The club offers a variety of Skills Development Course (SDCs). These are both beneficial to you as a diver, but also help the club to run more adventurous trips. If you have attended a skills development course with another agency (PADI, RYA etc) and BSAC recognises it you can apply for a certificate of alternative training. For information on all the SDCs covered, see the BSAC page. SDCs are advertised on the Calendar and organised by the Extended Training Officer. Please contact the ETO if there is a course you’d like to see run.

Details of our courses

You can find some of more information about SDCs that we run below.

Compressor Operation

Since 2018 we require that club members using the club compressor have attended a course on Compressor Operation. This course runs in about half a day and consists of both theory and practical sessions. If you would like to be trained on the BSAC compressor operator course please get in contact. We have several club members who are able to teach this course any time, and if you do not want to have the official qualification card we run it for an extremely low cost.

Gas Blending

The club has the facilities to blend nitrox mixes using the equipment we have in our stores. To blend your own mix we require you to have evidence of a suitable qualification and to have attended some training on our equipment. If you would like to become a gas blender we have a small number of people in the club who can run the BSAC nitrox gas blender course. Get in contact to ask us to run a course!

Boat Handling

UBUC has two inflatable boats which we use to visit offshore dive sites. To drive them you must hold either the BSAC Boat Handling qualification or RYA Level 2. It’s a practical boat-based course that gives each student plenty of time at the helm of a small dive boat to practise their skills, including how to drop and recover divers safely. We aim to run a Boat Handling and Diver Coxwain course every year, keep an eye on the information from the Committee!

VHF Radio Course

An essential piece of equipment on the boats is the radio! In order to use these we must have trained radio operators. Provided there is a qualified person on the boat anyone on the boat can use the radio – you should make sure to have a go when you can to make sure you are confident making a radio call.

The radio licenses are issued by Ofcom through the Royal Yacht Association (RYA). The RYA take most of the money for the course despite not running much of it.

To get this qualification is quite straightforward:

  1. Take a course
    There are various options for this, but it can be done online, such as with the Southwest Maritime Academy
    This usually costs around £70
  2. Take the exam
    This is also quite easy. You will have to go to a test centre and give another £60 to the RYA. The exam can be sat in about and hour and is mostly multiple choice. Again, the Southwest Maritime Academy will run this for you.

If you are interested in becoming a radio operator contact the committee as we have some of the course reference material and practice exam questions that you can look at.