Should I do the Full Open Water Course or the Referral in the UK?

Great news, you’ve decided to join thousands of lucky people and become a qualified scuba diver.  Being a qualified diver means you’ll see amazing things that non-divers never get to witness such as strange species, colourful coral reefs and the feeling of being weightless.

The PADI open water course is your first level of diving qualification and is accepted at over 15,000 dive centres around the world. Once qualified you can dive to a maximum depth of 18m or 12m if you’re under 13.

There are 3 parts to the PADI open water course:

  1.     Theory– some dive centres choose to do this in a classroom but we prefer the digital version as it is more flexible allowing you to go at your own pace at a time and place that suits you
  2. Confined water dives– these teach you how to set up your equipment, how to enter the water, how to use the equipment, how to avoid problems and some basic steps if a problem ever did occur
  3.     Four open water training dives. These dives are designed to put the skills you learned in confined water in to practice. You’ll repeat many of the skills you did in shallow water plus a few new ones

The full open water course means that you would complete parts 1 to 3 with us. Our open water dives take place in a lake close to the pretty village of Wraysbury just outside London. Water temperature varies according to the seasons and there is a choice between our 7mm wetsuits and dry suits. There are submerged platforms to kneel on and complete the skills. You can also enjoy a tour around some of the sunken attractions including boats, taxis and buses. While not exactly a coral reef there is often some underwater life to enjoy such as crayfish, pike and perch. Visibility can vary depending on the number of divers on site and the recent rainfall. Most people really enjoy it even though it can be challenging. They have a great sense of achievement and it makes them much more comfortable when they visit other dive sites around the world.

The open water referral means that you complete steps 1 (theory) and 2 (confined water) with us in the UK and then finish the four open water dives on holiday. After your pool session your instructor will complete an open water referral form in your log book which you can present to any PADI centre around the world. There you just complete the four open water dives and the dive centre there will process your certification.

If you are not sure which is the best option for you then you can sign up to the Referral initially and add the open water dives on later.

It is worth noting that there is 12 months to complete the 4 open water dives once you have finished the theory & pool otherwise you’ll have to do it all again. Our recommendation is to complete the dives within the first month or two so that all the skills you learnt in the pool are still fresh in your memory and giving you more confidence.

To book your open water referral or full course please call 0800 699 0243.

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