As part of its continuous process to improve quality, the Professional Diving Academy, based in Dunoon, Scotland, has recently been accredited by the British Accreditation Council. This extremely prestigious recognition demonstrates that PDA standards of management, training, and student welfare fully comply and indeed in many cases exceed the very high standards set by the British Accreditation Council. It is a testament to the quality of the Academy that this accreditation was successfully achieved at its first attempt.
The British Accreditation Council is an independent body which was established in 1984, “to improve and enhance the standards of independent further and higher educational institutions in the United Kingdom by the establishment of a system of accreditation. BAC’s inspectors reported an overall very high standard of provision in the Academy. They stated in particular that the training establishment appears to be developing an ever growing reputation as a successful and highly respected Training Academy. The quality of teaching is very high with training reinforced through live situations in an uncompromising environment, all of which is impressive and gives students considerable confidence; this was witnessed by the inspectors and reiterated by the students. The inspectors were also impressed by the experienced and knowledgeable management team, industry qualified training staff, and enthusiastic fully committed student group.
The Professional Diving Academy began training divers to commercial standard in late 2004 in direct response to an apparent lack of basic working skills of many new divers entering the industry in preceding years. They have since gone on to establish an international reputation for developing and implementing highly advanced diver training courses, with independently audited subsea construction and inspection modules complimenting the excellent HSE training syllabus. As one of the most modern commercial diver training schools in the world, the PDA also benefits greatly from its unique position of being directly connected with the diving world through its ADC registered sister company Shearwater Marine Services. Shearwater is one of the UK’s most respected marine civil engineering diving contractors, with two decades worth of commercial contracting experience at an international level, which includes extensive and innovative offshore renewable experience. PDA Training Manager Neil MacMillan commented; “our direct interface with the diving industry ensures that our training remains entirely in tune with modern industry demands and furnishes our graduates with important working skills – reinforcing their present reputation of being a beneficial asset for any recipient employer.” Neil began his diving career 20 years ago working in the oil and gas fields of the Persian Gulf and whilst employed by Shearwater was responsible for running a high profile £1.05 million contract to install and protect 4 x 2km subsea cables for the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. EMEC specialises in testing the latest innovative designs for wave energy capture and is at the forefront of the UK’s contribution towards renewable energy development.