HSA/A-1 Scuba Dive Buddy Course

HSA TrainingHSA Scuba Dive Buddy Course


HSA/A-1 Scuba Dive Buddy Course

Dive BuddyThank you for your interest in our Handicapped Scuba Association Dive Buddy course! This three-day program is filled with fun, challenges and loaded with information. The Handicapped Scuba Association Dive Buddy Course is a special certification for divers who wish to know and understand more about physical disabilities and how it relates to scuba diving.

You may know someone with a disability who is already a certified diver or is interested in trying scuba. Wouldn’t you love to share your love of diving with them? Become a certified HSA Dive Buddy.

During this course, you will gain knowledge and experience in how to safely and effectively assist, travel and scuba dive with certified divers with disabilities. The training you will receive will be like nothing else you have done before.

The course is conducted over 3 days. You’re first two days will be spent in the classroom and swimming pool and the final day at the Downtown Aquarium, diving in the Beneath the Sea exhibit. Participants will experience the roles of both dive buddy and simulated disabled diver. At the completion of this course, you will have the training to dive with and assist in open water diving activities involving certified divers with disabilities.

A-1 Scuba and Craig Hospital work together to offer monthly Disabled Diver Discover Scuba experiences and annual dive trips specifically designed to accommodate divers with disabilities. As a certified HSA Dive Buddy, you may be interested in joining us for one of these programs. These are experiences that are sure to warm your heart.

Here’s a sneak preview of what you can expect in the program.

Day 1

You’ll start by meeting your fellow candidates, turn in the required forms (see below) and complete some of the other necessary paperwork (tons of fun). This will follow with some in-depth review of the HSA course standards and move into the actual multi-level certification process. From there, you’ll head to the pool to begin a series of role-playing exercises in teams as paraplegics and quadriplegics. You’ll have a chance to act as a dive buddy and as a disabled diver. You’ll love it!

Day 2

We continue in the classroom and dig further into the Performance Standards and certification procedures of the HSA course. After that we’ll head back to the pool to resume skill training by introducing you to the techniques and tactile communication used when diving with someone who is blind. You’re guaranteed to discover the meaning of trust, faith, belief, confidence, expectation, reliance and dependence.

Day 3

Here’s your chance to put many of the techniques you learned in the pool to use in an Open Water environment at the Downtown Aquarium. Once again, you’ll be working in buddy teams and performing several of the skill learned in the swimming pool. As in the pool, you’ll be playing the role of a disabled diver and as a dive buddy.

More about the HSA Dive Buddy Program

Course Prerequisites

  • Certified Open Water Scuba Diver, or above, by a recognized diver training agency
    Please bring your certification card to the first class.
  • Minimum age 15 years old
  • Be fit for diving and complete a Medical Statement for diving stating that you are medically fit to dive. If you answer “yes” to any medical questions, you will need to see a physician and have them complete a standard scuba diving medical form stating that your are medically fit to dive. Please bring your completed PADI Medical Form (signed by a physician if necessary) to the first class.
  • Complete the Course Registration and Liability Release (see below)
  • Complete the Dive Buddy Course Application (see below)
  • Complete the Inherent Hazards and Risks of Diving Activities (see below)
  • Logged a minimum of 10 open water dives within 2 years prior to the starting date of the course. Please bring your log book to the first class.
  • Logged a total minimum of 20 open water dives to complete the course.
  • Successfully challenge HSA Air Sharing and Life Saving Skills or equivalent. You will be asked to demonstrate these skills the first day of class.

Performance Requirements

  • Attend all classroom, confined and open water segments of the course.
  • Participate in all role-playing segments in the confined and open water.
  • Complete and pass the final exam (Note: this is an open-book exam and conducted as a group)

Dive Buddy Course Materials

  • The HSA Dive Buddy Manual is included with the course fee.
  • You have the option of purchasing other related materials directly from HSA.

Time Frame

We begin Day 1 and 2 at 8am and should be finished by 6pm. This of course depends on the size of the group and the amount of participation of the various group members. Day 3 begins at A-1 at 8am. Then we’ll head to the Downtown Aquarium at 10:30am, for the Open Water training dives and should finish by 6pm.


Tanks and weights will be provided for the pool. You will need to provide your own: Mask, Snorkel, Fins, BCD, Regulator, Alternate Air Source (Octopus) and gauges. Tanks and weights will be provided. All open water equipment will be provided by the aquarium.

Make-up Sessions

Make-up sessions will be arranged on a per person basis. They can be difficult to set up and at $85 per hour can be very costly. Please make every attempt to attend all required sessions.


Please dress casually. Clothing displaying lewd pictures and profanity are unacceptable.


This is a fun class, but like all classes it can be challenging at times. I ask that you have a blast and conduct yourself in a mature, adult manner – even if you get frustrated.


Because there is a tremendous amount of material to cover in the course, you will need to come to class prepared and on time ———–please.

HSA Dive Buddy Fee

$275.00 includes: all classroom instruction, confined water training, the HSA Dive Buddy Manual, Confined and HSA Registration Fee, pool tanks and weights.

There is a separate $125 fee for the Downtown Aquarium open water training dive. This includes the use of all equipment. Note: Does not include the parking fee.

Required Forms

And Finally

The key to your success is to be sure and come prepared, willing to learn new skill and information and have a desire to have a great time.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. Here is your chance to challenge yourself, sharpen your personal skills and introduce a special group of people to the wonderful sport of scuba diving.

It is sure to open your eyes and maybe even your heart.


Scott Taylor
HSA Course Director #11

HSA Scuba Instructor

Sign Up Now


Or call A-1 Scuba and Travel Center at 303-789-2450