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Learning to Scuba Dive with InDepth Dive Club - Frequently Asked Questions.

Learning to scuba dive will almost certainly transform your life!

1. Is scuba diving safe?

Yes. Scuba diving is, for the most part, a safe sport to engage in. Certainly at the recreational level and, whilst learning to scuba dive, the depths reached are relatively shallow. Having said that, if you become complacent then, like anything else, it can come back and bite you. (And no, you won't get eaten by a shark!)

As long as you complete your training, practice what you were taught, and treat the water with the respect that it deserves then you can enjoy many years of safe diving and many hundreds, if not thousands of safe dives.

InDepth Dive Club has an impeccable safety record. You can view our Safety Documentation HERE >>

Carnatic shipwreck.
Giannis D wreck.
Spider Crab.
Technical scuba diver.
Seeker In-Deep Dive Centre.
Eddystone Lighthouse.
Scuba Santas at NDAC.
InDepth Dive Club.
Divemaster Dan.
Scuba Diving in Egypt.
Glass Fish.
Dr Oliver Firth of Hyperdive Medical.
Aircraft Wreck.
Mark Powell on CCR.
InDepth Course.
Hodge Close Skull & Crossbones Sign.
Life-Long Diving Friends.
Conger Eel.
Deep Blue the InDepth RHIB.
Scuba Diving Cromhall.
Seal at Lundy Island.
InDepth Club Members.
Moray Eel.
Scuba Diving the Um El Faroud.
MV Emperor Superior.
Anenome Fish in Egypt.
Loullia Wreck.
Mine Diving.
James Neal diving the Salem Express

2. How long does it take to learn to scuba dive?

Typically we break our 'Open Water Courses' down into three distinct sections.

A. Theory

We will provide you with an open water scuba diving manual that has 5 distinct chapters within it. You will read this at your own pace, typically over 5 weeks (A chapter a week) and then take part on a Zoom conference call with your instructor once a week, for approximately 2 hours, to go over the knowledge that you've learned that week.

If you want to read the manual faster then you can, two or more chapters a week is fine. If you're up to it then you can read the entire manual in a week and then do a full day of knowledge reviews with your instructor. Please discuss with your instructor if you want to proceed quicker than the usual chapter a week.

B. Confined Water Training

Once you have read at least chapters one and two of the open water manual then you can proceed to the confined water (swimming pool) aspects of your training. At InDepth we usually wait until all of the theory has been completed before we move on to the confined water / swimming pool training.

The confined water is usually done over a full day at one of the swimming pools we regularly use. Typically starting at around 9.30am and finishing around 5.30pm. (Your instructor will confirm location and times with you.)    


You will need to bring the following with you:

i. A one pound coin for the locker.

ii. Towel.

iii. A 'shortie' wetsuit.

(The pool is usually around 30 degrees, but after several hours you will start to feel cold if you do not have a wetsuit to help keep you that bit warmer.)

iv. Your own mask.

(We can lend you a mask if you need one, but we do recommend that you have your own. Especially as you will need to spit into it to stop it from fogging up. With the advent of Covid-19 the need to have your own mask is greater. We can order you your own mask if you want one. See our shop.)

v. Your own snorkel.

(We can lend you a snorkel if you need one, but we do recommend that you have your own. Especially as you will need to put it in your mouth to use it throughout your training. With the advent of Covid-19 the need to have your own snorkel is greater. We can order you your own snorkel if you want one. See our shop​.)

vi. A packed lunch and hot/cold drinks.

Your instructor will ensure that you have several breaks throughout the day to ensure that you can use the bathroom and have a drink / a bite to eat. We recommend that you bring a selection of hot and cold drinks. A flask of tea/coffee/hot chocolate and perhaps a bottle of water. There is a cafe on site, but for ease of access you may find bringing your own better.

C. Open Water Training

The Open Water dives are usually carried out at one of the inland quarries, typically either Cromhall or Vobster Quay. Directions for both can be found on the 'Find Us' page. There are four open water dives (5 if completing a drysuit course at the same time) and these are done over two days. Your instructor will arrange dates with you. Open water dives can be arranged at either the weekend or weekdays.

3. Is there an exam?

Yes. There is a 50 question multiple choice answer exam at the end of the theory / knowledge development section of the course. The pass mark is 75%. Don't worry, you will pass!

4. What About Dry Suit Training?

We have many dry suits available for student divers to use. They cover most sizes (but not all). If you want to complete your training in a dry suit then YOU MUST first complete an additional set of skills with a suitably qualified instructor in a confined water environment. Only once this 'dry suit orientation' has been completed will you be able to engage in an open water course with a dry suit.

