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posted : May 31, 2008 Post subject: Professional Diving Academy Dunoon

Does anyone have any info on this lot? Seem to offer much more for your money than UWC including new made to measure 03 dry suit that you keep at the end of course. They say they do tooling as part of the course but I'm not sure whether its any good if its free. UWC seem to offer much bigger package but not sure how much I need at this stage? Also looking at SA as an option but really like the idea of HSE rather than an equivelent?

Please advise....

posted : June 5, 2008 Post subject: Professional Diving Academy Dunoon
I think it's important to start by saying I am not independent, I work for The Underwater Centre in Fort William, that said, I'll try and give you impartial advice.

If you are seriously considering a career in commercial diving, you'll have to pay for training. There are a number of options, both in the UK and at other locations. The first advice I'd offer is to speak to all of them before you make any decision.

Don't be afraid to quiz the schools about what you'll be getting for your money. Focus on the training you'll be getting rather than whether you're going to get a free dry suit or whatever. As I said, base your decision on the training you'll be getting - not all of the courses are the same! Ask about facilities, instructors, how many dives you'll be doing, how much bottom time you'll get, what you'll be doing when you're in the water. Ask if anyone else (MOD, Police, offshore companies etc.) uses the school/facilities to train.

The most important thing to remember is this: you're paying to train for a new career, the course you choose should be the one that gives you the best chance of being a success in that career.

I'll end with a blatant advertisement (this bit isn't desperately impartial, hopefully the preceding bit was though) - The Underwater Centre runs a range of courses in Fort William and in Tasmania (this is an ADAS ticket rather than an HSE ticket). I think that the facilities we have, our dive sites, our course content and the experience of our instructors make us a great choice for anyone seeking a career in commercial diving.

posted : June 5, 2008 Post subject: Professional Diving Academy Dunoon
Hi Dougie thanks for your advice. I know about The Underwater Centre for many years and also briefly visited your stand at the Birmingham dive show last year. I only found out about PDA at the same show and found them very helpful also. I run a small tools hire company owned by my father and Iím now looking to move into something a bit more challenging. I have spoken with both Schools in the past and also with Interdive but they donít do HSE top up. I was very curious at the conflicting advice from UWC and PDA and just wanted to find out other folks opinions on this.

UWC advised to do a career package if I wanted to have any chance of employment. This had tooling module attached which I liked and also inspection certificate which is needed offshore. However it was more expensive than PDA which is understandable considering how much is involved with the course. PDA advised me that although they are selling extra courses like welding and Kirby Morgin tech courses etc. that I am best off getting into work first before finding where to specialise if I need to. They state that they carry out tooling and inspection training as part of the course but Iíve no idea if it is any good as itís not specific like your own. They also provide starter package that they say is worth over £1000.

I have to admit that I donít know much about the ADAS certificate as I had looked more at SA as an overseas option. However I have been advised to do HSE if I have the money. I intend visiting both Schools in the next few weeks with my friend who Iím trying to convince to do course also. I hope to enter a course at the beginning of next year and god willing I would also like to try the Kirby helmets and speak with some current students if that is possible. Thanks again for your help.


posted : June 9, 2008 Post subject: Professional Diving Academy Dunoon
Hi! We're always happy to have prospective students come and have a nosey round. If you give us a call, we can firm up a good time for you to visit. I'll be happy to give you the grand tour.

We also run familiarisation days whereby prospective students can come and get the tour plus have a go in our dive tank with a KM17 and surface supply.

posted : July 17, 2008 Post subject: Professional Diving Academy Dunoon
I would avoid this lot at all cost! They are cheaper but what they promise when they sell you the course they don't deliver. They like to fail you so they can get more money from you! They are not professional at all and offer a poor service. BUYER BEWARE

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