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Can any of you guys n gals out there help?

I'm a Padi OWD with 30 odd dives with an intension of heading for AOWD & RD soon.

My dilema is whether to stay with P£DI or go BSAC!

Can any of give pro's / con's on which way to go, benefits and where I would fit in with BSAC, as I don't really want to start from scratch again!

I know books could be written on this subject but a few subtle pointers would be good.

TIA
 

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PADI you'd enter as BSAC Ocean Diver (with 1 or 2 lectures on tables and about bsac i think).

The next BSAC grade (Sport Diver) is roughly equivalent to PADI rescue diver.

As for pros/cons - it'll be a hornets nest.

If you want to dive in the UK and have a BSAC club nearby then you wouldnt be short of buddies and training would be included in the membership fees.

If you dont/want to dive abroad/dont want to join a club then its PADI

Im not saying more than that because i dont want to start a mammouth flame war:)
 

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<font color='#000F22'>Go to surface interval and look for a thread entitled "training advice please" started by Tom, (or search for it),  if I was clever and knew how to do these things I would post a link but I don't so I shalln't.
 

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Hey Frogman,

This convo came up on the BSAC forum recently, see here:

P£DI or BSAC

Hope this helps mate and let us know how you get on.

Cheers,
 

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<font color='#810541'>First let me say - I'm a BSAC member so my views may be a bit skewed but I've dived with BSAC, PADI and even CMAS qualified divers in my relatively short diving career and both they and I are still alive to tell the tale, and we haven't fallen out over anything diving related.

I am lucky in that I am quite easily able to travel abroad as a result of my work for a holiday company.  I wanted to learn to dive so that I could do some holiday bimbling underwater, having spent the previous couple of holidays in the water snorkelling more than I was on land.  I never even considered diving in the UK.

On my last holiday before learning to dive, I very nearly did a 3 day PADI course in the resort, it was only becuase my wife didn't want to be sat on her own by the pool for 3 of the last 5 days of our holiday that I didn't do the course.

I returned home and determined to learn to dive in the uk, with the idea that I could do poolwork and theory in the uk and complete OW stuff abroad.  I found a couple of places nearby that did PADI training, and I was very close to starting the course when a colleague told me about BSAC.  I'd never heard of BSAC before that conversation, funnily enough.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I went for a try dive with a local BSAC club, then signed up for the course in January 02 and went on to complete my Club diver (forerunner of Ocean Diver) in about 5 months.  (Seems like a long time - I claim the birth of my first child during the course as a mitigating factor, and I missed some open water lessons and had to fit them in later).  I then went on to do a couple more sea dives in the UK and completed Sports Diver in the November.  Something happened along the way that I can't really fathom, and certainly never expected to.  I found that I really liked diving in the UK; it wasn't as cold as I expected, there was a lot more sea life than I expected, and my first experience of a wreck (the Countess of Erne in Portland Harbour) was quite wonderful.  I think the bug really bit me when I completed my Club diver qualification at Stack Rock off Pembrokeshire; with pretty clear water and even a Seal sunbathing on the surface.

Anyway, what has this got to do with Padi / Bsac?  The thing for me - and this is very personal to me, may not affect you - is that whilst building up my confidence level it was, and is, important to me to be in a club environment.  It means that I can buddy up with a fairly close group of people and learn from them as / if necessary.  It also meant that I was able to get more diving done that I would have done if I had not been in a club (I would have felt uncomfortable simply joining a dive with people I didn't know when I was a complete novice).  I've made some friends in the club and there is a small sub-group who are diving the sort of things that I want to do; most of my club is single cylinder no-stop dives, I want to develop into extended ranges both in terms of depth and run time; again, joining folks who I did not know for this kind of experience would not have felt comfortable.

So for me, the benefit of BSAC is the club network.  That is not necessarily restricted to BSAC though, as there are diving clubs not affiliated to BSAC that may be attached to a LDS.  The BSAC club also includes a training aspect - that is also useful and a benefit to me.  I don't see myself as limited to BSAC, however, and I am considering other agency training courses for specialities (notably the NAS underwater archaeology course).  

There is a another side to the BSAC system that may be less attractive, which is that not all of your learning is just for your own benefit in all cases.  I went on the BSAC boat handling course, for example, and it occurred to me that whilst it's fun to whizz about in the club rib, my passing the course was also for the benefit of the club, as the more people who can drive the boat, potentially the more chance there is of getting boat / divers away more often.  The same is true of instructor grades; it's for the benefit of the club rather than yourself (altough I'm sure there must be a huge amount of personal satisfaction in teaching - just seeing the look on people's faces after their first open water lessons is proof of that).