NOTE: You will also have an additional manual to read, additional knowledge reviews to complete and there are additional costs associated with that. Your instructor will explain all of this to you in person.

5. How much will it cost to learn to scuba dive?

In the first instance, we only run Open Water Courses through the club for paid up club members. So you would need to join the club if you wanted to undertake any training through the club.

Club Membership is just £30 per annum and you can Join HERE >>

As mentioned above, a typical 'Learn to Scuba Dive' course is broken down into three distinct sections and each of these has costs associated with it. These costs tend to vary, but we try to keep it simple and, more often than not, the guide costs detailed below tend to be reasonably accurate:

A. Theory - £150

This stage payment of £150 covers the costs of the Open Water Manual, any VAT, shipping, packaging and the cost of your final course certification. It also covers the cost of things like the Zoom software used to deliver your knowledge reviews.

B. - Confined Water Training - £150

This stage payment of £150 covers the costs of the swimming pool hire and the expenses that your instructor will incur in travel, as well as all the breathing gas used. 

C. ' Open Water Training - £150

This stage payment of £150 covers the costs of your instructors expenses, travel costs, site entry fees, breathing gas etc.

It also helps to cover our equipment maintenance and insurance costs.

So a typical open water course through the club will likely cost you around £450 and is broken into three (3) easily affordable stage payments over a number of weeks.

Not included in the cost estimates above:

Your travel costs, dive site entry fees and any refreshments are not included in the costs estimated above.

6. Can I do a commercial course with the club?

No. The InDepth Dive Club does not offer any commercial training. However, you can engage the InDepth Dive Centre to teach you commercially if you wanted to complete a course faster than those offered by the InDepth Dive Club.

7. Is it for me?

If you like the water then there's a very good chance you will love scuba diving. If, however, you aren't so keen on the water then it may be a good idea to first join the club and just come along on our pool nights and go for a swim, build up your confidence. Start snorkelling and build up a bit more confidence. And then have a 'Try-A-Dive' session.

Our Try-A-Dive sessions are typically run under either the SAA (Sub-Aqua Association) or as a DSD - Discover Scuba Diving - under PADI. Both are internationally recognised diver training agencies. The experience is essentially the same, just different paperwork!


A 'Try-A-Dive' or 'DSD' costs £35.

8. Which agency is best?

PADI, SSI, SAA, BSAC, CMAS, NAUI, PSAI, RAID, TecRec, IANTD.... the list goes on... and the argument about which is ‘best’ has raged across the globe since Jacques Cousteau first made the sport popular and the very first diver training agencies emerged back in the 1960s...

At InDepth Dive Club we primarily offer SAA and PADI at recreational level and SDI/TDI, RAID and IANTD at technical diving levels.

We can help BSAC divers, but we are not a BSAC Branch, we are an independent dive club and we like it that way. And you should take a look at our constitution as 'club politics' and gossiping about others are strictly singled out and discouraged.

Not all agencies follow a set of 'standards'. PADI does and it is the world leader in diver training. PADI is also a professional diver training agency, whereas, the SAA and the BSAC are amateur club agencies whose instructors are also amateurs.

What you should really be asking yourself is 'How good is the instructor?' You can take a look at our instructor team and see all of the awards and accolades they have and then judge for yourself.

9. Do I need to be able to swim?

Whilst not essential, it certainly helps. Most agencies require you to be able to comfortably swim a distance of 200m without swimming aids. 

You will be required to comfortably maintain yourself in water too deep to stand up in by treading water or floating for a period of at least 10 minutes.

You don’t need to be an athlete or even a particularly good swimmer, for that matter, to complete the exercise. You can use any style you like, including doggy paddling or floating on your back and flapping your arms, if that’s what gets you through the distance. The key point of the swimming exercise is not your swimming skills, but rather that you are comfortable and strong enough to maintain yourself at the surface in deep water.

The short answer is – you need to get some pool time before learning to dive, especially if you have little or no experience in the water before. So at InDepth you can do just that, join the club and use the pool to improve your swimming skills first if you need to.

