Learn to be a professional diver. It’s free!
Andark Diving and Suunto launch their 2020 Diver Training Scholarship.
Andark Diving the UK’s premier diver training company and Suunto, the multinational sports computer giant are inviting young people to apply for this exciting challenge.
Now entering its sixth year the scholarship offers the opportunity for people with little or no previous diving experience to be trained to be a PADI Divemaster. The qualification is the first professional level in PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) organisation and has worldwide recognition. Before starting the Divemaster training students must gain 4 related diving qualifications. All necessary training materials and equipment will be provided by Andark.
The Scholarship runs from June until September and is based in Lower Swanwick. The Scholars are involved in all aspects of Diver training. Whilst developing their own skills they will be helping both novice and experienced divers develop theirs.
Although based at Andark, Scholars will be diving at several locations along the South Coast. Steve Cook Diver Training Manager said ‘We are now inviting young people to apply for the 2020 Scholarship. The closing date for applications is 28th February and there will be an assessment day in early March. The Scholarship doesn’t formally start until June; however, the successful applicants will be invited to take part in courses from Easter on. The only cost to scholars is the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) medical. This is a legal requirement for all divers at work. The fee is £100.
Andark and Suunto provide all the necessary training equipment and materials. UK and Ireland SUUNTO Manager Ryan Crawford said. ‘Suunto are the leading suppliers of diving and other sports computers. We introduce the Scholars to dive computers and demonstrate the vast improvements in diver safety they have produced. We also provide them with a state-of-the-art dive computer at the start of the scholarship.
Michael Ambrose now the manager at Andark Diver Training Lake said ‘After graduating from Southampton University with a degree in Geography I successfully applied for the scholarship in 2016. I had no previous diving experience nor any intention of working in this business. From the very first diving course, I was working on I was introduced to students as one of the team. None the less, for some considerable time all the tasks I was given were very closely supervised. Any underwater interaction with students was a long way off’.
Michael added. ‘However, like everything, there are boring bits, like cleaning and checking equipment on a wet Monday morning after a busy weekend. But overall it was a great three months.’
Andy Goddard, Andark’s Founder and Director said, Why do we run the scholarship? Enlightened self-interest, SCUBA diving is very much a minority sport and is often unfairly seen a dangerous. ‘The Scholarship helps to spread a more positive view and dispel many of the negative myths.’
Andy added. ‘With our onsite classrooms, heated swimming pool and purpose-built diver training lake Andark is the ideal place to get an introduction to the diving world. Ordinarily, this training, with equipment and materials would cost around £2000. Add in the dive computer and were looking at the best part of £3000. Looks like an irresistible offer!
Scholarship Structure 2020
- 18 years old
- Pass an HSE Diving Medical
- Pass a DBS check
- Some previous diving experience would be an advantage
The Scholarship will commence in June 2020 for a period of three months. The Students will be based at Andark Diving in Lower Swanwick, Southampton. There will also be a requirement to work at remote locations, transport will be provided to and from these locations.
The hours are from 8.30 to 17.30 when working Monday to Friday and 7.30 to 16.30 when working Saturday and Sunday. It will be necessary to work some Saturdays until 18.30. Days will be arranged over a flexible five day week. It will be necessary to work one evening session each week. Due to the nature of the business, it will be necessary to work most Saturdays and Sundays.
For people with little or no diving experience, training will be provided before the start of the Scholarship. However, this will require a time commitment of up to 15 days between April and June, depending on the amount of training necessary. Most training will take place at weekends and over Easter.
Materials and Equipment
All necessary diving equipment and training materials will be provided, on loan, by Andark. Suunto will provide the trainees with a dive computer, on loan. On successful completion of the programme ownership of the computer will be transferred to the trainee.
The students will be trained to PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Divemaster level. This is the first professional level in PADI. There are four prerequisite courses: Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Emergency First Responder (1st aid) and Rescue Diver. All necessary courses will be provided by Andark.
Certification will depend on the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the academic and practical requirements of each of the above courses. The objective will be to start Divemaster training as soon as possible.
There are two further elements to the scholarship; working directly and indirectly with divers under training. This will necessitate acquiring competence in a number of tasks and skills detailed in appendix 1.
Students will be required to keep a log. It will have three sections:
- A weekly video log: Recording the week’s actives
- A skills workbook: Recording competence in the tasks in appendix 1
- A diving log: Recording dives completed.
Methods of Instruction
The diving courses will be conducted and assessed by PADI accredited diving instructors. Other training will be carried out by experienced members of staff. In this area skills or tasks must be satisfactorily completed five times under supervision before competence can be agreed.
Each of the diving courses has an associated video, manual and related Knowledge Reviews. The manual must be read, the Knowledge Reviews completed and the video viewed, in the students own time, before the start of each course. Exceptionally the Divemaster Knowledge Reviews may be completed during that course.
Divemaster candidates must read The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving.
A monthly video log will be produced by each Scholar using elements from the weekly video logs.
Each diving course is assessed by:
- Knowledge Reviews, open book;
- Multiple choice exam, closed book and;
- By skill competence.
- Exceptionally the Advanced Open Water is assessed by Knowledge, Reviews and skill competence.
- Other skills and tasks will be assessed by Andark staff.
Mentors – Monitoring
Each Scholar will have an assigned Andark diving instructor as a mentor.
Progress will be reviewed weekly by the Diving Training Administrator and the Scholars to ensure that the programme is being delivered as planned.
Rescue Diver students must prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site.
Divemaster candidates must prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site. They must also complete a mapping project for a designated dive site.
Trainees will be covered by Andarks Employers Liability Insurance.
Most of the work undertaken during this Scholarship will involve diving and supporting novice and certified divers under training. Nonetheless, in common with all employment, there are continual and somewhat boring tasks which must be completed. Applicants must have the ability to cope with this.
How to apply
We request applicants produce a personal statement, either written or as a short video (less than 5 minutes) that explains the following, and send it, along with a CV, to firstname.lastname@example.org before 28th February 2020:
- Who you are
- Your interests
- Why you would make a good PADI Divemaster
- Any previous diving experience you have