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lemoncloud
September 23rd, 2009, 08:08 AM
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?

tridacna
September 23rd, 2009, 08:12 AM
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.

lemoncloud
September 23rd, 2009, 08:18 AM
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.

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

Ltstanfo
September 23rd, 2009, 08:44 AM
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

Sas
September 23rd, 2009, 09:45 AM
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.

victor
September 23rd, 2009, 09:52 AM
I agree with the majority votes for BSAC over PADI.

GrumpyOldGuy
September 23rd, 2009, 09:58 AM
BSAC will train you to a higher level than PADI (not very hard to do). Both agencies re recognized world wide.

tridacna
September 23rd, 2009, 10:59 AM
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

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.

SubMariner
September 23rd, 2009, 12:51 PM
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?

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.

lemoncloud
September 23rd, 2009, 01:04 PM
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

offthewall1
September 23rd, 2009, 01:25 PM
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?

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.

k374
September 23rd, 2009, 01:39 PM
wow, no love for PADI in these forums :coffee:

lemoncloud
September 23rd, 2009, 01:41 PM
wow, no love for PADI in these forums :coffee:

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:

Jax
September 23rd, 2009, 02:44 PM
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.


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

tridacna
September 23rd, 2009, 03:10 PM
? ? ? What is the difference between a cave and a cavern? :confused:

What Is Cave Diving? (http://www.cavediving.com/what/start/02.htm)

Jim Lapenta
September 23rd, 2009, 03:49 PM
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.

Hickdive
September 23rd, 2009, 04:05 PM
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.



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 (http://www.bsac.com/page.asp?section=594&sectionTitle=Diving+Course+Syllabus)

maged_mmh
September 23rd, 2009, 05:25 PM
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:

SubMariner
September 23rd, 2009, 05:32 PM
amazing how the subject of cave diving popped into picture, the Op didn't even hint that he's interested in such! :confused:

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


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

Sas
September 23rd, 2009, 06:32 PM
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.

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.

tridacna
September 23rd, 2009, 06:47 PM
amazing how the subject of cave diving popped into picture, the Op didn't even hint that he's interested in such! :confused::

From the OP.

"Or do, to name something, a cave diving course with Padi if I live at a place where no BSAC branch is available."

That's a strong hint! :crafty:

Sas
September 23rd, 2009, 06:49 PM
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:

NDL times are nearly identical between BSAC and PADI aren't they though? So not sure how it matters.

maged_mmh
September 23rd, 2009, 06:55 PM
NDL times are nearly identical between BSAC and PADI aren't they though? So not sure how it matters.
maybe but that's not inherited, they use different models: BSAC tables are comression tables; DSAT's are ND.
That's was an example to point out the difference in methodologies, yet, I concur most if not all divers are just riding their computers for that matter.

Sas
September 23rd, 2009, 07:30 PM
maybe but that's not inherited, they use different models: BSAC tables are comression tables; DSAT's are ND.
That's was an example to point out the difference in methodologies, yet, I concur most if not all divers are just riding their computers for that matter.

If they are almost identical for NDL, then I think criticisms seem irrelevant. BSAC uses a different definition of bottom time too, so that is something to keep in mind when you look at the BSAC tables.

For decompression there are differences, and I have heard (but not verified) that BSAC tables are more aggressive. What real life implications this has had (if any), I have no idea.

Also I don't think it is correct to assume that the BSAC tables were improvised, just because they have not revealed how they have been calculated. It might have been but you don't know :)

maged_mmh
September 23rd, 2009, 07:46 PM
If they are almost identical for NDL, then I think criticisms seem irrelevant. BSAC uses a different definition of bottom time too, so that is something to keep in mind when you look at the BSAC tables.

For decompression there are differences, and I have heard (but not verified) that BSAC tables are more aggressive. What real life implications this has had (if any), I have no idea.

Also I don't think it is correct to assume that the BSAC tables were improvised, just because they have not revealed how they have been calculated. It might have been but you don't know :)
can't see a rationale behind never disclosing their well guarded secret but anyway, as I stated that won't make their divers better nor worse than PADI's, it's just a human nature, for some of us, that we don't trust what we don't know - for myself I wouldn't regard them as validated tables :thinking:
Also, long story short, in recreational diving context, more agressive doesn't sound good at all, don't you think? :popcorn:

Hickdive
September 23rd, 2009, 08:25 PM
can't see a rationale behind never disclosing their well guarded secret

Well they're produced by BSAC under licence from Dr Hennessy. He's stated that he's not going to discuss them on internet forums but the underlying research has, apparently been published




Also, long story short, in recreational diving context, more agressive doesn't sound good at all, don't you think? :popcorn:

Here's Lippman's take on them, Table 11.11 makes interesting reading, don't you agree?:popcorn:

The essentials of deeper sport ... - Google Books (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bMIDIiAbx5gC&pg=PT146&lpg=PT146&dq=Dr+Tom+Hennessy+BSAC&source=bl&ots=iOc3GLGpg0&sig=hGDiScormm_FPB2aCQsFpM_PyWA&hl=en&ei=pri6SsyTIJSNjAe3he2oCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false)

Sas
September 23rd, 2009, 08:32 PM
Also, long story short, in recreational diving context, more agressive doesn't sound good at all, don't you think? :popcorn:

Sure.

