Join Us

We Meet Every Tuesday Evening at our Clubhouse, the Guildford Waterside Centre

If you are new to diving and are interested in exploring a new sport or an experienced diver looking for a great dive club come and visit us and let us introduce you to the best dive club in Surrey.

For new member enquiries please contact us for information about the club and find out how to join the next Ocean Diver Course.

Try Us - No matter what your diving experience is, Guildford Sub-Aqua Club has something to offer.

From beginner to experienced, we provide a full training programme that enables divers to progress through a framework of qualifications at their own pace.

For new member enquiries, more information about the club and to find out how to join the next Diver Course, please contact us.

Never dived before?

Guildford Sub-Aqua Club offers try diving sessions to anyone who is interested to give it a go and experience the thrill of breathing under water! We will supply you with all the necessary kit and you will spend between 30 minutes to an hour in the pool with an experienced qualified instructor, who will give you an insight into what we are sure you will find to be a most enjoyable experience.

This try dive is open to young* and old alike and all that we ask is that you bring with you an open mind and your swim suit and have fun! All try dives take place at the Spectrum Leisure Complex in Guildford Surrey, every Tuesday night between 9 and 10pm. So if you want to experience it for yourself, whether it be your first time or not then contact our Reception Officer.

Please note try-dives do need to be arranged in advance and you will need to come to the Waterside Centre first so we can arrange equipment and introduce you to an instructor. We will make a nominal charge for the try-dive. However, this will be refunded if you decide to join the club.

* Minimum Age for Membership of Guildford BSAC is 14.

Already Qualified?

It's easy for PADI qualified (or other agency divers) divers to dive with BSAC

If you have a recognised qualification you do not have to do any cross-over or further training (unless you want to!). It doesn't matter who you trained with (recreational, commercial or military), if you've never dived in the UK before or if you haven't dived for a few seasons - all very welcome - please join us!

Instructors who have trained with other agencies are also exceptionally welcome. There is a straightforward induction process which recognises instructor qualifications and accreditation to able to deliver BSAC instruction.

If you’re interested in experiencing diving with us, contact our reception officers for details

BSAC Diver Grades

There are five internationally-recognised BSAC diver grades, from the entry level Ocean Diver through to our highest grade, First Class Diver.

Ocean Diver

You will learn to dive on this entry level course. Max depth 20m.
More information

Sports Diver

Depth can be built progressively to a maximum of 35m after qualifying. Sports Divers can embark on the first stage of the route of instruction.
More information

Dive Leader

Dive Leader training covers responsibilities and safety of leading other divers. Depth can be built progressively to a maximum of 50m after qualifying. Dive Leaders are eligible to progress to Open Water Instructor.
More information

Advanced Diver

Divers gain experience in planning dives at different sites and different circumstances. Additional experience will be gained in using small boats, chartwork. navigation and many other related skills. Advanced Divers are eligible to progress to Advanced Instructor.
More information

First Class Diver

BSAC's highest diving grade which requires a higher than average level of theoretical knowledge, organisational and personal diving skills.
More information

Skill Development Courses (SDCs)

We offer a wide range of special interest courses, designed to ensure you get the very best out of your diving. Our regulary courses include:

More Skill Development Courses (SDCs) are regularly held by Regional Coaching Teams and BSAC Centres.

About us

Guildford BSAC is a club branch of the British Sub Aqua Club and, for the past 50 years has been training scuba divers and organising recreational diving around the UK and overseas. We are a not for profit members club and offer a safe and informal environment to enjoy scuba diving, meet and make friends and learn more about diving and the oceans.

In house training is offered for complete beginners through to instructors and specialist courses are provided such as boat handling and dive gas mixing.

We regularly dive all around the UK on reefs and wrecks enjoying the huge range of fish and fauna in our waters. Our members also organise holidays abroad with memorable trips to Indonesia, Maldives and the Red Sea..

We typically have over 80 diving members, they are the life-blood of our club. Our members have a varied range of qualifications and interests, so whatever type of diving you are into, it can be pursued in our club.

Our clubhouse at the Guildford Waterside Centre provides a great social base where our members can enjoy a drink, share stories and prepare for dive trips. We have a purpose-built boat shed for our two 6m RHIBs and our compressor. Air is free to all members and Nitrox is provided at club rates. We also provide all dive kit, except drysuit, to members while in training and qualified members can hire kit at modest rates.

We are a well-qualified BSAC Branch with members diving qualifications ranging from 1st class divers through to trainees and over 20 members with a diver training qualifications.


