Faq – Dive Courses

How old do I need to be to Scuba Dive?

In Queensland Australia, you must be 12 years of age. In all other states you only need to be 10 years of age to scuba dive.

Do I need a Dive Medical?

Generally no. You are required to complete a medical self assessment via answering a number of questions. If you are under 45 years of age and have answered all medical question with ‘no’ then you do not need to see a doctor. Should you answer any question with ‘yes’, medical clearance is required. Email us if you are not sure.

Which Dive School to choose?

This is the most common and important question to get answered for you. Searching for dive shops can be overwhelming and frustrating. Most websites look pretty and everyone claims they are the best of the best. This is exactly where The Scuba Coach can help you. We know the industry and only recommend shops that we feel happy enough to send our own family and friends to. Every business listed on our site is a trusted partner. From here, the only question to be answered is where you like to learn to dive.

What is the basic course structure and how long does it take?

Most courses will take 3 days from the day you start. Private classes maybe done in only 2 days under certain circumstances. In simple terms, most courses will require you to complete online learning in your own time, followed by some theory sessions, knowledge reviews with your instructor etc. From here, the fun part begins where you will commence your pool training for as long as you need to feel confident. On your final 2 days, the 4 Open Water Dives will be conducted where you put everything you learnt into practice.

I started a Dive Course elsewhere. Can I finish the course with you?

Yes you can in most instances provided you have received a referral document also called a Training Record Sheet from your instructor. If not, you may need to start from scratch. Email us to have a chat and to establish what is needed.

What certification agency to choose? PADI or SSI?

We could enter into a long debate about this one however, our short and sharp advice is:
  1. Both agencies will issue you an internationally recognised certification card;
  2. Both agencies have similar training standards;
  3. Both agencies have a similar course structure and duration;
  4. Both agencies recognise each other’s entry level certification for the purpose of continuing your education.
The agency should therefore not be a deciding factor when choosing one shop or an other. This decision should purely be based on what location is most convenient for you and whether you feel comfortable with the dive shop and instructor. Whether your card says SSI or PADI does not really matter to much when it comes to getting certified.

Should I buy my own dive equipment?

Diving equipment is expensive and most divers aren’t able to afford everything at once. In a nut shell, diving equipment is like driving a car. Just imagine you would drive a different hire car every weekend. You do know how to drive but it always feels a little bit uncomfortable. This is very similar to hire diving equipment. It will never feel the same. Different brands, different fits and different buoyancy every time you dive. Start simple and buy at least a quality mask, snorkel and a wet suit. Having these 3 items fitting perfectly makes a huge different. Continue with your own dive computer which keeps an accurate record of your dives. Most dive shops will provide you all equipment you need.

How much does a dive course cost?

Quality training comes at a cost and the old saying applies that ‘you get what you pay for’. A proper dive course with dives from boats over 3 days will start from $640. A private class will start at around $945. There are cheaper provider out there which are not necessarily bad but some questions should be asked in regards to how they conduct their dive courses in respect to class size and type of dives offered (shore diving or boat diving).

Why are there courses for only $400?

We do not suggest that everyone that charges less than $645 is bad operator and cuts corners but it certainly qualifies to ask a couple of serious questions:
  1. How many days is my course, 2 or 3? We recommend a course to extent over 3 days as a minimum.
  2. How many participants are there? Diving standards usually allow up to 8 students per one instructor. We recommend a course with no more than 4 students.
  3. Where are my Open Water Dives? Offshore from a boat or from shore in calm water or a lake? We recommend to dive offshore from a boat rather than from shore.
  4. Does my certification allow me to dive independently to 18m or more? Some operators promote the cheaper Scuba Diver certification which requires you to dive with a Divemaster or Instructor going forward to depths of a maximum of 12m.
Should the shop answer all of these questions to your satisfaction then maybe go for it. Some shops have other income streams hence they may use dive courses as promotional products at discounted prices.

Do you teach dive courses yourself or do you just refer to others?

In Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, we offer besides our recommended shops premium learn to dive courses. Our session times are limited and if you are in a rush, you may be better off with one of our trusted partners.

Do you sell dive equipment?

No, not directly. We may offer useful consumables at times such as log books, signalling devices etc. however, we do not sell equipment. We do encourage you to support local dive businesses who are often able to match any online price. Simply ask!

I am a PADI Scuba Diver. Can I quickly upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver in a day or so?

No – The upgrade should not be rushed and we usually conduct this program over 2 days. We need to establish what experience you have gained since becoming a Scuba Diver. Please email us to have a chat.

I am a dive operator myself. Would you list my trips and courses?

We are certainly interested to help you promoting your products so please email us. There are certain conditions in respect to how you conduct training and dive trips and at which location. This is best discussed in person.