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Learning to Scuba Dive with CPA

Skills, Exams and Exercises

Students take a standard SAA theory exam at every qualification level. If the lectures have been attended, most people will pass these exams. Failure is not a disaster however. The aim of the exam is simply to ensure the knowledge is there. If not, we do lectures again -- or special sessions to make up for shortfalls -- and after a suitable break do the exams again. There is no limit to how many times an exam is taken. There is a theoretical time limit to the exam, but this is very generous will never cause a problem, only lack of knowledge will lead to re-takes.

Exercises to be Passed in Pool Training

This table shows all the drills that a novice will be trained to perform by a CPA instructor. While the club will qualify a diver after completing the SAA assessments satisfactorily, the club encourage trainees to do further drills to build up experience and confidence beyond that.

It is vital to note that no pool training on SCUBA equipment must be done without the trainee having provided the club with a valid diving medical certificate. We can point you at local doctors for diving medicals at a good price. It is fine to do any level of snorkel training without a medical examination.

SAA Mandatory Fitness Assessment

  • Swim 200m (8 lengths) freestyle

  • Recover an object from bottom of pool (in at least 1.5m depth) 3 times

SAA Basic Snorkeller Assessment

  • Sink mask, fins & snorkel at deep end, surface dive, recover gear, refit at surface & give OK signal – all without touching sides

  • Fin 200m, surface dive every 25m & swim underwater

  • Demonstrate ability to establish positive buoyancy with BCD

  • Fin 50m, face submerged, breathing through snorkel & without a mask

  • CPA Additional Snorkel Drills

  • Float or tread water for at least 5 minutes

  • Using basic equipment, fin 100m whilst approx. 5Kg negatively buoyant

  • Perform 3 consecutive submerged forward rolls, then 3 backward

SAA Advanced Snorkeller Assessment

  • Using basic equipment, demonstrate effective rescue of victim from 1 length away, towing 50m giving A.V. at approved rate

  • Land body and continue A.V. until asked to stop, then explain aftercare

SAA Elementary Diver Basic Assessment

  • Assemble, test and fit SCUBA correctly, unaided

  • Demonstrate safe entry, buoyancy control, & safe method of descent

  • Discard 2nd stage, retrieve, clear & refit three times; repeat for mask

  • Remove SCUBA and refit in at least 1.5m of water without surfacing

  • Fin 50m on bottom of pool wearing full SCUBA with mask blacked out

  • At surface, remove weight belt and hand to assistant

  • Fin 50m on surface breathing through snorkel but wearing full SCUBA

  • Fin 50m on bottom of pool sharing SCUBA as donor, then as recipient

  • Swim 25m to a fully kitted diver & surface tow 50m incorporating A.V.

  • Do a full simulated open water dive from kit assembly to dismantle

  • Dry suit users, demonstrate turning rapidly upright from inverted & dump air from suit in at least two different ways [prep for Open Water Diver]

CPA Extended SCUBA Exercises (OK after start of E.D. open water)

  • Demonstrate buoyancy control by depth of breathing alone

  • Safely demonstrate three different entry methods in at least 3m depth

  • Air sharing with snorkeller, remove SCUBA for snorkeller to don

  • Remove all SCUBA, surface (exhaling), dive down and refit at bottom

  • Demonstrate surface & exit drill at poolside as if reboarding a dive boat
    Fin 25m at speed on bottom to diver & do safe, controlled, assisted buoyant lift using victim’s BCD

  • Swim 50m underwater at speed then buddy breathe as donor for at least 1 minute at shallow end; pause then repeat as recipient

  • Sink 3 SCUBA sets approx. 3m apart and swim, minus SCUBA, around them for several minutes without surfacing, pausing for air at each

>> Go to training overview

>> Go to Lectures for SAA Qualification Levels

>> Go To Pool and Open Water Assessments

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