Advanced Open Water Diver

The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course takes you further into the underwater world.

With your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Certification you will be qualified to dive with a buddy to a depth of 30 metres. PADI is the most widely-recognised scuba certification and will be welcomed in resorts worldwide.

The Course.

The Advanced Open Water Diver and Junior Advanced Open Water Diver courses build on the foundation laid in the Open Water Diver course. You have already learned the fundamentals of diving and now you get to explore different diving activities and new ways to have fun scuba diving.

The course consists of some knowledge development, five open water dives and possibly some work in the pool, depending on which options you choose for the course:

·       Knowledge Development: On booking the course you receive the Adventures In Diving Crewpack which contains the materials you need to study and your Adventure Dive planning slates.

This part of the course is completed as self-study using the Adventures In Diving Manual. The manual has a number of chapters introducing different diving activities e.g. dry suit diving, peak performance buoyancy, underwater photography or wreck diving.

Each chapter corresponds to one of the dives which can be taken on the course and includes a short knowledge review which must be completed prior to diving. We generally review these with you at the dive site, so there is no need to spend time in the classroom.  

To qualify as an Advanced Open Water Diver you must complete one deep dive, one navigation dive and three additional dives which can be selected according to your interest.

·       Pool Work: If you opt for the dry suit dive as one of your choices then we need a pool session to take you through the differences between diving in a dry suit rather than a wetsuit. This takes around 2 hours and prepares you for the open water dive. (This option is highly recommended for UK diving).

We also offer a pool session to complement some of the other dives e.g. digital underwater photography and peak performance buoyancy.

·       Open Water Dives: There are five dives to complete in open water over a minimum of two days (we can only make three training dives in one day).

The five dives which you complete are called “Adventure Dives” and can also count as dive one of the corresponding specialties. This means that if, for example, you have chosen the optional drysuit dive then you could complete an extra dive over the two days and gain the Drysuit Diver specialty rating at the same time. [Note: For Digital Underwater Photographer to count towards the Advanced Open Water qualification, you must complete the full Digital Underwater Specialty – please ask for details].

When you have completed your dives – Congratulations, you have made it as an Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver!!


What are the prerequisites for the course?

To enrol in the PADI Advanced Open Diver course or Junior Advanced Open Water Diver course, you must:

·       Complete a medical questionnaire - Click Here

·       Be qualified as a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver –OR- equivalent with another certification agency with a minimum of four open water training dives.

·       Be a minimum of 12 years old to enrol on the Junior course.

·       Be a minimum of 15 years old to participate in the Enriched Air Adventure Dive.

What happens if I answer “Yes” to any of the medical questions?

The medical questionnaire is used to ensure that you are generally fit to dive and must be answered truthfully. If there are any positive answers then this does not necessarily rule you out from diving but you must receive approval from your GP. The medical questionnaire contains a form for your GP to sign as well as some notes for their consideration.

Can I start the course and get medical approval prior to final sign-off?

No. We are required to ensure students are fit to dive before they are accepted on to the course and we must have a GPs approval if any conditions have been noted.

Can I persuade you to overlook this answer or give me a fresh form to fill out?

No. None of our staff are medically trained and as such are not in a position to make judgement calls on whether a particular individual is medically fit to dive. As the forms are a self-certification they should be completed honestly – if any of our staff become aware of medical conditions subsequently then they will require a GPs sign-off before allowing the student to continue with the course.

Please, please, please, can I persuade you to overlook this answer or give me a fresh form to fill out? Pretty please?


You mentioned the Junior Advanced Open Water Diver Course – what is this exactly?

To qualify as an Advanced Open Water Diver you must be a minimum of 15 years old. Below this age a diver is classified as a Junior Open Water Diver and has some restrictions as follows:

·       12 – 14 year-olds must dive with a certified diver of legal age i.e. over the age of 18 years in the UK or as defined by local laws.

In addition, they are limited to a maximum depth of 21 metres.

I’ve heard about Junior Adventure Diver for 10 – 11 year olds. What is this?

PADI have an Adventure Diver rating which consists of just three dives, which can be upgraded to full Advanced Open water by completing an extra two dives at a later date.

This rating is available for 10 – 11 year olds but has a very limited selection of dives they can undertake, not including the deep dive.

[Altitude, AWARE - Fish Identification, Boat, Digital, Underwater Photography, Dry Suit, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigation, Underwater Photography, Underwater Videography].

In addition, they are subject to a 12 metre depth limit and must dive with a qualified parent, guardian or PADI Professional.


At present, the dive sites which we use for open water dives impose a minimum age limit of 12 years old so we do not generally offer this certification. Please ask us for further details as we may be able to arrange this in conjunction with one of our club trips.

Does a Junior Advanced Open Water Diver have to do the full Advanced Open Water Course when they reach their 15th Birthday?

No, they simply apply for an upgrade to their certification. The Junior AOW Card has the diving restrictions they are subject to printed on it and they will be issued with a new card to reflect their full Open Water Diver status. There is an administration fee for processing the revised certification and issuing the card.

When do the courses run?

At present we visit an open water site on one weekend a month. The calendar of course dates can be found here. If pool work is required as part of the course then we can schedule this to suit.

How long does the training take?

After you complete the self-study and any pool work, the course can be completed over one weekend at an open water site.

Where does the training take place?

We have a pool on-site and we visit various inland dive sites around the country to complete the open water dives.

What gear do I need?

It is generally expected that people will have their own mask, snorkel, fins, boots and a dive watch/computer at this level of qualification. The first four are a matter of personal fit/comfort and the watch/computer is an essential piece of safety equipment to enable you to monitor your dive times/ascent rates/surface intervals.

The course price includes the course materials and rental of any additional equipment, with the exception of a dry suit which incurs an extra charge. It does not cover travel costs, accommodation or site entry fees for the open water dive sites.

For pool work you will need to bring along a swimming costume and towel plus any of your own equipment.

Is there a subscription to pay to keep my Advanced Open Water Diver qualification?

Happily, no. Once you have successfully completed the course, you maintain your qualification either by diving regularly or by completing a Scuba Review if you have a gap of six months or more without diving.

I’m off on holiday next week and I haven’t dived for a year. Does this mean I can’t dive this time around?

No. If you get in touch with us, we will do our best to arrange a Scuba Review at a time to suit. This has the advantage that you complete the Review before your holiday.

The Scuba Review is a combined knowledge review and pool session which acts as a refresher for anyone who hasn’t dived in the last six months. This can take place on-site in Aylesbury and usually lasts around 3-4 hours in total. We need to see your certification card plus Logbook and we make an entry in the Logbook to show you have completed the Review.

If you’re stressed with the packing and we can’t find a time which is convenient for you then don’t panic! The resort will arrange a Review before you dive – but wouldn’t it be nicer to make that first holiday dip a proper dive?

I did a Scuba Review with you before I went on holiday and the resort made me do a check dive. Is this right?

In many resorts you will be required to do a “check dive” as the first dive of the holiday. This is simply a dive at a site with easy conditions, probably within the 18 metre range, and allows the dive leaders to assess everyone’s level of diving. Generally this will apply to anyone who visits the resort, regardless of their qualification level.

I’ve recently qualified and I’m itching to go diving – do you have a club?

We have an active dive club with frequent tripsand social events. The membership form can be found hereand joining will bring you the benefit of reduced entry fees at a local dive site, priority booking on club trips and discounts at local restaurants.

I have my Advanced Open Water Diver certification – what next?

Well done. Now you have a range of courses to choose from including any of the PADI Specialty coursesand the PADI Rescue Diver qualification. These form the basis of the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating – our highest recreational qualification.