PADI

Open Water Diver (Referral Course)

Beginner
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About Your Course

The PADI Open Water Diver Referral Course is the first part of the world’s most popular and recognised scuba diving certification. It has introduced millions of people from around the world to the adventurous diving lifestyle.

This course option is designed for individuals who want to completed the academic and confined water (pool) training portion of the PADI Open Water Diver course, here in the UK with the UK Diving Academy. Once you've completed the academic and confined water training, you'll receive a referral document from us. This document confirms that you've successfully completed those portions of the course.

With your referral document in hand, you can now travel to a PADI Dive Center or Resort in another location, to complete the required open water dives. During these dives, you'll apply the skills and knowledge you learned during the academic and confined water training.

What Your Learn

Learn about scuba diving principles and terminology, then learn basic scuba skills in a pool with a highly trained PADI Instructor. When you're ready, make four dives in an open water environment with your instructor supporting you every step of the way.

Take This Course If You Want To

  • Explore the other 70 percent of our planet
  • Support ocean protection
  • See things you've never seen before
  • Learn from a scuba diving expert
  • Hold the world's most recognised scuba certification

Learn How To

  • Be a confident and skilled diver
  • Assemble and use scuba gear
  • Manage your buoyancy
  • Respectfully approach marine life
  • Handle common problems


The advantage of the PADI Open Water Referral course is that it allows you to complete the more time-consuming academic and confined water training in your local area and then enjoy the open water dives in a vacation destination

How Do You Become A Qualified PADI Diver?

There are 3 steps to becoming a PADI Open Water diver using the referral option:

Step. 1 Theory – on signing up to the course you will receive your uniue code that allows you to complete all of the theory on a PC, Mac or tablet

Time Commitment 5-8 hours

Step. 2 Confined Water Training – come to one of our 5 heated pools and learn all of the skills to become a scuba diver

Time Commitment 5-6 hours

Once you've completed steps 1& 2, you'll receive a referral document from us. This document confirms that you've successfully completed those portions of the course.

Step. 3 Open Water Dives - With your referral document in hand, you can now travel to a PADI Dive Center or Resort in another location, to complete the required open water dives.

Time Commitment 2 Days

More Information

The PADI Open Water Course prerequisites:

  • Be able to swim, medically fit for diving, comfortable in the water
  • Minimum age: 10

During the Open Water Diver referral course, your instructor will ask you to:

  • ​Float or tread water without aids for 10 minutes
  • Swim 200 meters with no aids 

Divers certified between the ages of 10-14 earn a Junior Diver certification

Junior Open Water Divers automatically become Open Water Divers at age 15. Any replacement certification card or eCard purchased the day after the diver's 15th birthday will automatically show an Open Water Diver (not Jr. Open Water Diver) certification.

Children eight or older can try scuba diving in a pool. Ask us about a Bubblemaker experience or birthday party. Children who are comfortable in the water can participate in the PADI Seal Team program, a more in-depth pool diving experience.

Scuba diving requires a minimum level of health and fitness. Chronic health conditions, certain medications and/or recent surgery may require you to get written approval from a physician before diving.

Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a physician’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. Instructors, divemasters and dive shop staff are not physicians and should not be asked for medical advice; only medical professionals can give medical clearance to dive.​

If you (or your physician) have questions about medical fitness to dive, contact the experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN).

We will provide all your core scuba diving equipment during your course including:

During your course, we will include rental of all of the above core dive gear items only. You will be required to collect your core dive gear prior to the open water training dives from us.

  • Course Tuition
  • PADI eLearning
  • Equipment hire
  • Air Fills in the pool.
  • Certification card (with the exception of referral course)
  • The Cost of completing your open water dives with your chosen PADI Dive Centre or Resort.
  • Transport to and from the pool for you and your equipment.

Experience new adventures with a PADI Instructor by your side. PADI continuing education courses like Advanced Open Water Diver and Deep Diver will help you develop your skills as a diver. Learn more about PADI Specialty courses.

Not sure which specialty to try first? Try the Advanced Open Water Diver course, it's like a specialty sampler platter.

For further discounts & offers join Uk Diving Academy Dive Club.

How To Book

Enrol onto the course by making your purchase online through our website. You will then receive an email asking for some more details to get you registered and also offering some help to get you started with your online materials.

After that, we will send you more details on logistics of your course, such where to be and when. If you already know which of our upcoming course dates suits you best, please book this date if you are unsure or can’t find a date that works for you simply give us a call to discuss this further.

Contact Us

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Join Our Dive Club

Keep diving in your local area by joining our dive club. Our dive club members are all active fivers in the local area. The dive club is open to anyone - whatever agency you trained with, whatever level of diver you are. All you need is a love of diving!


We also organise several holidays each year, UK and abroad, as well as shore dives off the UK coast and regular dive weekends to Vobster Quay. On top of all that there is also regular social events and activities including paintball, 'dry dives' in recompression chambers and regular club meetings.

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