Diving: BSAC vs PADI

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by wellyhead, May 3, 2005.

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  1. Opinions on both courses please, I'm looking at getting come diving in and was aiming for BSAC, as it seems more "professional" if you know what I mean however the diving I may do is simply warm weather fun dives and PADI seems a lot more accessable abroad

    Any one done both ? Is there away to take experience across ?

  2. Unknown_Quantity

    Unknown_Quantity War Hero Moderator

    Done both and agree that PADI (Put Another Dollar In) is a bit mickey mouse. As far as I remember the courses are comparable and experience can be transfered easily. I got my PADI in 5 days, then on day 6 was given the BSAC basic qualification then went on to do the Sports Diver course with BSAC.
  3. One of the all time great debates, this one. There are some poor PADI centres out there but then again there are an awful lot of BSAC "anoraks" who seem determined to drive the fun out of any potential diver, before they actually see the equipment!

    The bottom line is that both are recognised qualifications. If you have either ticket then you can dive. However - how safe and "professional" you are is dictated by you not by your accreditting body. If you pass the ticket and then never think again of diving, except just before you jump in, then you are probably the kind of knob that makes being a rescue diver so much fun!!
  4. I have done both. BSAC takes ages to get quals, but it is much safer. PADI lets you watch a bit of a video to learn theory then do the theory - it can be a bit cowbay though.

    I would do PADI. I am a BSAC Member, but like the idea of diving immediately and not having to pay membership fees every year. But I will do as the Army uses BSAC. Use the links below to check out dive companies wherever you are going to wet your wellies.

    BSAC Website LINK

    PADI Website LINK

    BSAC is recognised world wide - normally as safer divers. Or is that just me?? :?

  5. If it's any help, I have not long taken up the sport. I went through a local BSAC club. I found them to be helpful and incredibly welcoming. I suspect it was a lot cheaper too. It was pretty fast getting through the pool sessions and seems very cheap to get in the water.
  6. Ouch,

    I am both a PADI and BSAC instructor, I have taught both for years.

    1. They are both safe, it is divers that ‘bend’ the rules that are a liability regardless of governing body.
    2. BSAC is an amateur club (defined by HSE) and PADI is a professional organization.
    3. Due to the charges PADI levees it has been able to plough a large amount of money into dive research.
    4. BSAC membership is on the decline and its accident rate is on the increase, and it attracts the club (lets talk a good dive rather than dive a good dive).

    Make you own mind up, PADI and BSAC work together to ensure safe diving worldwide and so it is more a matter of your choice as they both offer safety.

    As instructor, PADI course are better and more practical and you can always ensure quality instruction due to the tight quality standards.

    BSAC offer a great range of courses and they go very in depth.
  7. get in touch with the dive school at bovington in dorset its open to all arms and its FREE.. they can get you from ocean diver (bsac) up to dive leader(bsac) the only head shed on the course is the csm and he's chilled right out. the rest of the instructors are civvies. each course is a week long and they have got a great set up. when the weathers bad you dive inland at vobster quay, so you will get qualified no matter what.
    if that dont sink your boat then you need to get on ex grand prix in kenya and do it as part of advent training at watamu....
    there 2 ways to qualified for nearly nothing so theres no excuses....
  8. Which organisation you choose should depend on what sort of diving you want to do.
    The best way to describe the difference is that PADI bases most of its training on the fact that most of its students will be recreational holiday divers who will dive under the supervision of Dive Masters and guides. In BSAC the basis is to train divers to dive as an individual pair and reliant on each other for aid and rescue.
    If you can get on the course at Bovington it is possible sometimes to obtain both entry qualifications.
    If you are paying and only want to do holiday warm water diving then you would be wasting your money paying for BSAC membership each year and should go the PADI route.
    If however you want to dive most of the year round in the UK then you should opt for the BSAC quals.
    If you are thinking of joining a military diving club you have to hold a current BSAC qualification, membership and sports diving medical (not self certification). These rules do not all apply in the case of diving expeds.
    As you can see from Admin-Spice post she is more than a little bias toward PADI
    PADI is classed as a professional organisation not due its professionalism but due to the fact that it is a commercial profit making company.
    BSAC is a non-profit making armature dive club.
    I too have taught BSAC and PADI for many years.
    If you go to a reputable PADI school or a BSAC club (that’s run by people you get on with) you can’t go wrong.
  9. “PADI is classed as a professional organisation not due its professionalism”

