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Posted : January 25, 2007
Hi, I'm thinking of doing a Nitrox course, and was wondering what were the views (not just Mr. Dawson - Maddocks but everyone) on whether to do IANTD or BSAC Advanced Nitrox.

Also after this I was thinking about BSAC Extended Range Course, and was wondering if anyone had any experience of this, and what your (Mr Dawson-Maddocks) personal views were on the course.

Posted : January 26, 2007
Lets be careful to not concentrate on which agency is better than the other as each have structured their training to fit and mesh in with how prerequisite knowledge and skills have been developed.

If we look at the pioneering work NOAA and NASA have done with Nitrox, then it is clear IANTD were the first to embrace its use and proffered extremely good training doctrines and materials. Pretty much every other training agency either at the time or (shortly) afterwards developed their own version of this training. Likewise is true of the US NAVY and UK NAVY work to develop diving and decompression procedures again from which came significant developments in diving physiology understanding and thence procedures (& tables) for non-deco and deco diving.

The key question is not which agency or course, but what do you want the training for. You can then decide how to achieve that goal through small steps (consolidating each with serious diving experience before moving on), and at each step - picking wisely the location of training and the instructor you go with (ensuring they have bags of experience doing what you realistically want to do).

For me I wanted serious training, very hard nosed feedback, solid diving in hard environments each pushing the limits of my training and skills. I chose the instructors and the locations with care. To that end I'm doing dives now that are extreme and serious (and some that are extremely dangerous and require a hell of a lot of very careful planning and logistics).

I strongly believe every agency has some great gems in each of their course materials and instructor guides - I have taken a long time to build up a library of a lot of different tables from around the world along with such feedback etc from a lot of divers/instructors.

Do a basic Nitrox course first - have fun diving it and extending your bottom time and getting use to the procedures for handling such gases and keeping your kit all safe for its use, progress then onto developing this into a limited decompression dive scenario with Adv Nitrox and again more kit, procedures and computer issues, then go extended range/Technical Diver trained again more deco, more complex issues of rich decompression gases and even more procedures and potentially computer issues.. Please don't fast track technical training - it's very unwise, if not lethal.

I strongly recommend doing smaller steps, consolidate this training with a season's good solid diving using these new procedures etc and pick your location, instructor and curriculum (hence agency) depending on what your overall goals are... Have fun.

(I haven't avoided the question - without knowing all the points I raise - I cannot nor will I say one agency is better than the other as that would be very wrong and out of order!)
Answer provided by ADM Diving

Andrew Dawson-Maddocks
The views expressed by the author are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by the author, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be technically correct.
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