Although not classed as a "dangerous" or "extreme" sport, diving is an adventurous sport and you do need to ensure that you are with a properly qualified instructor - it's not something to attempt on your own!
Learning to dive with a club has many advantages:
The school system suits some people better, and some of the advantages of this system are listed below:
Training from either type of organisation follows a broadly similar pattern, the entry level course will consist of three elements:
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.