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  1. #1
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    BSAC Trainee Frustrations

    HI All

    I just wanted to air a trainee frustration into the cosmos

    I am currently a BSAC Ocean Diver Trainee and have been for almost 3 years now .... yes 3 years. I know that Covid and lockdown had an effect on this but still .... 3 years !!!!

    I am getting my training from a local club so it is all volunteer based, because of this i don't feel like i can really complain hense my posting today.


    Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey time

    Back in the good old days before Covid was a thing circa October 2018 my hubby and I came to the realisation that there was no reason why we coudn't start scuba diving ..... hubby wanted to take off abroad and do a course somewhere hot but silly me said we should do it here in sunny England so we can dive all year round. As Hubby is very well trained he agreed :wink: (yes i have had a lot of I told you so's) so we contacted a local club and set off for a test dive and LOVED it and so our adventure into Scuba started.

    Little did i know that 3 years on, instead of loading up the car on a weekend and going and diving any muddy puddle we can find - Hubby is Ocean Diver trained but with no further experience diving and I am still a trainee.

    I have completed all the "classroom stuff" and have 98% of the skills signed off but i have found that our local club isn't taking tranees out enough (2-3 time this year) and i do not forsee any more trainee dives in the near furture.

    So cosmos here is my quandry..... do I
    A. Search for a new club and hope it is better there - next nearest one is 1hr and 30 min (ish) away
    B. Search for a BSAC instructor who will do a intensive trainee course with me
    C. Dump BSAC all together and switch to SSI or PADI
    (I have been in touch with a SSI/PADI instructor who will take me but would be starting from scratch and i am so damn close)

    Ok that is it - frustration released and calm has once again assended

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member witchieblackcat's Avatar
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    What bits do you need to complete?

    I'm based in Preston so could meet you at Capernwray and finish them off (which might not be immediately but I'm sure we could manage it before winter kicks in properly).

    Drop me a PM if you're interested.

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member JimmE's Avatar
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    That's certainly frustrating!

    Not to show off, but just to demonstrate that it's not always like that - our club started an Ocean Diver course on July 14th and aim to complete the open water sessions over this August bank holiday weekend. Admittedly that will be something of a record for us, but it can be done.

    I understand your point about not wanting to "complain" about volunteers - but if the club don't realise how keen you are, they might be missing opportunities to get your course finished up. We've had trainees "drift" off in the past, and had to make a lot of effort to get back in touch with them. Whilst it's not an excuse, if your training officer has a lot going on outside of the club, they might not be very proactive about organising training. Ceratinly from experience in our club, trainees who regularly get in contact asking for training opportunities tend to get through courses more quickly than those who only show up or make contact when the club makes the effort to contact them.

    If you can't/don't want to approach the training officer or instructor directly, at least speak to another of the committee or longstanding members, and let them know you're frustrated - if they don't know, they can't do anything to fix it!

    If the club is struggling for instructors, they can get help from their regional coaching team, but not all clubs seem to be aware / proactive about this and not all regions are as active as each other. We're a fair way from you down on the south coast, near Plymouth, but our regional team are very good and we've been able to get support for various events and courses when needed.

    Have you completed all your pool/sheltered water sessions with just open water left to go?

    I would suggest some other options (ideally in this order!)
    * Contact the club (on a regular basis!) to ask for training - don't wait for them to put on a dedicated training event.
    * Speak to a club committee member (training officer / diving officer / etc) and explain that you're a little frustrated that you've not been able to complete your course yet, how can they help
    * Contact your regional coach directly: https://www.bsac.com/this-is-bsac/bs...ional-coaches/

  4. #4
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    That's really unfair on trainees. We have started an OD training course at the beginning of August and I hope to have open water completed by mid October. Last year, we had 6 OD trainees who had completed pool training just before lockdown and we got those 6 plus 6 SD's qualified during August/September. I did 61 training dives last year.

    We always try to get trainees through as quickly as possible and have a personal development plan for each trainee to move them through from trainee OD to qualified SD with planned dives to cover a a wide range of different conditions and experiences.

    I would second what JimmE says, speak to the club and push them, don't just wait for them to offer.

  5. #5
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    There are a number of BSAC schools that will let you finish off a course on a pay for basis. As you say a bit pointless to start over. Club training has some advantages at times but I still think it is much better to get the basics done and dusted at a school. The BSAC website suggests "Slaters" (please if anyone knows them can you post up to help this person) in Preston. 07947 631153
    We give £350m a week to the EU. Let's give it to Dido Harding instead.

  6. #6
    Established TDF Member witchieblackcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    There are a number of BSAC schools that will let you finish off a course on a pay for basis. As you say a bit pointless to start over. Club training has some advantages at times but I still think it is much better to get the basics done and dusted at a school. The BSAC website suggests "Slaters" (please if anyone knows them can you post up to help this person) in Preston. 07947 631153
    I originally learnt at Slaters.
    The shop has recently turned into a fishing tackle shop so I'm not sure whether they're still a going concern.

  7. #7
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    HI everyone

    Thank you so much for your support and encouragment.

    I have told my club comittee member by issues and even a couple of them agree that they dont get out enough. If you can believe it, all i have left to get signed off is CBL from 6m and tow. A few other things that are signed off on the club sheets just not in my training book. All my training has been at either Capernwray or Crummock water - no sea dives done yet.

    Like i said - I am so close.

  8. #8
    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
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    We've had a trainee with a similar story - 2 years from starting to completing OD. He'd just about finished when covid started and I did his last open water lesson in April after lockdown.

    If you've only got the CBL and Tow to do, I'd say stick with it - an instructor should be able to cover that skill with you and a "casualty" buddy in a 20 minute dive.
    But if your club can't "get out enough" to complete this lesson with you, then your other options are to:
    Nag the Diving Officer / Training Officer to sort this out - all they need to find is a willing instructor and a willing casualty.
    Ask neighbouring clubs if they can help you.
    Ask your regional coach if they can do this lesson for you (or know of anyone else who's running that lesson).
    Ask on here if anyone can help (if you were closer and I was allowed to dive at the moment, I'd be happy to do so)
    Proud to be a boring health and softy crap following sissie!

  9. #9
    TDF Member DaveBarber's Avatar
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    Our club was at Porthkerris this month. An OD trainee (with a SD partner) turned up. The Trainee only needed 2 open water sessions to complete their qualification which had been delayed. Our instructor phoned their DO and he agreed they could finish the training with us and he would "honor it" in the branch records.

    Shortly off went the newly minted OD diver able to buddy with their SD partner for the remainder of their holiday.

  10. #10
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    Thanks again - just wanted to say my frustrations are not with the quality of training i have been getting - my club are great and it is not all there fault as i have had some issues to overcome with weighting, floaty feet and panicking when things went wrong.

    My frustration is with the consistancy of which we get to go out, I feel for me personally i would have benefitted from having a more intensive trainig. I know getting the qualification is just the start and that i need to get a lot more dives and experience in the water to improve not only my diving but my confidence. I will carry on and hopefully we will get out again this year to complete the skills.

    Once done you will find me bobbing around the 6 metre platform at Capernwray getting practice, practice, practice every checne we get


 
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