Learn to Scuba Dive

If you are new to scuba diving then Birmingham BSAC 25's instructors will help you work towards gaining your Ocean Diver certification, the first step on the ladder of BSAC diving qualifications.

Diver training is flexible within a club environment and so it is usually possible to start whenever you are ready.

In the pool...

Ocean Diver pool training with Birmingham BSAC 25 at Stechford Cascades Your initial scuba dving training takes place in the controlled environment of the swimming pool during our Monday evening meetings at Stechford Cascades Leisure Centre in Birmingham.

Here, in small groups of no more than two trainees to each instructor, you'll learn essential scuba diving skills such as how to assemble and check the scuba unit, how to control your buoyancy so that you can 'hover' in mid-water and how to clear your mask should it fill with water. You will also practice rescue techniques that will enable you to deal safely with any difficulties that you or your future diving 'buddies' may experience whilst underwater.

The Stechford Cascades pool ranges in depth from less than 1m to just over 3m, with an underwater ramp down to its deepest area. This allows students to perform skills drills first in standing depth for comfort and safety, and then to move into deeper water to gain more of an appreciation of real diving. During our session the pool is rarely crowded as it is only open to our members and guests, and so provides a comfortable learning environment.

... and in the classroom

Ocean Diver student packYour practical training is supplemented by a series of presentations on diving theory, but don't worry, you won't need a degree in physics or physiology! The theory helps you to understand some of the reasons behind what you are taught in the pool so that you can enjoy the underwater environment safely. Topics also include features of scuba-diving equipment and what to look for when buying kit, planning dives (to avoid 'the bends'), different types of diving and an explanation of what to expect on your first real dive.

Normally we do the classroom training one hour per week before the pool session, but sometimes cover some or all of it in blocks at weekends if that suits students and their instructors.


Then in open water

Ocean Diver student kitting up for dive from Birmingham BSAC's boatIt takes about 6 to 8 weeks to complete the pool training so that you are ready to go diving. (You'll also need to demonstrate general water confidence and fitness by swimming 200m (8 lengths of the pool). This can be done at any time during your pool training period.)

Your first dive will usually take place at one of the inland sites close to the West Midlands: Dosthill Quarry near Tamworth (about 15 miles north-east of Birmingham) or slightly further afield at Stoney Cove near Leicester. We hold regular training days at weekends and, during the summer months, also train in the evenings.

There are a minimum of five qualifying dives during which you will practice the skills you learned in the pool and also gain experience of different diving conditions. As you complete your qualifying dives, you are encouraged to take part in a branch trip to the coast to gain experience of diving in the sea and to take your first trip out on our boat.


Diver checking suit inflator whilst preparing for open water drysuit scuba lesson with Birmingham BSAC 25Throughout your training period (and later as a qualified diver), you can hire diving equipment from us, although you will probably want to purchase the more personal items (mask, fins and snorkel) quite quickly. As your diving advances, we recommend that you purchase your own full set of equipment, but one of the advantages of a club environment is that you can see what works for others before you part with your cash, and also perhaps take advantage of second-hand offers on the club noticeboard.

For your open water dives, you will need either a wetsuit or a drysuit, which you must either buy or hire from a commercial outlet, but we can advise you on this at the time.

Ocean Diver qualification

On successful completion of the above, plus a short multiple choice theory assessment, you will become a BSAC Ocean Diver.

As such, you will have the essential knowledge and skills for open water diving with another similarly qualified diver to a maximum depth of 20m in familiar conditions, at a suitable dive site selected and supervised by a dive manager or guide; and to use nitrox (enriched air) as a breathing gas to increase dive safety.

Our members are encouraged to continue their diving education and to extend their experience in order to gain further qualifications in the BSAC scheme. From Ocean Diver, your next step with us is Sports Diver.


Contact Details

Find us on Monday evenings from 8.45pm at:

Stechford Cascades Leisure Centre

Station Road



B33 8QN

Tel: 07970 749486

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.bsac25.co.uk

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