First Class Diver
First Class Diver (FCD) is the highest diver grade awarded by BSAC, reflecting a high level of theoretical knowledge, personal, organisational and dive management skills and competence.
As the highest diver grade, First Class Diver is a challenging award to attain, taking significant dedication, experience and training. Achieving First Class Diver success is a personally rewarding experience, as well as demonstrating the ability to plan and lead safe but challenging diving expeditions and projects.
To enrol in First Class Diver training you must be a qualified Advanced Diver with at least 100 dives in a range of conditions since qualifying, at least 20 of must be to depths greater than 30m.
You must also have successfully completed the following skill development courses (SDCs):
• Chartwork and Position Fixing
• Diver Coxswain Award
• Oxygen Administration
• Practical Rescue Management
• Advanced Lifesaver
• First Aid for Divers
There is no set training programme for First Class Diver, instead there is a support network to help candidates to prepare.
There are five sections to the assessment process:
• Dive planning and techniques
• Weather and seamanship.
The First Class Diver Exam consists of three separate modules, assessed nationally, that can be taken in any order:
- Theory Knowledge Exam – 30 questions with 15 minutes reading time and 60 minutes for bullet-pointing your answers (not multiple choice).
- Expedition Plan – a minimum 4-day, project-based expedition.
- Two-day Practical Diving Assessment that examines 12 criteria including your teamwork and leadership as you make challenging diving happen for the exam team.