Padi or BSAC?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by lemoncloud, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. lemoncloud

    lemoncloud Angel Fish

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    Hello,

    at my current place, Doha I can chose between a Padi course and a course from the local branch of the British Sub Aqua club. The BSAC is cheaper, and the diving course include a club membership with would allow me to go diving with those guys. The alternative probably is to go on dives organised by local 5-star hotels, which probably are quite pricey. Of course I can also do a Padi course and still become a member of the BSAC.

    The Brits have material for joining if one did a Padi course. But what about the other way around? How recognised is the BSAC worldwide? I'm mainly wondering because I'll move to Denmark early next year for a short period, and then hopefully to a different country every few years and I don't want to end up with a brevet which I cannot use outside this organization. If both are equally recognised then I'd chose the cheaper one. I don't see myself buying own diving equipment anytime soon.

    What would you do?
     
  2. tridacna

    tridacna Surface Interval Member

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    BSAC is a much more rigorous and thorough course. It is accepted all over the world - so no problems there. Assuming that you have a good instructor, I would pick BSAC over PADI for certification. I have yet to see a poorly trained BSAC diver.
     
  3. lemoncloud

    lemoncloud Angel Fish

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    Ah, some good information here. Thanks a lot. I've never heard about BSAC before to be honest. What I'm wondering is if I can join them, and go diving with a Padi base on holiday for example. Or do, to name something, a cave diving course with Padi if I live at a place where no BSAC branch is available. My job does bring me to places where I might not have a choice
     
  4. Ltstanfo

    Ltstanfo Barracuda

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    As mentioned previously, BSAC is a (well) recognized SCUBA certification agency. PADI facilities will accept your c-card should you choose to take additional courses from them.

    Regards,
    Ltstanfo
     
  5. Sas

    Sas Orca

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    I've found BSAC much more thorough training-wise than SSI (the other main place I've done training with and pretty much the same as PADI). I'd go with BSAC, personally.
     
  6. victor

    victor Loggerhead Turtle

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    I agree with the majority votes for BSAC over PADI.
     
  7. GrumpyOldGuy

    GrumpyOldGuy Great White

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    BSAC will train you to a higher level than PADI (not very hard to do). Both agencies re recognized world wide.
     
  8. tridacna

    tridacna Surface Interval Member

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    I do not believe that PADI offers cave courses.

    BSAC is accepted all over the world. After you complete your BSAC Open Water, you will be able to do other PADI courses too. Personally, I would avail myself of BSAC instruction as much as possible. I did some training with BSAC and it was light years better than anything that I've received from PADI or SSI. BSAC is a non-profit; The others are motivated to get maximum $$ from you.
     
  9. SubMariner

    SubMariner Victim of The Pogrom ScubaBoard Supporter

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    First & foremost, do some research on the INSTRUCTORS. Get references. Follow up on them. Choose an Instructor who will help you achieve your goals in a way that fits with YOU personally.

    DO NOT choose a course based on price.
    DO NOT choose a course based on agency.

    BOTH BSAC and PADI are recognized world wide. However, PADI does not do a CAVE course, only cavern. I don't know if BSAC does cave... you'll have to ask them.

     
  10. lemoncloud

    lemoncloud Angel Fish

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    Thanks a lot for your answers. I will have to go to the BSAC club evening as they only offer all the info I want on a members only website, and likewise they don't give a contact telephone number on their public website *sigh* On the other hand it might be easier to find diving buddies amongst Westerners. I had to do an offshore survival course with some regional people who refused to do certain exercises with me, being a woman.

    One question I definitely have for the BSAC is if they have sufficient diving material to rent out, and in my size. I don't see myself buying everything right now, and especially not as I'll go from tropical to cold water, to unknown within less than 1.5 years.

    And I'd also like to know if I need to do the dives within a certain time or not. I'm often away for work, and sometimes rather unplanned. Availability of those basic dives might be a problem with a smaller club.

    re Cave: was just an example. Could not come up with anything else O_O
     
  11. offthewall1

    offthewall1 Scuba Instructor

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    Toss a coin... unless you know the Instructors personally, it is much more about the Instructor than the agency. This discussion is brought up over and over. This agency vs that agency. The answer is always the same. The Instructor is more important than the agency.
     
