Students should note that there are implications with diving and flying. You must check with the training staff before booking any flights during the course. As a guide, flights home on completion of course should be made NO EARLIER than 24 hours after the last dive of the course. The nearest airport from the PDA is Glasgow International which is approximately 40mins away.

Form of Identity:

Any student now attending the Diving Academy must bring with them a photographic form of identity. This can include a passport, driving licence, student card etc. If in doubt, please contact our office for further information.

Exam Lectures and Instruction:

All lectures for exams and instructions for practical assessment are carried out in English. It is very important that you have a good knowledge and understanding of both spoken and written English. You will have exams to pass during the course, some of which are multiple choice, and some will require full written answers. Please note, that on arrival at the Professional Diving Academy, you will be required to pass a short academic exam. Please try the practice test which will give you an indication on how well prepared you are for the academic exam.

Please note that English speaking students attending the HSE Surface Supplied and Wet-Bell Top Up courses will not be required to do the English or Maths exam – however overseas students with English as a second language are still required to pass the English exam.

Course Times:

The courses are basically Monday to Friday although some weekend diving may be required – this may be in order to catch up due to bad weather conditions or to allow students additional dives.

Daily start times may vary but during the First Aid At Work week, training will normally begin at 9.00 a.m. each day.  Once diving tuition begins, the daily start time is likely to be 8.30 a.m. (or as instructed).

List of Equipment Required:

The list of equipment issued by the PDA is dependant on the course package undertaken. However as a basic guide it will include all PPE, foul weather clothing, polo shirt, logbook and all training manuals.  A dry suit and under suit will be provided if sizes have been provided.  You will be required to bring the following items with you:

  • Safety Boots/ Wellie Boots with reinforced toe protection
  • Indoor shoes, i.e flip flops/ crocs
  • Neoprene Diving Gloves
  • 4 passport sized photographs, ALL HIGH QUALITY (all of which should be self signed on reverse)
  • Form of ID (photographic preferable ie passport, driving licence etc)
  • Writing Materials (including a marker pen to identify your issued kit)
  • Calculator (mobile phones will not be accepted as calculators during exams)

Laptop Computers:

There is no requirement to bring a laptop to the course, however, there is some course work to be done (normally in groups) so students may wish to bring their own computers for this purpose. The PDA is equipped with fibre wireless broadband which students can use free of charge for personal use.

General Travel:

Dunoon is well serviced by public transport systems, which can be easily accessed.  The following are details of the main links to assist with any travel arrangements:-

AIR:   Nearest Airport is Glasgow International Airport.  Buses run from the Airport to the Paisley Gilmour Street Station to access the train to Gourock Railway Station. Buses also run from directly outside airport to Gourock Main Street.

RAIL: Trains from Glasgow or Paisley Gilmour Street run direct to the Pier Head at Gourock.  Timetables etc. are available at

BUS:   Buses run from Glasgow and Glasgow Airport, direct to Dunoon or alternatively to Gourock where you can take the 20mins ferry ride across to the town.

BOAT:   Dunoon is part of the UK mainland and those bringing their own car will appreciate the stunning scenery if driving through the Loch Lomond National Park, however there is a short cut across the River Clyde which is well serviced by two ferry routes.  Argyll Ferries run hourly passenger only sailings from Gourock Pier (Rail Station) to the town centre.  Western Ferries run a car and passenger ferry three times an hour from McInroy’s Point (2 miles outside Gourock) to Hunter’s Quay (2 miles outside Dunoon).

TAXI:     Dunoon is well-serviced by Taxis and if you wish to organise a taxi to meet you at the Dunoon ferry terminals, perhaps to take you to your accommodation. We recommend you use IT Taxis:  01369-706444 or Thistle Taxis:  01369-704816

ACCOMMODATION:  A list of reasonably priced accommodation should already have been sent to you and is also available on our website, however, Dunoon is well served with accommodation of all standards and a full list can be obtained from the local tourist information centre at Tel. No. 01369-703785.

Dunoon has a variety of restaurants ranging from Fish and Chip Shops, to bar meals and fine dining.  There are Chinese, Italian, Indian restaurants and fish, chip and kebab shops open until late in the evening.

For those wishing to use the internet or keep up to date with e-mailing; the Diving Academy has fibre wireless broadband for use by students with their own laptops or smart devices.

Internet access is also available at:
Dunoon Library:  Free internet access is offered (for up to an hour).


There are two swimming pools and two modern equipped gyms that can be joined for the duration of the course. Students staying at the Hunters Quay Holiday Village generally get access to the pool and gym as part of their self catering package, however its worth checking this out before booking.

Dunoon is a small town with shops that would supply most items. There are two supermarkets for those who are staying at self-catering accommodation.

The main post office is situated within the Co-op (keeping to standard Post Office hours), however, students in self-catering accommodation wishing to have parcels delivered can send them directly to the PDA if required.

Cash machines are available for all the major banks and most are situated in Argyll Street (main street in the town centre).  There is also a cash machine outside the Co-op Supermarket.

Laundry can be done through the Diving Academy. Please ask at the Office for more details.

Professional Diving Academy
Registered Address: Unit 19, Sandbank Business Park, Sandbank, Argyll PA23 8PB
Company Registration Number: SC 264798

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