We provide fun, challenge and adventure to
over 400,000 girls and boys across the UK
a a a  A A
Member resources
Member Resources

Scuba diving

(Published Jan 2018 replacing version March 2009)


This information refers to running scuba diving for a group of young people, or to do it for themselves if they are a young person. It should be read in conjunction with the A-Z directory of activities at scouts.org.uk/a-z, and Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) of The Scout Association.

What is Scuba Diving?

Scuba Diving is underwater swimming using self-contained breathing apparatus such as an aqualung. As it is self-contained it allows the diver to go deeper underwater and stay underwater longer than a snorkeler.

What is a Scuba Diving Permit?

The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for the young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be led by someone holding the appropriate permit. Additionally young people (under 18) can take part in adventurous activities for themselves with personal activity permits.

A Scuba Diving permit is required for all Scuba Diving taking place in both sheltered and open water.

Levels of Permit

Permits for Scuba Diving can be issued for either sheltered water or open water. Each class of permit can be further restricted (such as through specific locations etc) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of any person.

Types of Permit

There are two types of permit available for Scuba Diving. These are:

Permit Limitations

Further Definitions

Sheltered Water is a well maintained swimming pool or water which provides similar conditions. Namely; depth less than four metres, bottom of firm composition, adequate visibility (minimum five metres) and free from significant water movement.

Open Water is any water encompassing conditions beyond those of Sheltered Waters.


© Copyright The Scout Association 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW