FAQ AND FORMAL PROCESSES

Contents

This document sets out below:

  • The Purpose of SD
  • Some FAQs about the club
  • The formal club processes
  • Club dive documentation (Marshalling Sheet and Risk Assessment form)
  • Roles

About

Swanwick Divers is a club with divers who want to dive together, with the emphasis on safe diving practices. We accept members with dive qualifications from all recognised agencies and members range from entry level to professionals. The group is all about going diving, not training.

Administration

This is a closed group so you have to ask to join in, but anyone can view the activity. We keep the formality of a club in the background and there are no fees to pay to SD. The only financial requirement is that all members must also be members of BSAC, so we can all enjoy their support and insurance protection.  

Conduct

The Club will organise diving from the shore, RIBS, hard boats and in quarries. In regard to boat diving, if you sign up to dive then your word is your bond and you either turn up and dive, paying for your place or get someone else to fill your space and pay for it, or chose not to turn up but still pay for your space. The diving we undertake is weather dependant and we will respect the advice of the skippers to abort the dive or go to an alternative site.  Our attitude is “Best Achievable Dive”.

We are all responsible people, so nothing offensive on the Facebook site, please. We want to be a group where everybody feels included and welcome, including those who may feel themselves in a minority in the UK diving world (e.g. from a health, financial or gender point of view). We also want to respect the many different diving priorities within the group – from purely recreational bimbles to challenging technical dives.

Bring your ideas to the group about dives you would like to do, including a social element although we are primarily about diving rather than socialising.

FAQs

1. Will SD allow Facebook or Website (in the future) members not to be BSAC members, as a sort of lower tier membership? 

No.  It is much clearer if there is one criteria for membership.  The reason for this requirement is to provide better and more consistent protection for all members going on a dive organised by Swanwick Divers; BSAC membership and the insurance which comes with it offers this at a cost that we think is good value.

If after a short transition period someone has not joined BSAC then we will remove them (after a warning) from the Facebook site and remove website access. 

It is possible for divers thinking of becoming members to become guest members by following the formal procedure (see Club Dives below), for up to seven days in one current insurance year.

2. Will there be formal requirements and paperwork for club dives? 

Yes, but minimised as much as possible.  We have a written procedure to manage this.  Club dives will require Moderator (officer) authorisation and a marshalling sheet / risk assessment and the record of the dive will be retained in the form of the marshalling sheet.

3. Can non-members join club dives and non-diving events? 

For club dives, yes they can, if they are thinking of joining SD.  They can become a guest member.  In order to do this the diver must contact the Membership Officer and provide the information requested.  For every dive or dive trip the guest must also fill out the Guest Member Declaration.  Guest Members are limited to seven days per insurance year.

For non-diving events, yes, but we will organise some sort of free, temporary, non-diving membership for the event.

4. Will private dives be admin free? 

Yes – SD is not involved in nor responsible for private dives and therefore there is no need to insist on anything.  On the other hand, if we sense that a member is behaving irresponsibly in terms of diving, we will question it and may remove their membership.  This is in the spirit of encouraging safe diving.

5. Can non-members join members on private dives? 

As above, yes – it’s nothing to do with SD, other than as in FAQ 4, reacting if we observe what may be unsafe practices.  Note that our members will be protected by their BSAC insurance, although that will be more secure if all divers on the private dive have the BSAC insurance.

6. Will the club hold personal data including qualifications? 

We have drafted a procedure which defines the personal data we need to have access to in order to function effectively.  The Moderators (as officers of the club) will have access to our members’ data that is held by BSAC.  Now we are a fully operational club we can soon determine if this is sufficient for us.  If it is sufficient then we will leave the whole GDPR policy and practice to BSAC – they will manage it on our behalf. 

If we need to ask for additional personal information then we will need to have our own, minimal GDPR policy and system.  In that case, we can use the BSAC policy and guidance, which look good, and we are in advance checking into secure electronic data storage. We will inform members if this becomes the situation.

7. On the point about club dives having a plan, surely the Dive Manager will give the plan to the divers, not the other way around? 

The Dive Manager will define the maximum parameters, eg max depth and time, maybe overall objective and entry / exits etc.  In practice much of that on a boat dive will be defined by the skipper of course, and then endorsed by the Dive Manager. 

Each buddy pair then confirms their specific dive plan to the Dive Manager, which might have a particular objective and lesser time / depth limits.

8. How will GDPR be managed and verified? 

See answer FAQ 6.

9. Does the BSAC insurance remove the need to have other insurance or is it in addition to what you (me as a normal diver) would have?

We want to be careful not to advise on insurance, because we’re not qualified for that. But to us the BSAC insurance looks excellent. Some of us in addition pay for DAN insurance because it covers us if we do any teaching and it is excellent for deeper, technical diving. So I think it depends on what diving you intend to do. We suggest you look seriously at the BSAC insurance for your cover and then see if it’s adequate. There’s lots about the insurance on the BSAC website.

10. I have looked into joining BSAC and there are two things stopping me doing it straight away.

Do I join now or wait to join the SD BSAC club?

Now that the application for SD club has gone through the system at BSAC, you can make your application.

Where do I fit with my qualifications? If the officers of the club organise a club dive under BSAC, would the level be set at BSAC grades?

We’ll set the club dives by max depth, so whatever agency your qualifications are from doesn’t matter – just make sure you’ve got the depth rating. The additional implications of a particular agency’s qualification definitions would be too much detail to try to use. If there is any aspect of a club dive other than depth that might be an issue the Dive Manager (usually a Moderator) will let you know.

11. So are we joining BSAC just to get insurance?  I already hold DAN silver insurance, as diving all over the world as well as home it’s always good having insurance to cover all diving related eventualities.

The key issue is insurance, yes.  In order to have insurance we found we needed to have a more formal club structure.  Having accepted that, there are huge benefits in using the BSAC club structure.  Therefore we are using the BSAC insurance scheme and hence we need all members of SD to become members of BSAC.

Before we got to this point we discussed insurance cover for liability with DAN and Divemaster who wouldn’t cover us.  This was true even for DAN Pro-Gold, the highest of their professional covers.

12. Where does this leave individuals like me who are coordinating trips, e.g. for Lundy?

For the trip to be a formal club trip and enjoy the maximum liability protection you will need to either be a Moderator, which in BSAC terms means you are an officer of the club, or have “delegate dive manager duties” from the DO. Please let us know if this is what you want to do. 

Another issue is that if you are organising the trip privately some on your trip may not be members of BSAC and may not have insurance.  This makes your liability position less clear than it otherwise would be.

For the trip to be a “Club Trip”, we need everyone on it to either be a member of SD (and to do that they will need to join BSAC) or, if they are thinking about becoming a member, to follow the procedure to become a Guest Member. For every day of diving, Guest Members must fill out the Guest Member Declaration.  Guest Members are limited to seven days’ diving per insurance year.  For any dive trips that were organised prior to 25th April 2019, and for which non-members have paid a deposit, we will ask the non-members to sign a waiver.  The waiver will record that they know they will be diving privately, albeit they are part of the trip; SD will take no responsibility for their dive(s).

13. Are you saying that unless we join BSAC then we will not be able to join your dives?

Not necessarily.  We need everyone on a club dive / club dive trip to either be a member of SD (and to do that you will need to join BSAC) or, if they are thinking about becoming a member, to follow the procedure to become a Guest Member.  See FAQ 12.

14. Does it mean anyone organising a dive in Swanwick Divers will need to go through the Dive Officer first and fill out the paper work and hand it in after the dives are completed to keep a log whether a shore or boat dive.

Essentially yes, but we’re aiming to have all that as easy and painless as possible. We’ve designed a single sheet of paper as the paperwork that the dive organiser would need to have.

Anyone organising a formal club dive needs to have a chat with us first.  Providing the DO (Doc for recreational dives or Nick for technical, at the time of writing) is happy with arrangements we will list it as a club dive, which means you are covered as fully as possible.  Then you will manage the dive, fill in the Marshalling sheet / Risk Assessment and send it back to us centrally.

15. I‘ve been an independent member of BSAC for a few years for the third party insurance that was required for the type of diving I do. I have been able to enjoy the benefits of BSAC membership without having to belong to a formal club.

As you are already a member of BSAC there’s no need to change anything.  SD is happy to accept training from any recognised agency, provided the diver joins BSAC.

16. If I suggest a dive through the Facebook page, usually a shore dive, then I point out that I am not organising it, just suggesting people might like to come together as a social group, all with their own responsibility for themselves or buddies as normal.

In this situation it’s a private dive and not a club dive.  You can use the Facebook site to organise it but it is your responsibility to make sure you are happy with any risk involved, legal or otherwise.

In the transition period until the end of May, 2019, we require that anybody organising private dives through the Facebook site become a BSAC member first.  This is to ensure that all our members have some level of

Is there any definition in the BSAC world about “organising” a dive? I see two different scenarios which I assume need to be handled completely differently:

  1. Club Dive: someone, mainly a moderator, would put up a dive where people can sign in or book a trip.
  2. Individuals meeting up for a dive and diving together.

And is there a difference between non pro and pro divers?

There is as you say a difference between an Official club dive and two divers just going diving.

We are going to make it clear when a Moderator (officer), or someone with delegated Dive Manager duties, has organised a formal club dive – like Doc organising to dive from X-Dream at a weekend, 0-18m. It will be advertised as a club dive, be posted as an Event on the Facebook site and we will maintain a formal list of club dives. The BSAC insurance covers us as Moderators. That means we are protected to the extent that we are organisers and also some on the dive might want some extra support from us.

If you aren’t a Moderator (and haven’t approached us for the delegated Dive Manager authorisation) and you use the site to coordinate meeting up for a dive then it won’t be on the list of club dives and it’s clear that it’s a private dive. Your BSAC insurance covers you for that private dive.  There could, however, be an issue if others on the dive are not covered by insurance and anything goes wrong.

In the transition period until the end of May, 2019, we require that anybody organising private dives through the Facebook site become a BSAC member first.  This is to ensure that all our members have some level of insurance.

If a member is concerned that the dive he or she is arranging is requiring them to give support and advice, so it’s becoming more than a private dive, we hope they will ask the Moderators if the dive could be made into a formal club dive.  If that happens then there is a formal procedure to go through and the DO would discuss that with you.

In terms of professional divers, there is no difference.

Formal Club Processes

Membership Management

The Membership Officer will:

  1. For members of SD that list SD as their club, access the following data when necessary through central BSAC records:
    • Name
    • Highest qualification and maximum depth rating
    • Emergency contact
    • Diver medical, if required
    • Confirmation of age being 18 years or more, or date of birth.
  2. For members of SD that do not list SD as their club, maintain an affiliated member list of the following information:
    • Name
    • Membership class
    • Highest qualification and maximum depth rating
    • Emergency contact
    • Fitness to dive self-certification
    • Diver medical, if required
    • Confirmation of age being 18 years or more, or date of birth.
    • BSAC membership number and renewal date.
  3. Regularly check the club membership data at BSAC for confirmation of members renewing their membership.  Also check the affiliated member list regularly in the same way.
  4. Receive requests for guest membership check that they are thinking about becoming a SD member and:
    • Collect the following information:
      • Name
      • Highest qualification, agency and maximum depth rating
      • Emergency contact
      • Diver medical, if required
      • Confirmation of age being 18 years or more, or date of birth.
    • Send out a blank Guest Member Declaration, instructing the Guest Member to submit a completed declaration to the DO (or DO-Tec as appropriate) for each dive or sequence of dives in a dive trip.
    • Ask the diver to contact the DO (or DO-Tec as appropriate) before their first dive with SD so the DO can discuss with them their diving experience.
    • Send notification of the application for Guest Membership to the DO / DO-Tec as appropriate and receive back confirmation of whether or not the application is approved.
    • Maintain a list of guest members along with the club dives they have joined.  Monitor their diving to check that they do not exceed the permitted seven days in one insurance year. 
    • Ask for permission to update the guest with further club dive information and send this to them via a mailing list if permission is given.
  5. Maintain an up to date membership price and joining advice sheet to send to prospective new members.
  6. Hold a standard list of questions for background information from new applicants.
  7. Respond to membership requests with the joining advice information and request the standard applicant’s information from them.
  8. Review new member applications and take the decision on accepting them.  Refer requests for discussion with the moderator group if necessary.
  9. Send out the Welcome to Swanwick Divers message to new members.

Club Dive

Every diver on a club dive / club dive trip must either be a member of SD (and to do that they will need to join BSAC) or, if they are thinking about becoming a member, to follow the procedure to become a Guest Member. For every day of diving, Guest Members must fill out the Guest Member Declaration.  Guest Members are limited to seven days’ diving per insurance year.  For any dive trips that were organised prior to 25th April 2019, and for which non-members have paid a deposit, we will ask the non-members to sign a waiver.  The waiver will record that they know they will be diving privately, albeit they are part of the trip; SD will take no responsibility for their dive(s).

The Club Dive process will be managed by the Dive Officer (DO) for recreational dives and by the Dive Officer – Tec (liaising with the DO) for technical dives. 

The DO / DO Tec will:

  1. Maintain a list of authorised club dives.  This is important in order to distinguish between club dives and private dives undertaken by members.  It’s also important to have a list as a record that is independent of posts on the Facebook Group site.
  2. Receive requests from members to be allowed to organise a club dive, or initiate the club dive personally.
  3. Review the club dive request and take the decision on whether or not to authorise it.  If authorised, add it to the list of authorised club dives.
  4. Delegate Dive Manager (DM) responsibility to someone for the club dive, ensuring they have the required expertise.  Give the DM the DM pack for the club dive.
  5. Review the high level dive plan with the DM in advance (telephone or email discussion will usually be sufficient).
  6. Publish the club dive as a “Club Dive” on the Facebook Group Events section.  This is important in order to ensure Club Dives have been clearly advertised as such.
  7. The DM will:
    • Be present for the club dive
    • Check each diver is either:
      • A club member
      • A guest, and has completed the Guest Declaration,
      • Has other BSAC membership
      • Or, for dives organised before 25/4/19, has completed the Non-member Declaration.
    • Complete the Marshalling Sheet (which is combined with the Risk Assessment)
    • Determine if surface cover is required (for a boat dive normally the skipper can fulfil this role)
    • Satisfy the requirements of the risk assessment
    • Monitor the dive conditions and take action if conditions change, delegating this to the skipper if it is a boat dive and the DM is diving.
    • Confirm all divers are safe immediately after the dive or take appropriate action.
    • After the dive, send a copy of the completed Marshalling Sheet to the DO or DO Tec.
    • In the event of a diving incident, inform the DO / DO Tec and submit a BSAC Incident form (available on the BSAC website).
  8. The DO or DO Tec will file a copy of the Marshalling Sheet in the electronic shared records store.  The record will be kept for seven years and then its retention will be reviewed.
  9. In the case of Guest Members, before they dive, the DO / DO-Tec will: receive notification from the Membership Officer of the request for Guest Membership; receive a contact from applicant Guest Member and discuss their experience with them; confirm to the diver and to the Membership Officer whether they can be accepted as a Guest Member. 

Club Event

This process will be managed by one Moderator. 

The Events Officer will:

  1. Receive requests from members to be allowed to organise a club event (in this context this is a non-diving event), or initiate the event personally.
  2. Review the club event request and take the decision on whether or not to authorise it.
  3. Delegate Event Manager (EM) responsibility to someone for the club event, ensuring they have the required expertise.
  4. Review the high level event plan with the EM in advance (telephone or email discussion will usually be sufficient).
  5. The EM will:
    • Be present for the club event
    • Complete an appropriate risk assessment and satisfy its requirements
    • After the event, send a short summary of the event to the Moderator managing this process, who will file a copy in the electronic shared records store.  The record will be kept for seven years and then its retention will be reviewed.

Record Keeping

This process will be managed by one Moderator. 

All records of these formal processes will be stored electronically, securely and according to GDPR guidelines.  They will be stored for seven years and then their further retention will be reviewed.  The data will be immediately accessible only to the group of Moderators.

The Records Officer will:

  1. Regularly review the records deposited and tidy the file storage if necessary
  2. Annually review records that have been held for seven years and decide if they should be kept for a further year
  3. Be prepared to respond to any GDPR based access to data or removal of data request
  4. Annually review the list of formal club procedures, draft an update if necessary, send them to all Moderators to agree or comment, replace as the current file copy.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

An AGM will be held once per year, organised by the Chair.

Current Moderator Roles

ModeratorBSAC Officer Role 1BSAC Officer Role 2
Mike RushworthChairmanMembership Officer
Sue ThomasTreasurer
Kat VaughanCommunications Officer
Ian WoodRecords OfficerDive Manager
Ian McCarthneyChild Protection and Welfare Officer
David AdeyDiving Officer (OC and Recreational)
Nick ElleringtonDiving Officer (CCR and Technical)Events Officer
Andy BurridgeDive Manager
Graeme FraserDive Manager
James ZiemannDive Manager

Marshalling Sheet and Risk Assessment Form

These documents will be uploaded in due course for club use and will be found below. In the meantime, please contact the Moderators. In practice they are displayed in landscape format and printed back to back for use at the dive site.