    While agree on most aspects of your post, please try and give a fair representation, if you have undertaken an IDC you will know your above statement is not correct. Fundamentally both plan and conduct safe diving, however one works on a club ethos and the other just goes diving.
  10. Hello Pot this is kettle .... colour check over!

    I promote both PADI and BSAC and advise individuals which way is best dependent on what sort of diving they want to do.

    Both organisations have a great deal going for them and unfortunately few drawbacks.
  11. Fair one, I shall get back in my box!
  12. Good thread. There's good and bad in both these systems (and NAUI, SSI, Mexican Air Force etc) - I take from both. I mostly teach Bertie BSAC.. it's comprehensive and suited to the UK. PADI - the Dark Side - has plenty to offer, and a good service to the instructor (well it does cost). For instance, you get automatic updates to the PADI manual etc, whereas with BSAC it's sometimes a struggle to stay up-to-date. I've seen good and bad PADI schools. Their instructor:student ratios are high but then it's a commercial system and needs must, and they seem to have a fairly robust QA system.

    Fundamentally, achieving safe diving is not about quals or experience but informed common sense. I don't think it has been mentioned above, but JS sports diving is governed by an extra 'layer' of safety ruling (JSSADR) that includes the requirement for a JS Supervisor (SADS) to be on site during diving operations. The SADS will have been through a rigorous one-week assessment by JSSADC Bovisand, so it's likely you will be in capable hands. Consequently, the mil sports diving safety record is very good, and so it makes sense to dive with a mil branch or exped, whether you trained with Bertie or the Dark Side - and you can benefit from those nice AT grants. SADS is arguably equivalent to BSAC First Class Diver (in fact I did both in 1992 and found the SADS far more relevant). And no, it doesnt stand for 'Seldom Arranges Diving Safely'.
  13. Good post, but I have planned and conducted many expeds and diving courses and I think a SADS has little to offer and I do believe it stands for 'Seldom Arranges Diving Safely'. If the QA worked for SADS then I would be happy but it does not, I have seen some shocking things happen, I only know 1 SADS that I trust out of 9 that I have worked with! I have been working under the ACOP 1997 for many years and it covers all the aspects required.

    I feel that the system should provide a generic 2 day course 4 times a year for all instructional and supervisory staff (to teach or conduct diving in the Armed forces you need to attend one course every 12 months), this would ensure that the individual is ‘up to date’ a major area of concern with SADS. This would also stop the elitism created by such a course that no NGB recognizes.
  14. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    The SADS is only there for one purpose - to carry the can when it all goes wrong! They are also quite a useful focus for an exped/trip as everyone knows who is in charge which means that you don't often see the complete cluster that is many of our civilian (both BSAC & PADI) counterparts.

    Suggesting that everyone attends a course on an annual basis rather ignores the current world situation and is frankly unworkable given the number of NQIs in the forces. The rewritten JSSADR provide detailed guidance on what is acceptable whilst the bovi bulletin keeps everyone up to speed with the major developments. The requirement to supervise on an annual basis should also ensure that skills are up to date.

    It is easy to criticise the SADS system, and I often do it myself, but it is the best option available. As for working with unsafe SADS my suggestion would be to get qualified yourself and then you don't need to ... which is exactly the approach I adopted about 10 years ago!
  15. I was very happy with my PADI course. Doing it at Sharm el Sheikh made it even better.