A new Advanced Ocean Diver qualification has been added to the British Sub-Aqua Club’s range of courses, designed to be a “next step” between its entry-level Ocean Diver and Sport Diver grades. It allows newer divers to extend their diving depth to 30m, says the club.
BSAC says it has devised the optional course to give new scuba divers choice and flexibility, while helping its commercial centres and branches in what it describes as “an increasingly competitive market”.
The AOD course is available to all Ocean Divers (or divers with equivalent certification from another recognised diver training agency who have also completed nitrox training) aged 14 and over.
It includes four theory sessions that can be completed via eLearning or in person with an instructor, plus two open-water lessons and two depth-progression dives. Dive-centres can complete the course in two days, with no time-limit set for clubs.
Once qualified, AODs can conduct no-decompression dives to 30m accompanied by a Sports Diver or equivalent and above.
“Advanced Ocean Diver will not only support our centres to remain competitive in both the overseas and UK entry-level diving market, but will be a real asset for our clubs,” said BSAC’s head of diving and training Dom Robinson.
“By giving new divers more choice in how and when they progress their diving, AOD can mean greater retention for our clubs as well as more member-recruitment opportunities, especially with new divers who have learnt overseas.
“Advanced Ocean Diver does not replace Sports Diver, but can be used as a stepping stone that expands the opportunities available to divers as they progress towards this important grade.”
Existing Sports Diver trainees can apply for the AOD qualification card once they have completed the relevant components of the course, details of which can found here.