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BSAC Diving Conference early-bird tickets now on sale




Tickets have gone on sale for BSAC’s event of the year, the annual Diving Conference, which will take place on Saturday 21st October 2017 from 08:30 – 16:45 BST.

BSAC Diving Conference 2017Building on the success of last year’s sell-out event, the 2017 conference will have more of what members want – breakout sessions, an impressive external speaker line up and plenty of networking opportunities – all in a great new venue, The Vox. Situated within Resorts World on the NEC complex, Birmingham, The Vox is a short walk to Hall 4 and Dive 2017.

BSAC’s National Diving Officer Sophie Heptonstall who is overseeing the event said: “It’s really encouraging that the conference has grown over the last couple of years. The new venue is fantastic and just what we need to support the event’s ongoing growth and success.”

As previous years, the conference will be open to all members but is most relevant for Diving Officers, Training Officers, Instructors and Branch Officers (or those aspiring to be one or more of those things!).

A few things you can expect from this year’s conference…

Team members from the upcoming BBC Blue Planet II series, Rachel Butler and John Ruthven will share their adventures and experiences as part of arguably the world’s finest underwater production team. World-renowned diving medicine expert Dr Peter Wilmshurst will take to the BSAC stage to talk on the topical subject of immersion pulmonary oedema (IPO). Peter will also be running a breakout session to answer member questions on this topic.

On UK diving the Receiver of Wreck Alison Kentuck will talk on wreck salvage and Head of Biodiversity at MCS (Marine Conservation Society) Dr Peter Richardson will update on safeguarding British marine life including the latest on marine Protected Areas around the UK.

Also at the event:

  • Hear from your National Diving Officer, Sophie Heptonstall
  • Choose from 12 breakout session options from the popular Diving Officer workshop through to new developments in Technical.
  • 2017 Incident Report
  • Post-event beers (or something else) for all, thanks to blue o two
  • Conference dinner at Hilton Metropole – all invited!

New for this year the event will be encouraging more Sports Divers to attend with dedicated Dive Leader lectures to support members in achieving this milestone grade.

Conference tickets will give members access to the Dive 2017 Dive Show all weekend. Early-Bird conference tickets are available until 16 July at the special rates of £22.50, or £55 for the conference and dinner package. Early-Bird ticket holders will be entered into a prize draw to win a Suunto Eon Steel computer worth £795. Plus they will get free onsite parking worth £12.

Click here for more info on the BSAC Diving Conference and tickets


Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Gemini Switch Box from Lungfish (Watch Video)



In a video shot exclusively for, Jeff Goodman reviews the Gemini Switch Box from Lungfish.

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Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… A career in diving



A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’

I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!

I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!

If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles. 

Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at. 

There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.

So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour. 

Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at

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