BSAC First Class Diver

What is a First Class Diver?  A First Class Diver is a diver who has gained an extensive level of diving knowledge and diving skills. Their depth and breath of knowledge and skill supersedes any diver or training program of any other dive agency.

A First Class Diver is able to utilize a team of divers in order to achieve a major dive objective or tasks. First Class Diver’s are responsible for, and are actively involved in organizing major diving expeditions and exploration projects; making these Divers a key asset to both BSAC and dive expeditions in general.  Since 1953 the BSAC has only trained 926 – First Class Divers.  So if you are looking for a challenge and want to achieve a prestige award, then is program is for you.

The First Class Diver grade is the highest diving grade within the BSAC and as such, the First Class Diver is regarded as a highly respected diver. The First Class Diver’s grade also has an equivalent rating to that of a CMAS 4 Star Diver.

Big Blue Package – 50,000 THB
- Certification
- Boat Fees
- Equipment Rental
- Gas fills and Cylinder Fees

– Air Conditioned Accommodation
- Study Crew Pack with reference CD-Rom
- Big Blue BSAC Club T-Shirt and Mask Strap
- Exam Fees

Entry requirements

The entry requirements to take the First Class Diver Exam are as follows:
• Be a BSAC Advanced Diver
• Hold the BSAC Diver Coxswain qualification (Seamanship qualification)
• Hold a BSAC First Aid for Diver qualification
• Hold a BSAC Oxygen Administration Award
• Hold a Advanced Life Saver Award
• Have attended a Practical Rescue Management Award
• Have attended a Chart Work and Position Fixing course, or equivalent
• Have logged a minimum of 100 dives since qualifying as an Advanced Diver 20 of which must be to a depths greater than 30 metres
• Minimum age of 18 years old
• Be a current member of BSAC Thailand

It is also recommended that you have attended the following course,

• Search and Recovery

For candidates who don’t meet the above requirements, then these courses can be completed before the FCD exam.

The First Class Diver Exam

There isn’t any prescribed First Class Diver course as such. As a BSAC Advanced Diver you are already considered to be a fully trained diver. Once the candidate has completed a comprehensive self study program and has obtained the required entry level Skill Development Courses, they can then apply for the First Class Diver Exam.

It has been commented on, that if there were such a thing as a “degree in diving”, then the First Class Diver Exam would meet that requirement. So to help you to prepare for this exam, it is recommended that you attend a First Class Diver Workshop and you obtain the BSAC First Class Diver candidates study pack.

There are three elements to the exam. These are,

• Diving Knowledge Exam
• Expedition Planning Project
• Practical Exam

The Theory Exam

This 1 hour – theory exam consists of 30 questions. The questions will require both short written answers together with simple diagrams to explain more complex answers. There are 5 sections within the exam in which we will test your depth and breath of theoretical knowledge. These 5 areas are, Medical/ physiology, Decompression, Equipment, Seamanship and Weather and Dive Planning.

Expedition Plan

In this section you will be asked to produce a plan for a 4 day Expedition Project. The Expedition plan will be for a group of 10 -12 First Class Divers. The Expedition will include diving from different platforms and using a verity of different type of dives and dive sites as well as divers using different types of diving equipment configurations. You will be asked to compile this plan prior to the Practical Exam.

A typical Expedition plan would cover a variety of different dive objectives and requirements. For example; equipment requirements, small boats dives and boat charter requirements, dive site information, underwater tasks to be carried out, dive profiles, risk assessments, dive logistics and running costs of the project etc. On completion of your expedition dives; which will be included in the practical exam, you will be asked to write a summary report on the performance of your project

Practical Exam

The duration of the practical exam will be approximately 3-4 days depending on the amount of candidates that are attending. You will conduct at least 2 dives where you will put you plans into action. Over these practical assessments you will be continuously assessed in 12 different areas ranging from, personal diving skills, dive leadership and management, contribution to teamwork, position fixing, dive operations, responding to emergencies etc.

On successful completion of all three exams, you will be awarded the BSAC First Class Diver qualification.

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