First Class

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First Class Diver

The BSAC's highest diving grade which requires a higher than average level of theoretical knowledge, organisational and personal diving skills. The First Class Diver award is a culmination of a number of years' diving experience. BSAC 1st Class Divers are assessed through nationally conducted examinations.

First Class Diver Exam

Read more details about the First Class Exam at the BSAC Website.

The first step

The first step (after deciding that being a First Class Diver might be of interest to you) is to obtain a First Class Diver Preparation Pack -  the easiest was is to download the Preparation Pack from the BSAC website.

Important: Enclosed is a Registration Form which you should send back to the First Class Chief Examiner as soon as possible, or you can complete the Online Registration Form. This will let them know of your interest in the First Class Diver, and will help them to put you in touch with other candidates and Regional Contacts who can help you in your preparation, including completion of pre-requisites if necessary.


The concept of First Class Diver training differs from the other diving grades in that here is no set training programme. Instead, development to this level is achieved by divers extending themselves by exposing themselves to a broad range of diving experiences, and progressively developing their own abilities to prepare for this qualification.

While it is expected that divers at this level will be capable of self-development to a high diving standard, they will still require encouragement and support from members of their branch, in particular branch instructors.

While there is no formal training programme for First Class Divers, there are  a number of support mechanisms to assist potential candidates to prepare for the exam either external to the branch, from BSAC HQ and BSAC Regional organisations, or directly from the branch.


The Preparation Pack from the BSAC website represents the most up to date documents.

You can apply for the 2004 Theory Examination at the BSAC Web Site.

You can apply for the 2004 Practical Examination at the BSAC Web Site.

Regional Support

First Class Diver Co-ordinators

The role of the First Class Diver Co-ordinator is to facilitate links between candidates in compatible locations to enable them to meet, exchange ideas and assist each other to prepare. Contact with divers from outside the immediate branch environment also exposes individuals to a wider range of attitudes and ideas which they can then use to the benefit of diving within their branch.

Where necessary, the local Co-ordinator can assist candidates with their preparation, either by facilitating specific events and/or suggesting suitable preparation objectives. The local Co-ordinator will also help forge links with any other local sources of support such as the Regional Expedition Diving Schemes (REDS).

Contact the FCD Co-ordinator for more information.

Personal Mentors

If required, a personal mentor can be arranged, usually through the local Co-ordinator. This will be someone who is a First Class Diver, and who can provide the candidate with a yardstick, to help them to assess their own progress relative to that of the First Class Diver standard.

This page was last updated on : 01 Jun 2011

Good Luck!

Dave Culver
First Class Co-ordinator

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