Dive Leader Course

Dive_Leader_CourseAs a BSAC Dive Leader, you 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. This comprehensive course is a mix of classroom-based and practical lessons that will give divers confidence to plan, lead and manage dives, and deal with emergencies. Leading a dive will develop enjoyment, confidence and experience as a diver. After qualifying, and if you wish, depth can be built progressively to a maximum of 50m. Dive Leaders are eligible to progress to Open Water Instructor.


To enrol on the BSAC Dive Leader Course you must be 14 years or older*. You must have already successfully completed a BSAC Sports Diver course (or qualifying certification from another recognised training agency).

*Sports Divers who are aged 12-14 are able to complete those elements of Dive Leader that do not require depths in excess of 20m)

What you’ll learn

You will learn dive leadership skills through 12 classroom lessons, seven open water dives, two dry practical lessons and 20 dives (which may include the open water lessons) in a range of conditions. The BSAC Dive Leader course covers the role of the BSAC Dive Leader, Dive Planning and Management, Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) use (midwater deployment), dive leading demonstrations, basic life support with Oxygen administration and practical management of diving incidents, casualty assessment, dive planning, shot recovery by simple lift and review of rescue skills.

Qualification and what that means

A BSAC Dive Leader is defined as a diver who:

  • can plan and lead a range of dives including those requiring detailed dive, gas and decompression requirements planning.
  • has rescue management skills.
  • is competent to manage and supervise branch dives to locations well known to the branch.
  • can conduct dives with divers of any grade, to expand their experience beyond that previously encountered by those divers, under the supervision of a Dive Manager.
  • can conduct experience building dives with trainee Ocean Divers, within the restrictions of the conditions already encountered by the trainee Ocean Diver, and under the supervision of a Dive Manager.

Learning materials

You will be given a pack as part of your course which includes all the learning materials you need for the BSAC Dive Leader course. The pack includes Qualification Card application, an A5 binder with your Student Diver Notes and the Dive Leading Manual.

Recommended gear

At this stage in your diving development, you will most already own much of your own diving equipment such as mask, fins, snorkel, BC, regulators, computer and DSMB. We would also recommend some other items (if you don’t have them already) including:

Waterproof first aid kit

Diver safety pack

Dive management boat slate

View products to go with your BSAC Dive Leader course

How to do this course

You can do this course by joining a local BSAC club and training with other club members, or at a BSAC Centre where you can usually do the course in six days.

* The BSAC Dive Leader course normally takes six days but is weather dependent and could take longer. Where club training is spread over a number of evenings and weekends then total time commitment can be much longer.

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Your next steps

After this course, you could further your training by doing the BSAC Advanced Diver course (the next Diver Grade course). This course will increase your confidence further, broaden your diving knowledge and allow you to take part in some really exciting adventure dives.

You could also sign up for one of the 30+ Skill Development Courses (SDCs) to develop specific skills such as Dive UK, First Aid for Divers, Boat Handling, Oxygen Administration or Drysuit training.

BSAC Dive Leaders can also further their diving development in a BSAC branch by planning and leading some more adventure dives. You can explore new areas as part of branch diving activities.

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