© 2003 Geoff Allen
How do I become a SCUBA Diver?
Select the type of Dive Course and Instructor or Store. The very first thing you need to do is to speak to an Independent Instructor or go to a few SCUBA Diving Stores and check out what they offer in the way of Entry Level Courses. There are budget, standard, extra's and personal type Courses. These can vary in content from Instructor to Instructor or store to store. Check the cost, make sure the price quoted includes everything that you need to finish the course and there are no extra costs for materials, equipment, etc. Independent Instructors that are not attached to Dive Stores can sometimes offer a more personalized service - and the person you speak with at the beginning is generally the person who will actually teach you.
You will need to give the Dive Instructor 2 standard sized passport photo's of yourself at the start of your course. One will be used to go on your Student Record and the other will go onto your Certification Card (so remember to comb your hair because every time you go diving, it will be checked - your card that is, not your hair).
Book your Dive Course.
Contact the Instructor or Dive Store you have chosen and book your course once you are satisfied that you are going to get what you want out of the Dive Course. The Instructor or Dive Store may ask for a deposit to reserve your position and enable you to pick up the training materials (Paper Manuals, CD-ROM, Etc.) for your course. You should get all the details when you make your booking and this could contain:
- Starting and ending time for each day,
- What about food & drinks,
- The full address and phone number for a couple of Diving Doctors located in your local area (near work or home) or check the SPUMS website for their current list, and
- What do you need to bring with you for the course?
Book your Dive Medical.
Ring the Doctors Surgery and tell the Receptionist that you would like to make an appointment for a Recreational SCUBA Diving Medical (it will take a little longer than a standard consultation). You may also want to ask them what the cost will be (on average, they can be between $A50 and $100, but this is up to the Doctor or Surgery).
If anything is found during your medical that requires further investigation, the Doctor will send you off to get it checked out. Usually there is no problem and the Doctor will hand you the completed Medical Form. You keep the details part of the form, and, there is a tear off section of the form that you will have to present to your Dive Instructor prior to breathing off SCUBA, this will say whether you are fit to dive, with any relevant information and the Doctors Signature.
The information contained in this article has been gathered from various places, various sources and the experience and training of the originator. Once again, it is not to be taken as the only way things are or should be done, there are others.