World-class training, amazing diving and great company - there’s so much more to being a member of BSAC

Joining Fee


first year

  • Reduced by £80 if Ocean Diver training is not required
  • All Training
  • Ocean Diver BSAC training manuals
  • use of club equipment while training

BSAC Membership


per annum

  • Reduced by:
    • £10 on first annual payment if paid by direct debit.
    • £5 for Club Instructors, Open Water Instructors, Advanced Divers
    • £10 for Advanced Instructor, First Class Diver
    • £20 for National Instructor
    • £17.50 for Joint Member (second member of a household aged 18 years or over who joins as a full diving member. Previously known as ‘Abated Member)
  • Reduced pro rata for membership commencing after 1st March
  • Payable annually in one amount by cheque or Direct Debit

Guildford BSAC Membership


per month

  • Branch Levy reduced by a maximum of 50% for:
    • Junior Members aged 12 – 17 in full time education.
    • Student Members aged 18 years and over in full time education
    • Distant Members (members living approx. 40 miles from the Branch, subject to committee discretion)
    • Members Over 65 years of age
    • Members who have had a continuous Full Branch Diving membership for at least 15 years and are aged over 60 on their membership renewal date.
  • New Members must pay at least 12 month’s membership
  • Members of at least 12 months standing may give 1 months’ notice before cancelling their Direct Debit.
  • Payable by Monthly Direct Debit (collected midmonth).
  • Members in their first year of membership paying by Monthly Direct Debit must give a minimum of 12 months’ notice before cancelling their membership.
  • Membership Year Commences 1st March
  • Alternatively, members may pay by cheque or BACS in one amount of £164.40 (reduced pro rata for membership commencing after 1st March)
  • FREE use of pool for dive training & recreational swimming
  • FREE use of the Waterside Center Gym
  • FREE air fills & Nitrox at club rates
  • FREE club training & courses given by our own instructors
  • Dive trips and social events at club rates
  • Use of club bar & Waterside Centre club facilities

* As an exmaple, a new member Ocean Diver will cost £321 for the 1st year and renewal will cost £221.

Frequently Asked Questions

We can!

Although not classed as a "dangerous" or "extreme" sport, diving is adventurous sport and you do need to ensure that you are with a properly qualified instructor - its not something to attempt on your own!

There are several: BSAC, IANTD, NAUI, PADI, SAA, SSAC, SSI and TDI are all agencies teaching diving in the UK but for most people it comes down to a choice of learning to dive in a commercial diving school or learning to dive with a club. Of the above agencies, BSAC alone offers its qualifications through both clubs and schools. Guildford Sub-Aqua Club offers club based training.
The British Sub Aqua Club was founded in 1953 and was officially recognised by the Sports Council as the UK governing body for the sport in 1958. BSAC has become the largest diving club in the world with a membership of 55,000 in some 1,250 branches with 200 schools in over 50 countries around the world.
Although both types of organisation can teach you to dive safely there are some differences between the two. The fundamental difference is that in a club based organisation, you join the club and qualified members of the club teach you to dive. Typically you will pay to join a club and not for the training you receive, which is included in the membership fees.Schools are a commercial organisation, you find a supplier running diving courses(typically dive shops have a training element) and pay a fee to take a course.

Learning to dive with a club has many advantages:

  • All training is performed by fully qualified instructors who are doing the training because they enjoy it (you get the benefit of that enthusiasm.)
  • Because there are no commercial constraints and time limits, training can be performed at your pace; if you need a bit longer to perfect a skill then it really isn’t a problem.
  • You've immediately put yourself in touch with a lot of other people who enjoy diving you have friends to take you diving when you have qualified
  • If you wish to progress through the diving grades then it is often the cheapest way to learn to dive.You pay for membership of the branch of the club, this is typically a payment for use and upkeep of the clubs equipment the training element is free.The more training you undertake, the more you benefit.

The school system suits some people better, and some of the advantages of this system are listed below:

  • Course are often quicker running intensively over a couple of week-ends.
  • You may find it easier to get a course at the time you want when you want. (Many clubs will only start an entry level course two or three times a year).
  • Because you are paying for the privilege, you will not be expected to "pitch in" to any great level in a club upkeep of equipment (including the boats) is the responsibility of all the members

Training from either type of organisation follows a broadly similar pattern, the entry level course will consist of three elements:

  • Theory
  • Confined water training (skills practice in a swimming pool)
  • Open water training (further training in a lake or the sea)

The entry level qualification for BSAC is "Ocean Diver". This qualifies you to dive to a depth of 20m. Further BSAC qualifications are "Sports Diver", "Dive Leader", "Advanced Diver" and "First Class Diver". There is a parallel set of instructor qualifications. The depth to which you are qualified to dive increases with diver grade.

The entry level qualification for PADI (an example of a school) is "Open Water" which qualifies you to dive to 18m. Further PADI qualifications are "Advanced Open Water", "Rescue" and "Dive Master". PADI also run courses in specialities such as underwater photography.