  12. k374

    k374 Manta Ray

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    wow, no love for PADI in these forums :coffee:
     
  13. lemoncloud

    lemoncloud Angel Fish

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    My impression exactly :)
    Oh well... it's the only organisation I ever heard about, and now I learnt there are many others that are apparently equally recognised :rofl3:
     
  14. Jax

    Jax Could not care less..... ScubaBoard Supporter

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    ? ? ? What is the difference between a cave and a cavern? :confused:
     
  15. tridacna

    tridacna Surface Interval Member

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    What Is Cave Diving?
     
  16. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Tech Diver

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    There is little similarity between BSAC and PADI other than they both train divers. The comparison stops shortly after. BSAC Ow courses are much more comprehensive, include alot more information and have more rigorous skills requirements. As such I would think from my research, and talking to BSAC divers I know personally, it would be tough to find a bad or even marginal BSAC instructor. They know their stuff.
     
  17. Hickdive

    Hickdive Manta Ray

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    BSAC does not offer any cave or cavern training.

    Instructor quality is no better or worse in BSAC than it is in any other organisation.

    At the basic level the instruction is pretty much the same, e.g. mask-clearing is mask-clearing regardless of who teaches it.

    With the exception of instructors working in the relatively few BSAC schools around the world, the vast majority of BSAC instructors are amateurs who train for the love of the sport rather than reward. Therefore expecting or demanding that they achieve your goals in a way that suits you personally will almost certainly leave you disappointed.

    They will train you to BSAC standards, they will mould the training to fit you (e.g. there is no prescribed BSAC way of teaching any particular skill so instructors are free to adapt as long as their trainees attain the required proficiency in the skill) but you will be expected to fit in with their timetable.

    I don't know any BSAC instructor who wouldn't do their absolute best to train you in a manner that suits you but, since you're not paying for their time, there will be limits, be prepared for that.

    Well-run BSAC clubs will have a clearly-defined schedule of training but if you don't master skill x in time y then you won't be certified and you may have to wait for remedial training.

    Some BSAC clubs have extensive supplies of equipment for loan/rent to trainees, others rely on club members to loan out personal kit and some insist on you organising purchase or rental of gear from a LDS. Only individual clubs can tell you what their policies are.

    In short, if you are cash-rich but time poor you may be better off with a PADI school. If, OTOH, you have time to invest and don't need to be certified tomorrow then you may be better of with BSAC.

    Here's an explanation of the BSAC diving grades along with brief course outlines for each one, entry-level training is Ocean Diver;

    Diving Course Syllabus - British Sub Aqua Club
     
  18. maged_mmh

    maged_mmh Scuba Instructor

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    amazing how the subject of cave diving popped into picture, the Op didn't even hint that he's interested in such! :confused:
    To the OP: one more thing to keep in mind, that in your own words: PADI is by far is the most popular; that means it holds the biggest number of divers & instructors; now if you question who many bad divers/instructors are out there, talking absolute numbers, sure you'll find a lot, but let's take it as a percentage from the total certified number of PADI and any other given organisation :eyebrow: - bottom line with all due respect to all above mentioned, if you're flaming PADI just because of their successful marketing and jealosy of their market share, I'm sorry to say this point is moot, I'd like to see a professional criticism that questions PADI standards, I'm sure I'll see none, noone can guarantee you that any instructor for whatever organisation will adhere to that organisation standard though (PADI or any else). your best bet: follow the leader but chose a good instructor - Walter had a good post a while ago about how to chose a good instructor (a sticky maybe?); Doha BSAC has PADI instructors within their club as well, would be a good idea to talk to these guys since they teach both systems and can, if they want to help you chose among them. BTW, I live in Qatar at the moment, feel free to PM me for any help).
    One more thing: PADI DSAT dive tables are developed according to scientific methodology; whereas BSAC tables seems to be improvised IMO, as they never did nor going to expose how they came up with them (no, they're not based on the Navy's like SSI & CMAS)
    :outtahere:
     
  19. SubMariner

    SubMariner Victim of The Pogrom ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Umm... yes, there was mention of cave diving; see below:

     
  20. Sas

    Sas Orca

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    No, not true. You clearly haven't read the standards of some agencies if you think they are all equivalent to PADI.

    Also re the cave question. You don't have to do all your training through one agency so you can do Cave with a different agency than you did your OW with.
     

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