But, BSAC and PADI tables are very similar in a recreational diving context though? I.e. NDL dives. So this statement is not really relevant to NDL diving with BSAC or PADI tables. Though I notice in the previous post that the Lippmann book says that the BSAC tables are more conservative for NDL diving actually... Interesting. I know they are similar but I was not sure which was more conservative.

maged_mmh
September 23rd, 2009, 08:59 PM
Well they're produced by BSAC under licence from Dr Hennessy. He's stated that he's not going to discuss them on internet forums but the underlying research has, apparently been published




Here's Lippman's take on them, Table 11.11 makes interesting reading, don't you agree?:popcorn:

The essentials of deeper sport ... - Google Books (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bMIDIiAbx5gC&pg=PT146&lpg=PT146&dq=Dr+Tom+Hennessy+BSAC&source=bl&ots=iOc3GLGpg0&sig=hGDiScormm_FPB2aCQsFpM_PyWA&hl=en&ei=pri6SsyTIJSNjAe3he2oCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false)
AFAIK, nothing published... see this (http://www.dive-tech.co.uk/resources/decofordivers.pdf)- just at the middle of page#5


Sure.

But, BSAC and PADI tables are very similar in a recreational diving context though? I.e. NDL dives. So this statement is not really relevant to NDL diving with BSAC or PADI tables. Though I notice in the previous post that the Lippmann book says that the BSAC tables are more conservative for NDL diving actually... Interesting. I know they are similar but I was not sure which was more conservative.
as for Lippman's book; keep in mind BSAC has different definition for BT; not clear how Lippman based the comparison.
Now, in order not to drift from th OP enquiry; we're not discussing deco model are we? I just sited an example to emphasize a show-how approach versus know-how one - that's something to do with the agency's philosophy, would it make a difference in diving? no. are you feeling OK with their approach? for me I'm not.

lemoncloud
September 24th, 2009, 12:02 AM
Thanks a lot, interesting discussion!

One thing though, guys: Lets drop the cave or cavern diving thing. I already mentioned I just wrote it as some example of something that might not be on offer by everyone, if at all. Let me first do a basic diving course and then we see how things go on, ok? :shakehead: And it's 'she' btw, rather than 'he' :blinking:

maged_mmh: will pop by the BSAC club on Tuesday evening if I'm not offshore then and ask all the questions I have and see what my impression is. Otherwise hubby will have to go alone, or I'll send you a pm if anything specific comes to mind.

QatarDiver
September 24th, 2009, 12:21 AM
Hi Lemoncloud, I dive out here in Qatar as well, as others have said, check the instructor first. I've heard that the kit you can hire out here is often old and worn out. If you plan to dive more you will need the same BCD and reg set for here or colder water (if you get a cold water first stage), but try to buy on line or when you return to Europe, the prices here are way too high!

lemoncloud
September 24th, 2009, 12:36 AM
Hi Lemoncloud, I dive out here in Qatar as well, as others have said, check the instructor first. I've heard that the kit you can hire out here is often old and worn out. If you plan to dive more you will need the same BCD and reg set for here or colder water (if you get a cold water first stage), but try to buy on line or when you return to Europe, the prices here are way too high!

Thanks a lot, QatarDiver. Not really surprised about old equipment. Seen some working related stuff here where people in Europe would run away screaming :shakehead: I guess it'll have to do for now, and once I know where I'll spend the next couple of years I can buy equipment suitable for the water there... if there's divable water around at all.

Could you explain what a cold water first stage is? Not familiar with this vocabulary yet.

Hickdive
September 24th, 2009, 08:13 AM
A I just sited an example to emphasize a show-how approach versus know-how one - that's something to do with the agency's philosophy, would it make a difference in diving? no. are you feeling OK with their approach? for me I'm not.