10. I have a medical condition, can I still learn to scuba dive?

All club members are required to complete various documentation prior to commencing any try dives, training, or continued education, the most common forms are listed and can be downloaded below:

1. WRSTC Medical Declaration.

2. Standard Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding.

3. Continuing Education Administrative Document.

4. Statement of Liability.

5. Certified Diver Release.

6. Youth Training Responsibility & Risks.

7. Try-A-Dive Declaration.

8. Freediver Safe Diving Practices.

9. Standard Safe Technical Diving Practices Statement of Understanding.


Club members and divers are required to declare any medical conditions, as detailed on the medical questionnaire, prior to any in-water training, including the swimming pool, and should seek approval from a suitably qualified diving physician before commencing a course.

Most GPs are averse to signing the medical declaration as they are not trained in diving medicine. The UK has a recognised committee of specialist trained diving doctors known as the UKDMC - The UK Medical Diving Committee. They have doctors across the UK and you can view them by clicking HERE.

The UKDMC website also has some usual information regarding a number of medical conditions, these can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Common conditions, such as asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes need not prevent you from scuba diving, but proper medical sign-off is needed in order to ensure your condition is suitably controlled.

At InDepth Dive Club, given our geographic location, we typically refer our club members to:

Dr. Nicola Elliott

Quiet Waters

Station Road

Lower Heyford

OX25 5PD

Tel: 07796 271656


Dr Lucy Miller

Lamb Dive Medicals
Fox Hall Clinic

9A Teignmouth Road


BS21 6DL

T: 01275 877359


If, for whatever reason, you require a more complex medical sign-off or HSE Medical then we usually refer club members to:

Dr. Oliver Firth


Broadgate General Practice

65 London Wall



11. I have a disability, can I learn to scuba dive?

The short answer is probably. At InDepth Dive Club we have several disabled divers, two of its founders have had serious medical issues, James suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage and Neal suffered a stroke and is a wheelchair user.

InDepth is also recognised for being an inclusive club, as such we have instructors like Tony that are specialist trained in 'adaptive techniques' specifically for disabled divers.

Many disabled divers find that scuba diving is particularly therapeutic, particularly for those with both physical and mental impairments. Scuba diving can free your body from earthly restrictions and restore a level of mobility that the disabled diver no longer has on land. If you'd like to know more then come along to one of our club nights and meet some of our disabled divers and have a chat to them in person.


Scuba diving is also particularly good for helping with conditions like depression and anxiety and many of the specialist diving doctors recognise this are are more than happy to support individuals in their pursuit of learning to scuba dive.

Please watch the adaptive teaching techniques video below:


12. I am anxious, is that a problem?

An element of anxiety before a dive is perfectly normal, especially when learning to scuba dive. It's also arguably a good thing! Too much anxiety though can prevent you from doing things that you might otherwise enjoy and, more often than not, knowledge is power... did you know that scuba diving is actually good for mental health and can have a profoundly positive effect on conditions like anxiety (as well as depression and other mental health conditions).

Many of the InDepth Dive Team have had to deal with their own mental health battles, it's nothing to be ashamed of, so they understand what it's like first hand and can empathise with how you feel and help you through any anxieties that you may have.

Taking that first giant stride off the pontoon or that first backward roll off the club RHIB is an experience that you will never forget... ask one of our instructors about the first time they did it, and ask them how anxious they felt and what it felt like after they had done it. They will all gladly regale you with their tales of nerves and excitement about their first dives.

If you have any anxieties about any aspect of your training or the dives then ask one of the instructor team. It doesn't have to be your instructor, it could be one the Divemasters or any other member of the instructor team, but it is always best to ask the questions and raise the concerns, more often than not your Instructor / Divemaster will be able to substantially alleviate your concerns and put you at ease. What's important is not to bottle it up and allow it to ruin your experience... the freedom that scuba diving has to offer can be life-changing, but you don't have to do anything that you don't want to do. There is a well known saying amongst divers:

"Any diver, can call any dive, at any time, for any reason."

This diving mantra is cast in stone and any diver worth anything will always respect this without question.

13. Do I have to buy my own scuba equipment?

No. You don't need any equipment whatsoever to learn how to scuba dive with InDepth Dive Club as we can provide it all for you. However, as stated at the beginning under item 2  'How long does it take to learn to scuba dive', we do recommend that you buy yourself the following:

i. A 'shortie' wetsuit - circa £30 from a supermarket or online.

(The pool is usually around 30 degrees, but after several hours you will start to feel cold if you do not have a wetsuit to help keep you that bit warmer.)

ii. Your own mask - Your instructor will explain 'fit and comfort'.

(We can lend you a mask if you need one, but we do recommend that you have your own. Especially as you will need to spit into it to stop it from fogging up. With the advent of Covid-19 the need to have your own mask is greater. We can order you your own mask if you want one. See our shop.)

iii. Your own snorkel - A simple tube, foldable. Nothing fancy!

