 m)
- Sports Diver - Rescue, navigation, nitrox and decompression diving (depth limit 35 m after qualification)
- Dive Leader - Dive leading, dive planning & management, and rescue management (depth limit 50 m after qualification)
- Advanced Diver - Fully trained diver capable of leading a group of divers in normal club activities
- First Class Diver - Trained to lead a group of dives carrying out a project. This is nationally examined with a two-day practical test
- Assistant Diving Instructor - Trained but unqualified. Must be supervised when instructing
- Theory Instructor - Qualified to instruct unsupervised in the classroom
- Assistant Open Water Instructor - Qualified to teach open water under supervision
- Practical Instructor - Qualified to instruct unsupervised in open water
- Open Water Instructor - Qualified to supervise other instructors in classroom and open water training
- Advanced Instructor - Trained to teach advanced skills, such as boat based skills and group diving techniques
- Instructor Trainer - Qualified to staff Instructor events
- National Instructor - Leads Instructor Training courses and BSAC National exams
Grades no longer awarded
The following grades which are no longer awarded may still be encountered:
- Novice I - A diver who has completed the extensive sheltered-water (i.e. pool) training of the BSAC syllabus of the time, but has not yet dived in open water.
- Novice II - A Novice I diver who has completed two open-water assessment dives.
The distinction between Novice I and Novice II was mostly for practical reasons to do with the difference between hiring a pool and travelling to the coast. A Novice I diver would normally complete the two open-water dives as soon as possible, but if this were not possible straight away (perhaps over winter) they would at least have a specific grade within the club. The lengthy and club-oriented Novice syllabus was replaced with the Club Diver and Ocean Diver syllabuses in the late 1990s. (However, some argue the Novice description was usefully accurate and aided diver safety because nobody with such a qualification would attempt dives beyond their capabilities.)
- Club Diver - This is more or less the same as Ocean Diver; originally the two were operated in parallel with Ocean Diver awarded at schools and Club Diver at clubs.
- Club Instructor - An instructor grade junior to Open Water Instructor, but allowing the holder to instruct practical and theory lessons without supervision.
- Third Class Diver - This was the entry-level grade prior to the splitting of its syllabus during the mid-1980s to create the Novice and Sports Diver grades. Divers who held this grade at the time were awarded the Sports Diver grade.
- Second Class Diver - This was the immediate grade prior to the splitting of its syllabus during the mid-1980s to create the Dive Leader and Advanced Diver grades. Divers who held this grade at the time were awarded the Advanced Diver grade.
The following CMAS equivalencies have been agreed with the Sub-Aqua Association.
|CMAS 1 Star Diver||BSAC Ocean Diver, Club Diver or Sports Diver|
|CMAS 2 Star Diver||BSAC Sports Diver with 10 logged dives or BSAC Dive Leader|
|CMAS 3 Star Diver||BSAC Advanced Diver|
|CMAS 4 Star Diver||BSAC First Class Diver|
|CMAS 1 Star Instructor||BSAC Club Instructor + BSAC Advanced Diver|
|CMAS 2 Star Instructor||BSAC Open Water Instructor + BSAC Advanced Diver|
|CMAS 3 Star Instructor||BSAC Advanced Instructor + BSAC Advanced Diver|
- Ocean Diver - EN 14153-2/ISO 24801-2 - 'Autonomous Diver
- Dive Leader - EN 14153-3/ISO 24801-3 - 'Dive Leader'
- Open Water Instructor - EN 14413-2/ISO 24802-2 - 'Instructor Level 2'
- Sports Diver - ISO 11107 – ‘Nitrox diving’
- Gas Blender - ISO/DIS 13293 'Gas Blender'
Snorkeller Training Programme
- Dolphin Snorkeller - experience based training intended for children using only swimming pools.
- Snorkel Diver - training for pool or sheltered water activity.
- Advanced Snorkeller - training for open water activity.
- Snorkel Dive Manager - training to plan, organise and lead snorkelling activities.
The STP has three snorkel instructor grades: Snorkel Instructor, Advanced Snorkel Instructor and Snorkel Instructor Trainer. BSAC scuba instructors can also teach all or parts of the STP subject to meeting pre-requisites including additional training.
Diving theory and technique
- British Octopush Association
- Heinke (diving equipment makers)
- List of diver certification organizations
- Nautical Archaeology Society
- Underwater Explorers Club
- David Bellamy
- Mensun Bound
- William Paul Fife
- Richard Larn
- John Rawlins (Royal Navy officer)
- Margaret Rule
- Peter Scoones
- Sir John Wedgwood, 2nd Baronet
- "BSAC Council". British Sub-Aqua Club. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- "BSAC HQ". British Sub-Aqua Club. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Geraint, J.; Campbell, K (1996). Handbook of sports and recreational building design. 3. Sports Council, Technical Unit for Sport. Architectural Press. p. 191. ISBN 0-7506-2256-3. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
- "HRH The Duke of Cambridge takes the lead at BSAC". British Sub-Aqua Club. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- Vallintine, R. The Club: A celebration of the history of the British Sub-Aqua Club 1953-2003. Circle Books. ISBN 978-0-9538919-5-5.
- BSAC. "Section 1.1 A Brief History of the British Sub-Aqua Club". BSAC. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- "C.M.A.S.". Luigi Ferraro's official site. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Adkisson, G (1991). "The BS-AC '88 decompression tables". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal. 21 (1). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Allen, C (1996). "BSAC gives the OK to nitrox. reprinted from Diver 1995; 40(5) May: 35-36.". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal. 26 (4). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- "(CMAS / BSAC) The Chronology". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "Sporting activities and Governing Bodies recognised by the Sports Councils" (PDF). UK Sport. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "Diver Grade Training Courses". British Sub Aqua Club. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- "Instructor progression flowchart". British Sub Aqua Club. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Sport Diving: The British Sub Aqua Club Diving Manual, 1985, Stanley Paul & Co. London, page 244.
- Sport Diving: The British Sub Aqua Club Diving Manual, 1985, Stanley Paul & Co. London, pages 244 & 245.
- "CMAS Equivalency Cards". BSAC. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Club Crossover Guidance Chart Re Equivalent Qualifications," (PDF). Sub Aqua Association. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Skill Development Courses (SDCs)". British Sub Aqua Club. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "EUF Certified Training Systems/Training Organisations". EUF Certification International. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- "BSAC EUF accreditation maintained". British Sub-Aqua Club. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- "Snorkel Grade Training". BSAC. Archived from the original on 26 March 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Become a Snorkelling Instructor". BSAC. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- British Sub-Aqua Club - BSAC main site
- British Sub-Aqua Club - BSAC Travel Club
- British Sub-Aqua Club - BSAC Snorkelling
- BSAC Japan
- BSAC Korea
- BSAC Thailand