Yes. The qualifications of the above organisations are recognised and respected around the world.
School courses vary in length and you should contact the dive centre for details. Within Guildford Sub-Aqua Club we provide training for theory and confined water in parallel, one evening a week.There are 8 theory lectures followed by an exam and 6 practical lessons followed by an assessment.Depending on the individual the practical lessons often take a bit longer to complete and the average time for the first phase of the course is 10 - 12 weeks. There are 6 open water dives which need to be completed including the final assessment.Typically these will take 3 trips to complete.
Theory lectures are held at our club house (The Waterside Centre), there is a map on the web page. Confined water training takes place at the Spectrum swimming pool, Guildford. Much open water training takes place in lakes typically at either Wraysbury (Middlesex) Vobster Quay (Somerset) or Stoney Cove (Leicestershire). Later training dives may take place in the sea on appropriate club trips.
Theory training takes place on Tuesday evenings with lectures starting at 19:30 followed by pool training from 21:00 to 22:00. Missing the occasional lecture is not usually a problem as there is a chance to catch up at the end (one of the advantages of the club system), although it works best all round if you get to every lecture/pool training session. Open water training always takes place at week-ends, usually on one day but occasionally on both.
You should be in a good state of health but do not need to be a superman or superwoman! There is a medical to be passed before starting a course. This takes the form of a self-certification form, in the first instance, provided the questions are answered satisfactorily there is no need to do anything more. Occasionally the answers you give may require you to go and see a medical referee to clarify a condition before diving can start. There is a swimming test at the beginning of the course. This consists of swimming 200m within a limited time period, but again we are looking for basic competence here not Olympic class speed!
To train with the BSAC you need to be at least 12 years of age. Within our branch we also vet applications from under eighteens, typically these areaccepted for people who have a relative in the club or are known to a member willing to take responsibility for them.
Whichever organisation you learn with, the entry level qualification will enable you to dive safely (albeit with some limitations placed on depth and conditions). For some people this is enough, others wish to go on training and will take further qualifications. One of the advantages of the club system is that now you are qualified to dive you already have a means to go diving through trips organised by the club, and a group of like-minded people who you will have come to know. You can also organise your own diving through commercial operators.
At the Guildford Sub Aqua Club joining the club costs £181 per year (2006). In the first year there is an additional charge for equipment hire and for the manuals you will need bringing the total to £241. In subsequent years only the club fees of £181 are payable, this is the same no matter how much training you do. For PADI courses you will need to contact a dive centre but the amount you pay will consist of:-
  • Training fees
  • Dive Manuals
  • Equipment Hire
These may be included in a single price or be priced separately, so be sure to check.
Initially, if you dive with Guildford Sub-Aqua Club none! We provide you with all the kit you will need for the first stages of training. The one item we cannot provide (for open water training) is a wet or dry suit. These can be hired from various outlets. Often people buy the basics pieces of kit (Snorkel, Mask and Fins) in the early stages of training. Once training has finished you can continue to hire kit, buy your own, or most likely buy it in stages.
Diving can be an expensive sport, but like a lot of things the amount you spend is largely dependent upon you. A full set of kit (including a dry suit) would cost around £1500 if bought from new you could spend much more than this though if you wanted, The good news is that there is a thriving second hand market (equipment is often for sale within the club) and this is a much cheaper alternative. As an example a £300 dive jacket (BCD) will often be found for £50 within the club. Most people also buy their kit steadily rather than in one go. One of the lectures deals with equipment and what you need, options for purchasing will be discussed. If you only ever intend to dive occasionally on holiday then you may well not wish to buy any equipment, holiday dive centres will always be able to hire you equipment.

News & Events

GBSAC Social
GBSAC Training
Phases of the Moon
To all of the fine friends of Guildford BSAC. Very much looking forward to sharing some festive cheer with you all on 20th with photos galore, mulled wine and mince pies. I will be sending an email round shortly so if you would kindly reply via email or on here if you will be joining - this will allow me to cater for the correct numbers 😁👌🏼 🎉🎄✨
is it possible please for someone to give me some details of the Try Dive sessions that you hold?
Invitation To All Members and Friends of Guildford BSAC to Join Our Annual Winter Party on Saturday14th January 2017 at the Hilton Cobham
Drinks Reception 19:00
Dinner 20:00
Bar and Music until Midnight
Following the huge success of our 2016 club party, we will be going back to the Hilton at Cobham on 14th January 2017, do join us for drinks, a delightful 3 course dinner followed by our awards, music and dancing and a the opportunity to meet up with many good friends. This is a great fun event and we are looking forward to making the 2017 party the best ever. We will continue with last year’s successful format - private room, private bar, DJ and dance floor, 3 course meal + wine (2 bottles per table), and drink on arrival. Total cost is just £41 per person.
Hilton booked and menu choices made. Only 55 days to go!
Another busy night down at the pool. Two try dives, our Ocean Diver course nearing completion, four Dive Leaders prepping for the upcoming instructor courses. Big thanks to Lorna, Victoria and JP for instructing and a great big thanks to Brian for pool cover and for helping with poolside activities.
Tuesday 20th December.
Guildford BSAC 's photographic competition and Philippa's Mince Pie and Mulled wine evening.
Get your photos ready and the rest of you get your mince pies open to judge.😂😂.
UK underwater, overseas underwater, diving related, video and some new categories (details to follow.
Michael Jennesons last practice session before the IFC this weekend. Big thanks Michael for giving me a hand with Surrey University Ocean Diver students at the Spectrum this evening.

How to contact us

We are easy to find, located at the Riverside, near the river Wey in Guildford.

Please contact our Reception Officer on 07787 141 857 or send us a message below.

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