PADI Scuba Diving Courses
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the worlds' largest diver training agency and the Open Water Course is the most popular and recognised diving certification which is accepted at over 5,000 dive centres worldwide.
We offer a range of PADI diving scuba diving courses to suit each persons' level from 'Trial Dives' to the professional Instructor Course, and can cater for all ages from 8 years and above. We have tried to answer as many of your frequently questions towards at the bottom of this page.
Childrens PADI Scuba Diving Courses (8 years+)
Bubblemaker (8+) - Have a go in a swimming pool
Seal Team (8+) - Weekly dive club
Childrens Parties - A fun and original idea
Adult PADI Scuba Diving Courses (10 years+)
Discover Scuba - A taster session, ideal if you're not sure if it's for you!
Open Water Courses - If you've always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, discover new adventures or simply see the wondrous world beneath the waves, this is where it starts.
Advanced Open Water Course - Gain more experience and learn to dive to 30m
Specialty Diving Courses - Have fun, gain experience and be safer
Refresher - Keep your skills and knowledge up to date
Emergency First Response - First Aid course (required to do the Rescue Course)
Rescue Diver - Look after yourself and others
Master Scuba Diver - The highest non-professional rating, the black belt of the diving world
Nitrox Course - Stay under longer and feel less tired
Divemaster - Become a dive leader and PADI professional
Your Questions Answered:
Who Can Dive?
Virtually anyone who is in good health, reasonably fit and comfortable in the water. If you answer 'Yes' to any of the medical questions on the PADI Forms then you would need a note from your GP saying that you are okay to dive. If you would prefer a professional dive medic to take a look at you then we suggest the London Diving Chamber.
I'm not sure if online learning is for me?
Learning online is designed to make your life easier. It means you can do it where and when you like and we feel it is more thorough and allows you to retain the information longer. You can go at your own pace and don't have the added pressure of other students who might be faster or slower than you. Each section includes a presentation, video and a multiple choice quiz. It's very straight forward but it you didn't pass it then you can just retake it.
What to consider when selecting a dive centre?
We appreciate there are many dive centres out there and it is important that you select the one that is right for you. Before you decide you should find out the following information - how big is the class size, how big is their pool, where are they based, type of equipment used as well as price. Also search the name of the dive school followed by "review", this will let you know what other people thought of that dive school.
In answer to the questions above: our class sizes are a maximum of 6 students to 1 instructor (normal size is 3 to 4), our pools are between 18-30m long, we have 5 locations; Soho, Caterham, Egham, Oxford and Brighton and we offer a price match on all of our courses if you can find a cheaper price through a reputable school.
Do I have to be a good swimmer?
No, you just need to be comfortable in water. For the PADI Open Water course you must be able to float/tread water for 10 minutes and swim at least 200m. There is no time limit to complete the 200m and you can do it using any stroke you like.
How old do I have to be?
You can be as young as 8 years old to do the Bubblemaker course, or the PADI Open Water certification course can be taken from 10 years and upwards.
How long does it take to learn?
Trial dives and Bubblemakers take as little as one and a half hours. Our open water courses can be tailored to suit your timetable and learning needs but typically you do the theory at home (about 10 hours) and then 1/2 day / 2-3 evenings in the pool and one weekend to complete the open water dives.
Why Learn with us?
All our diving instructors are fully PADI qualified, are friendly patient and have travelled around the world gaining an understanding of local dive conditions. We have several convenient locations all of which have fantastic facilities. Our open water courses allow you to visit the pool as many times as you like until you are ready to hit the open water.
Do I need my own diving equipment?
No, we recommend that you have your own mask and snorkel but all diving equipment is included in the price of your course. Over time you'll probably want to build up your own set of kit so your instructor and office can recommend this. Equipment can be purchased over the phone, via our website www.oysterdivingshop.com and we can even bring kit to the pool for you to try on.
Can I cancel my course once I have booked?
To book the course we require full payment in advance unless an alternative payment scheme is agreed in advance in writing. Once booked the course is non-refundable. If you need to cancel or rearrange your course we require at least two weeks' notice. If more than two weeks notice is supplied we will be happy to change the course to an alternative date but this is subject to availability. If you are prevented from attending due to illness then we will refund the full cost of the course less a £25 administration charge providing you can produce a valid and relevant doctor’s letter. Failure to arrive within 20 minutes of the start of your course will result in the cancellation of your course.
Once I complete the Open Water course where can I dive?
Once qualified you can dive anywhere around the world in similar or better conditions that you learnt in. In reality most people go to a reputable dive centre and are given a dive guide who is familiar with the dive site and can point out the best bits.
What if I don't like it once I start?
This is really unusual but you can come back to the pool as many times as you like until you feel comfortable in the water, or your instructor thinks you are ready to hit the open water.
Where do I Go and What Do I need?
You can read all of the course details you receive once you sign up to the course here.