Nope, it's do to do with Dr Hennessy's approach rather than BSAC's philosophy but, hey, why let the facts get in the way of your opinion?:shakehead:

AndrewA
September 24th, 2009, 08:27 AM
I know the local BSAC Regional Coach (a BSAC National Instructor) in Qatar and am sure that the training available will be first class. One big advantage to joining a BSAC club in our area is to have people to dive with on a regular and organised basis. (Most/all clubs will also welcome divers who have already trained with other agencies)

lemoncloud
September 24th, 2009, 09:40 AM
I talked to a colleague about the different options here today and learnt that he apparently had problems with his BSAC card at some holiday destinations as many smaller bases in SE Asia only accepted a Padi card. :depressed: Hmm...

Also the training there might be a bit more difficult with my job because the instructors are not paid professionals but enthusiasts and only offer courses once in a while and not when I'm around.

victor
September 26th, 2009, 05:29 AM
Lemoncloud
I have never heard of this, I have only been to Malaysia, & Bali but I have talked to many who have more experience than I and it has heard of it being an issue.


I talked to a colleague about the different options here today and learnt that he apparently had problems with his BSAC card at some holiday destinations as many smaller bases in SE Asia only accepted a Padi card. :depressed: Hmm...

BSAC is a club so training tends to be more regimented to dates than PADI buisnesses who are charging you for the training.
Also the training there might be a bit more difficult with my job because the instructors are not paid professionals but enthusiasts and only offer courses once in a while and not when I'm around.

The quality of the training is dependant on the teacher their are fantastic PADI & BSAC instructors however the bar to pass for BSAC is higher as there is no financial preasure to pass.
In the UK they train to the local water conditions, cold high current, etc so the level of training needs to be higher to insure safety as compared to the caribean or red sea.

Chat to the instructors, see who you get on with, watch a class, and speak to some students. Then get started, it is a fantastic sport.

Apecks
September 26th, 2009, 06:17 AM
I talked to a colleague about the different options here today and learnt that he apparently had problems with his BSAC card at some holiday destinations as many smaller bases in SE Asia only accepted a Padi card. :depressed: Hmm...

Also the training there might be a bit more difficult with my job because the instructors are not paid professionals but enthusiasts and only offer courses once in a while and not when I'm around.

You would not have a problem with most PADI dive centres here in Thailand. BSAC divers have a reputation for being well trained.

In fact BSAC have just started a local branch here:-

BSAC Thailand | Respected the World Over | Diver Training, Seamanship (http://www.bsacthailand.com/)

String
September 26th, 2009, 07:32 AM
BSAC is a much more rigorous and thorough course.

Not really. At entry level the syllabus is pretty identical to all the others. Its a 20m depth not 18m and they can lift a casualty to the surface. They dont do BC or weight remove or replace underwater, CESA and a few other things.

Other than that, no difference. You can do it in 4 days just like a PADI course. You produce divers that can do all the core skills but have absolutely no diving experience just like PADI.



I have yet to see a poorly trained BSAC diver.

Ive seen many. One of the advantages is also one of the disadvantages. Very little oversight of clubs and a lot of things can depend on who you know or how much the guy doing the course wants to put in. There are standards but they're hardly enforced at all so you could get a very good course or a very choppy one.

A BSAC qual has an ISO and EUF equivalent so like all the others is accepted in any dive centre anywhere in the world without issue so that isnt a problem.


BSAC is a club so training tends to be more regimented to dates than PADI buisnesses who are charging you for the training.

Not strictly true. BSAC is also a commercial agency with schools just like any PADI dive centre where you pay your money and do your course. BSAC can also produce 4 day wonders "for-profit". Instructors can get paid through a shop just like PADI. Its not all club based.

As for the tables i dont think anyone seriously dives the BSAC '88 bendomatics but the key point to remember is these are decompression tables - BSAC allows mandatory deco diving so their tables allow to play for it (quite how sufficient the training is for deco diving is a different matter entirely). The tables are not based on hypothetical tissue models etc and are derived from a secret formula from the guy that made them. EAD apparently doesnt work on them according to him.


Brutal truth is for entry level courses if you do it through a school you're going to get pretty much the same training and content through BSAC as you will any other agency.
Club based training takes longer (typically 9 months to train a diver), has the same syllabus but they get LOTS more pool dives and OW dives in between so can emerge a lot more experienced doing it that way. However, due to the lack of oversight etc you may get skipped or poor club training depending entirely on the attitude and ability of the instructor in that club.

---
Richard Whitcombe (BSAC OWI and Diving Officer of a BSAC Club. Also PADI MSDT).

Deep29
August 22nd, 2011, 11:13 AM
I Qatar its simple, it you want to join a gentleman's club who sit at the beach all day, join BSAC, if you want to dive join PADI...

GrumpyOldGuy
August 22nd, 2011, 12:12 PM
I Qatar its simple, it you want to join a gentleman's club who sit at the beach all day, join BSAC, if you want to dive join PADI...

And if you want to post a relevant response to a current thread, check the date first... old thread.:D

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