Frequently Asked Questions
So you want to learn to dive, where do you start? To assist you we have compiled a list of questions that will help you make your decision as to where you learn to dive & with whom. You need to ask these questions when shopping for the dive course that best suits you and is able to give you what you need and want from your diving.
What are the prerequisites?
Before undertaking a Scuba diving course you will need to complete a “Medical Statement” with your Instructor. After this, you may need to undergo a dive medical with a Hyperbaric trained physician, there are several such doctors scattered around Melbourne and country Victoria, we can advise you of one closest to you or source your own at www.spums.org.au .
A dive medical is not claimable on MEDICARE, and will cost from $75.00 up to $155.00 depending on the physician.
Could you please provide me with a full list of inclusions and exclusions for your dive course.
Scuba diving is an equipment orientated sport, let’s face it – you can’t go trail riding without a motorcycle, you can’t go canoeing without a canoe. We are up front in telling you about equipment purchase expectations, that’s why on our information sheet for each individual course, we detail all inclusions and exclusions. Don’t’ be fooled, you only get what you pay for. Make sure you read any fine print.
With my certification, will you be able to give me a statement of attainment giving me credits for prior learning that can be utilised at a tertiary level?
By doing an SSI course you can obtain a statement of attainment. All our courses have been mapped against the Outdoor Education training package, and all training is Nationally Recognised training through the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF), this enables you to receive a statement of attainment on the completion of the course. The statement gives you credits for prior learning at a tertiary level and enables you to get a head start and to have your dive course work harder for you. Statements of attainment are available at an extra cost and are issued through a third party RTO.
How long have you been an instructor and how many divers have you certified?
At SCUBA CULTURE, all our Open Water instructors have been trained by our resident Instructor Certifier who has 30 years of experience in training divers, and who has personally certified over 3000 divers. We have a very tight quality control system in place ensuring that all aspects of your course are taught far in excess of what any other training facility may deliver. Your safety and enjoyment is paramount to us and our years of experience speak for themselves. There are no “Zero to Hero” instructors at Scuba Culture, and when it comes to you, there are no shortcuts.
What is your Instructor / Student ratio?
SSI demands and promotes a low student to instructor ratio to insure that you have the attention given to you that is personal enough to make sure that you become a safe, competent diver. Australian standards allow a ratio of 1 instructor to 8 students, at Scuba Culture our Instructor / Student ratio is 1 / 6 plus an assistant instructor to further reduce ratios, providing greater safety, personal service and attention where and when needed, as such, our actual in water training ratio is 2 / 6.
How much pool time & how many open water dives will I receive totaling what amount of time?
Our years of experience have demonstrated that plenty of physical diving experience during your course is vital in helping you become a safe, competent and confident diver. With SCUBA CULTURE you will be taught over & above minimum standards where many will only teach to minimum standards, this places a ceiling on the amount that you can learn. At Scuba Culture you will receive approximately 7 to 8 hours of pool training as a minimum & approximately 3.5 hours over 5 dives (on scuba) of OPEN WATER EXPERIENCE.
How many boat dives will you give me with my dive course?
SSI demands that boat dives are provided at an open water level. Boat dives enable you to explore sites further afield, get to deeper waters and more remote reefs (in comfort). Boat dives also enable you to experience boat dive protocol & get used to the way boat operators run dives. At SCUBA CULTURE you will do 2 boat dives.
What depth will I be certified to, and do I actually dive to that depth on my course?
Your SSI certification will be recognised worldwide, your certification is based on your actual achievements, and we will take you to a depth of 18mts because that is what your certification will allow you to dive to anywhere on earth. Some places will not dive you to 18mts, yet they will certify you to that depth! Scary really when you think about it, you will be certified to dive to a depth where you have absolutely no experience whatsoever.
How do I know if my certification is really valid and recognized world wide? Anyone could say that right???
Go to www.divessi.com/fac_search . Look up any country and see just how many other SSI facilities there are. Call or email a dive centre overseas and ask them if your SSI certification is recognized by them.
Do you have a dive club, if so, how much does it cost to join and what benefits do I get?
Learning to dive with SCUBA CULTURE is an experience that, we are proud to boast can not be equalled anywhere else. All divers that train through us automatically receive free membership to our dive club for the remainder of the membership year, you will receive all the benefits associated with our membership program. The benefits are numerous and start with regular newsletters advising you of our dive schedules, our dive travel trips overseas, interstate and local, our club activities, priority notification of any equipment sales specials, discounts on scuba gear hire & purchases, as well as regular club nights, guest speakers, and many other social activities. Annual membership is $96 and runs from November to November (the equivalent of $8 per month!)
Diving carries a certain element of danger where problems may occur, will I be taught how to recognise signs and symptoms of problems and how to avoid them?
Scuba Diving is an adventure sport that carries a certain element of risk. Risk is minimised by education and experience. At the end of the day there are many ways to do serious harm to your body whilst diving, and if you are not made aware of these or shown how to identify them and give the appropriate first aid, how can you ever hope to prevent these from occurring or help a dive buddy who may have received an injury? And at the end of the day, wouldn’t you like to know that the person you are diving with can give you the equal attention and assistance that you can give them?
Do I need to have a car?
It makes it easier if you have a car so that you can transport your dive gear with ease however we suggest students to car pool in order to cut down on the cost of fuel for themselves. We encourage students to make these arrangements during the theory session and in all our years of running courses, we are yet to have someone stuck without a lift!.
Where will the course be conducted?
Theory evening: Scuba Culture, Burwood, Pool training: Boroondara Sports Complex, Balwyn Shore dives: Location in the bay is weather dependent Boat dives: Ex Queenscliff or Portsea
Where is your shop?
We are located on Highbury Road near the corner of Highbury Road and Lytton Street. You can park your car in various areas around the showroom, on Highury Road, Lytton Street and Tudor Street.
The above questions will very quickly paint a very clear picture of what you can expect out of a dive course with the various operators around the place. This will also tell you why SCUBA CULTURE is the choice of people who recognise the importance of experience, safety and value for money.