One other drawback with BSAC that I have heard mentioned on other forums is the fact that politics can cause conflict in the club.  I'm afraid my view on that is you can put 10 people in a club together for ANY reason and before too long you will have factions, fallings out and probably only 8 people left.  Politics happens - it's up to you to rise above it, play the game or get caught up in it, depending on your personal preference.  Me, I ignore it.

So, BSAC works for me at the moment.  I would not have done as much UK diving without my club, I intend to spread my wings a little next year and hope to make it on a YD dive gig or even go and book a space on a hardboat independently.  If you like the idea of a club of people you share at least one interest with (a 'real' club, rather than this 'virtual' one), then it may work for you too.

Hmmm, rambled on for too long there, sorry about that.  Hope it helps anyway.  I've reread what I have said and I don't think it'll start a flame war - if anyone is incensed by anything please let me know as I will happily remove the offending article.

TTFN

Andy (BSAC 1105 Enfield)
 

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I'm a BSAC Instructor so obviously a little biased, it's a good cheap way to learn/improve your diving, the Instuctor route is extremely good value, but you do it for free so no income from nice dive spots abroad. I also have TDI quals so I'm not exclusively BSAC

I don't think I can add anything more to the constructive comments made by others above, except here's a url to find a local branch if you wanna go BSAC. I'd advise checking out the club memberbase before committing, some clubs are full of nice people, some are run by a bunch of ****s. Membership fees for BSAC are fixed (think yours would be £37.50 per annum, membership fees for the actual branch vary a great deal as does what you can expect for your money. The skill development courses are also very very reasonable .
HTH
Steve
http://www.bsac.org/branches/branchlist.htm
 

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Think the comments on the BSAC PADI thing are balanced.
Don't think anyones mentioned the S.A.A. who also offer a similar Club Training structure. http://www.saa.org.uk/
Am I right in thinking BSAC Can no longer issue CMAS cards  acceptable and(showing your equivalent qualifications) abroad. As I understand it the SAA has taken this over.
 

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Andy & Handy,

The cards are done through SAA. So while BSAC issue them they have the CMAS Qual on one side and the BSAC and SAA badges / qual on the other.

Its all part of BSAC pulling out of CMAS despite being a founder member (The same guy Peter Small basically co-founded both organisations), due to CMAS breaking their own constitution.

SAA are representing BSAC interests within CMAS now.

Regards

Paul
 

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<font color='#FF0000'>As a Bsac Sport diver just crossing the other way I can con firm that you would come in at ocean diver with a padi open water cirt however advanced open water would equaint to sport diver and Rescue diver to dive leader which is exactly what I am doing at the moment.
 

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<font color='#810541'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (louigi @ Nov. 03 2003,18:13)]As a Bsac Sport diver just crossing the other way I can con firm that you would come in at ocean diver with a padi open water cirt however advanced open water would equaint to sport diver and Rescue diver to dive leader which is exactly what I am doing at the moment.
errr ......... don't think so.  See attached link,

Link to statement of alternative training

PADI Divemaster = Dive Leader
PADI Rescue = Sports diver
PADI OWD / AOWD / AOWD Plus (what's that?) = Ocean Diver

Andy
 

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It's like changing schools, they always put you back a year!!

Dive Leader and Dive master equal under BSACs rules, and Dive Leader and Rescue Diver equal under PADIs.

All quite petty really.
 

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Quick update for y'all.

I called my local friendly BSAC branch explaining my qualifications, experience diving plans. The recruitment chap offered social nights, 2 RIB's & compressor to help make up my mind; I decided to go along to a pool night and meet the gang.

I was put through my paces in the pool with basic skills, bouyancy checks and even an unconcious diver rescue!

After being congratulated on my skills and confidence, which suprised me as I hadn't dived since July in Malta. I was then told where I would fit into BSAC - Sports diver; with a quick PADI-BSAC Conversion.

To conclude:-

BSAC - Don't right off every PADI diver you come across until you have dived with them!

PADI - Not all BSAC members are arogant anti-PADI C**ts!

Again, thanks for all your help and thoughts.

I have now decided that SSI is the way to go

LMAO

Ciao 4 now & dive safe
 
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