I first qualified as a Technical Diving instructor back in 2004. Since then I’ve trained 100s of divers at various levels. Sadly I’ve made the decision this year to no longer actively continue training.
Unfortunately it has got the point that is just no longer cost effective to operate as a professional technical diving instructor.
I thought I’d point out the main reasons why I’ve come to this decision:
- Market Rates
The diving industry in the UK has generally been in a bit of a race to the bottom for a few years now. With far to many opportunities to get cheap training, the general market rate for training has been quite low. Price seems to dominate as the driving factor instead of quality, and I’m no longer prepared to try and compete with the (few, not all) who are prepared to cut corners on training standards and / or health and safety.
- Closure of NDAC
With the NDAC in Chepstow now closed to the public, there are no inland site where any trimix level diving can be conducted safely (in my opinion) and with good support and facilities. We did manage to function quite happily before the NDAC, but at that time in the UK there were significantly more dive boats available around the coast. Booking, then rebooking due to weather cancellations, was a lot easier than it is now. Fuel, accommodation and food while on the coast are now considerably more expensive. A recent 2 days diving in Portland has cost me over £400 just in those three items alone, before adding boat fees, gases etc.
I’m looking forward to spending more time diving for myself, and would like to thank all my past students for allowing me to join in their journey’s to becoming technical divers. I’ve seen a few colleagues making the same decisions as me already this year and imagine they had similar thoughts.
What would I recommend if you are looking for technical diver training?
- There are a number of IANTD instructors I would recommend, depending on the training requirement. The full list of IANTD UK instructors is at https://www.iantd.uk.com/find.php. If you are after trimix training, an instructor nearer the coast may be a better option.
- Plan ahead. You may need to be booking many month ahead so instructors can coordinate multiple students, boats, accommodation etc.