You don't need to be an athlete but you do need to be a reasonable swimmer. When commencing training you will need to demonstrate that you are able to swim 200m in the pool.
Normally not, however Sub-aqua diving is a sport that requires general physical fitness and good health. Anyone with a medical history of diabetes, blackouts(epilepsy, etc), perforated eardrums, high blood pressure or heart disease, any lung or respiratory disorder (such as Asthma), or dependence on drugs, may not be able to dive safely and so MUST seek specialist advice before contemplating taking up this sport .
BSAC operate a self declaration system. Membership of BSAC requires all divers to complete a medical self-declaration form on joining and annually when re-joining. Also if a medical condition arises between these times, it is necessary to use this process.
Members can download a Self Declaration Form from this page.
You will need to discus this with your instructor who will ascertain exactly what training you have completed. Crossover courses are available which incorporate your existing training together with addition training to bring you up to BSAC standard.
You will be loaned club equipment until you achieve open water status. However, you may like to have your own mask, fins and snorkel once training starts. When you progress to training in a quarry or open sea you will eventually need your own wet suit. Your instructor will be please to offer advise. When you are qualified you will be encouraged to buy your own equipment although it is possible to rent club equipment for a small fee.
Although national BSAC policy accepts divers as young as 12, the North Glos Committee has determined that 14 is more appropriate age for diver training. To join North Glos BSAC 80 you need to be aged 16 years and over and medically fit. Parental approval is needed for anyone under the age of 18 years. The club will consider applications from younger persons, (min age 14), providing they are related to an existing or joining member who will take responsibility for them during club activities.
It will take around six months to become a qualified Ocean Diver (the first qualification within BSAC). Initially we try to complete one theory and one practical session per week, but this is not always possible. Much depends on the availability of instructors and your availability to attend training and lectures. Instruction is normally one to one, so if you find a particular aspect difficult you can take your time and get it right. You will not be pressurised to complete your training.
If you are in hurry to get your qualifications then perhaps the club environment may not be for you. There are BSAC and PADI recognised training schools where the training is more intense and and can be completed within a few days or weeks. The disadvantage is that these are commercial outfits who are in business to make a profit and so you will be charged. Rather like a pay as you go phone contract! North Glos BSAC on the other hand, is a not for profit club and all instructors give their time freely. You can of course complete your training elsewhere and then join our club.
How long does the qualification last?
Once qualified, you remain qualified for life. Obviously, if you have an extended break from diving before returning you should attend a suitable refresher course.
Will my qualification be recognised abroad?
Yes – BASC qualifications are internationally recognised. Generally you will find BSAC qualifications to be highly regarded