(We can lend you a snorkel if you need one, but we do recommend that you have your own. Especially as you will need to put it in your mouth to use it throughout your training. With the advent of Covid-19 the need to have your own snorkel is greater. We can order you your own snorkel if you want one. See our shop​.)

Once you are qualified you can continue to use club kit whilst you gradually build up your own. Investing in new kit is expensive and our instructors can help advise you and steer you in the right direction.

The first things you might consider buying for yourself, once qualified to dive, should be your own drysuit and your own dive computer.

A new drysuit, made to measure, can cost anything from £800 - £3,000!

Whereas dive computers can be bought secondhand.

There are a number of facebook groups that specialise in used dive kit in the UK, links below, but please speak to your instructor before you buy anything as they can advise you if it's suitable for your needs.

UK Scuba Stuff For Sale

UK Scuba Gear For Sale or Wanted

14. I'm already qualified, can I 'tag along' if a family member learns to scuba dive.

No. At InDepth Dive Club we do not typically allow qualified divers to 'tag along' on any course unless they are part of the in-water support team.

If, however, you wish to refresh skills, then please speak to your instructor as they may have another course running that you can take part in.

15. Can my children learn to dive?

Yes, they can. InDepth Dive Club is a PADI Approved Youth Training Centre and our core instructor team are all 'Enhance DBS checked' and cleared. The club also welcomes members of all ages and we are 'family friendly'.


The youngest age a child can experience scuba diving in the swimming pool is eight years old, and this would be on either a Bubblemaker experience program or a Seal Team adventure dive. The minimum age for an entry-level certification as a Junior Open Water Diver is 10 years old.

The club also has a range of child-sized scuba equipment suitable for both the pool and open water training. Although the club does not have child-sized drysuits and for this reason we DO NOT run Junior Open Water courses throughout the winter months. January - March.


As a parent you should ask yourself if you think your child is emotionally mature enough to undertake such a course and speak to one of the instructors as InDepth Dive Club prefers to teach at a minimum age of 12.


It is also club policy that parents must accompany their child at all times. Under 16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the changing rooms and no other club members may use the same changing rooms at the same time as any club member under that age.

A parent or guardian must be present poolside when any confined water / swimming pool training takes place or in the water with the child if taking part on the same course.

Parents are not allowed to 'tag along' on training dives if they are already qualified as this can put undue peer pressure on the child. 

Parents are required to transport their children to and from any training facilities and should remain on-site for the duration unless otherwise agreed.

Parents are required to complete a number of forms prior to commencing any training.

16. Is it as cool as it looks?

Yes. Absolutely. And then some!

Learning to scuba dive is a visceral experience and one that will absolutely transform your life. It's a close as you'll ever likely to come to being an astronaut... you'll become an aquanaut! (NASA teach their astronauts by teaching them how to scuba dive!)

The training is ongoing, you can continue to improve and develop your skills, becoming ever more proficient and technical as a diver. The more you learn the better you become and the better you become the more you want to dive.


17. How do I become a club member?

That's the easy bit. You simply complete the online form and pay your annual membership fee. It takes less than 5 minutes! You can Join HERE.

18. Can I go on the overseas trips?

Yes. All club trips, UK and overseas, are open to all club members.

We typically start planning our trips several years in advance. We like to run one big trip a year, something like the Maldives, Mexico, Truk Lagoon or the Galapagos Islands.

And then we usually have two other cheaper trips each year to somewhere like Egypt, Malta, Crete, Scilly Isles, Scapa Flow and such like.

19. Do I need insurance?

Whilst insurance isn't compulsory to become a club member it is highly recommended.

If you join the InDepth Dive Club as an SAA member then you will get third party liability insurance with Westfield Sub-Aqua & Marine Insurance  Services Ltd as part of your SAA membership.

If you are a PADI diver and you join the InDepth Club without SAA membership then we recommend that you take out a third party sports diver insurance policy with Dive Master Insurance. The cost is negligible and provides you with good cover.

Click HERE to view details.

Our instructor team all have professional liability cover through our club policy.

Join InDepth Dive Club and transform your life with a PADI or SAA Open Water Course!

Divers Training in Pool

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If you'd like to have a go at scuba diving then come along one Thursday evening and have a go!



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Club members can learn to scuba dive for less than a commercial course and can have 3 easy stage payments!



— Bernard Baruch

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