divers-pool-trainingAll our training is conducted by members of the club who are qualified BSAC instructors and volunteer their time.

Almost all our training takes place in-house. We have weekly use of a quality heated indoor swimming pool with enough depth for basic training and testing kit. Open water training is generally via the club boat in the diving season or at inland sites like Stoney Cove or Chepstow NDAC in the winter.

The British Sub Aqua Club has continuously developed its training programme for divers since its formation in 1953. The training programme reflects the requirements for safe diving in the prevailing conditions encountered in UK waters but is equally applicable throughout the world.O2 administration course

The snippets below explain the main diving grades available through BSAC, which we teach within the club. There are also Instructor grades which we can assist you with achieving - although the teaching is not generally carried out within the club although we do tend to sponsor our members if they plan to use the qualification to teach our members.

Give Diving a Try in Our Pool

Want to try diving?

try-dive-3aWe hold try dives most weeks at our regular training pool at Radley College Sports Centre. Almost anyone over the age of 12 can do a Try Dive.

It gives you the chance to sample an exciting sport and to gain an insight into the fascinating world beneath the waves.

Each try dive session is about one hour in duration, including poolside tuition on diving techniques and equipment. This is followed by a scuba dive in the pool with a BSAC qualified instructor.

After try dives we usually return to our clubhouse (in Hinksey Park, Lake Street, Oxford) to relax and chat about your first dive.

Like to Try? - Contact our Try Dive Coordinator Now

What do I need to do a Try Dive?

  • You need to be at least 12 years old to do a try dive. If you want to go on and become a diving member of our club you need to be at least 18, or have a family member who is a member (you can join together).
  • You need to have no known significant medical problems (especially heart conditions, serious ear or sinus problems, lung damage, asthma, fits or epilepsy). If you have any questions about medical restrictions, contact our Diving Officer.
  • Bring an old t-shirt to wear in water, as it helps stop the kit straps from rubbing.
  • We can lend you all the kit you’ll need. If you have your own mask and fins already, feel free to bring them.
  • And...a sense of adventure!
  • Check out this form - it will tell you a little more Try Dive declaration and booking form (PDF)

present-147168 144Give Someone a Try-Dive as a Present?

Yes, we can organise a try dive for a birthday, Christmas, thank-you, congratulations or whatever the occasion may be. Contact our Try Dive Coordinator now

We are also open to other clubs and organisations in the area, which want to try something different for an evening. For more information simply contact the Club Secretary. 


What comes next?

A try dive can help you save time and money by finding out in advance if you like diving. In the equivalent of 4-6 days continuous training you could be a BSAC Ocean Diver. This scuba qualification will enable you to witness first-hand the wonders of coral reefs, the host of marine life that they support, shipwrecks and a lot more.

 Like to Try?

Contact our Try Dive Coordinator now


Radley College Pool

try-dive-6We use what we consider to be one of the finest pools in Oxfordshire, as far as diver training is concerned. This is situated in Radley College, a private school located a few miles south of Oxford.

We hire the pool on a Friday evening from 7:30pm to 8:30pm, although be there by 7:15pm to find a space to park. The pool is open most weeks and is not only for diver training, but is also available for family members to come swimming and snorkeling.

Map and Directions

If you have a satnav system, Radley College's postcode is OX14 2HR - BUT this will take you into the main school complex, whereas you need the Sports Hall entrance. Heading south from Oxford, the Sports Hall is the second entrance to the College (on your right off Kennington Road).

If you are more traditional, there should be a form on the map below which will allow you to enter your postcode and get some directions to print off. If that is too modern for you the address is: Radley College, Kennington Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR - and there are traditional directions on this page on the College's website.

Statement of Alternative Training (SALT) Table

Anyone is welcome to join our BSAC club, however they have learned to dive. BSAC provide the following table to make sense of all the different diving qualifications, and how they are considered in the BSAC system.

As the governing body for UK diving, BSAC has a responsibility to ensure that diving qualifications suit the conditions of UK diving. Where additional training is required to improve your grade this can usually be carried out within the club. 

It is possible to:

  1. join BSAC and further your training and gain more expertise with BSAC, or
  2. join BSAC and not continue your training, or
  3. join BSAC and further your training with another agency

Diver Training Organisation


All ‘Entry Level’ qualifications (which typically do
not include rescue training) such as:
CMAS One Star Diver
NASDS Open Water Diver and Advanced Open
Water Diver
NAUI Scuba Diver and Advanced Scuba Diver
PADI Open Water Diver
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver/AOWD Plus
Royal Navy Ships Diver
SAA Open Water Diver
SSI Open Water Diver and Advanced Open
Water Diver

Ocean Diver

All ‘Second Level’ qualifications (which must
include rescue training) such as:
CMAS Two Star Diver
HSE Commercial Diver:
HSE Scuba Diver/HSE Surface Supply Diver/HSE
Surface Supply (Top Up) Diver/HSE Closed Bell
Diver (formerly HSE Diver Part 4, 3, 1 and 2
NASDS Rescue Diver
NAUI Scuba Rescue Diver
PADI Rescue Diver
SAA Club Diver
SSAC Third Class Diver/Sports Diver
SSI Advanced Open Water Diver with ‘Stress
and Rescue’ Speciality
Army Compressed Air Diver

Sports Diver

All ‘Third Level’ qualifications (which must include
dive leadership training) such as:
NASDS Dive Supervisor
NAUI Divemaster
PADI Divemaster
SAA Dive Leader
SSI Dive Control Specialist

Dive Leader

Any higher level of qualification, such as:
CMAS Three Star Diver
SAA Dive Supervisor
SSAC Second Class Diver/ Master Diver
Because of the variation allowed in training for the
higher diving qualifications awarded by US diver
training agencies, BSAC is unable to accept them
as being of a similar standard to BSAC Advanced
However, Branch Diving Officers can judge
additional experience and training on a case-by-case


There is one higher level - First Class Diver - but there is no equivalent level in other organisations. There are also different instructor levels. Full details can be found in the following pdf DIVERS QUALIFIED WITH OTHER AGENCIES

Considering all the benefits of our club, we think you will find the membership fees very reasonable especially when paid by direct debit.


  • Ocean Diver

    If you've always wanted to learn how to dive, this course is for you. If you’d like to give diving a try first, find out more about our try dives

    If you’d like to give diving a try first, find out more about our try dives[P1] .


  • Sports Diver

    BSAC Sports Diver training builds on the scuba skills you learnt in the Ocean Diver course (or entry level qualification from another agency) and helps develop your confidence, skills and experience in the water to allow you to enjoy a wider range of diving sites and conditions.

  • Dive Leader

    As a BSAC Dive Leader you are are becoming an expert in your field of dive leadership. You will also be competent in planning dives for groups of divers and managing diving on the day including, if necessary, managing rescue situations.

  • Advanced Diver

    As a BSAC Advanced Diver you are a highly qualified branch diver. This course is for divers who are interested in further extending their skills in planning and supervising diving groups and rescue management skills, whilst building seamanship and developing further leadership qualities.

  • First Class Diver

    BSAC's highest diving grade requires a higher than average level of theoretical knowledge, organisational and personal diving skills. First Class Diver is a very challenging award to achieve.

  • Try Dive

    If you fancy scuba diving, the best way to find out if it's for you is to take a try dive.

  • General

    General details about training including details for people who have already qualified as divers with other agencies.

  • It Happened to Me

Additional information

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