Although most scuba dives are made with a buddy, an experienced diver may want or need to make dives without a partner. During the Self-Reliant Diver course, you learn about potential risks of diving alone and the value of equipment redundancy and necessary back-up gear. During three scuba dives, you develop skills for self-reliance and independence, while becoming a stronger partner in a dive pair or team.

The purpose of the Self-Reliant Diver specialty course is to recognize and accept the role of the buddy system and its contributions to diver safety while identifying and developing self-reliance and independence while diving.


There are two reasons for an experienced diver to take the Self-Reliant diver course:


  • To develop the skills of planning and carrying out dives without a partner when preferred or necessary.

  • To sharpen skills of diving self-reliance, making the diver a stronger partner in a dive pair or team.

This course covers when diving alone may be applicable, and the need to compensate for those situations, including dive planning, life support system readiness, adaptive training, equipment and responsibility.

This course is an introduction to self-reliant diving that helps student divers develop the skills, knowledge and techniques necessary to rely on themselves first, whether or not they are diving with a partner, including:


  • The value and application of the buddy system.

  • The philosophy of, and motivation for, diving without a partner.

  • Potential risks of diving alone, and how to manage those risks.

  • The value of equipment redundancy and what back-up equipment is needed.

  • Dive planning and gas management

Course Overview​

  • Responsibilities — A self-reliant diver not only has to accept the increased risk that comes with choosing to dive alone, but also has a responsibility to ensure that family and loved ones understand this choice.

  • To develop understanding of the value and application of the buddy system and the philosophy of, and motivation for, diving without a partner

  • To introduce the potential risks, risk management techniques and the need for equipment redundancy in self-reliant diving

  • To improve self-reliant dive skills, dive planning and gas management abilities.

Course Prerequisites

  • You must be certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or have a qualifying certification from another training organisation similar to that of a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver)

  • Be 18 years of age or older

  • Have a minimum of 100 logged dives. Current certified PADI Divemasters require a minimum of 60 dives to enrol, but must have a minimum of 100 dives in order to qualify as a PADI Self Reliant Diver.

  • Successfully complete a dive skills assessment

Knowledge Development


Knowledge development will be delivered by your PADI instructor either during a classroom presentation and/or during pre-dive briefings and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Confined/Open Water Dives


  • 3 Open Water Dives

Price Includes​

  • PADI Certification Fee

Continue The Adventure...

If you have completed 5 PADI Specialties & the PADI Rescue Diver course and have 50 logged dives, you qualify to register as a PADI Master Scuba Diver, the highest non-professional diver rating within PADI.

PADI Self Reliant Diver


Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to dive on my own?

The traditional buddy system has many safety advantages and without question is the safest way to dive. However that doesn't mean that diving alone isn't safe as long as you are properly trained and equipped for such diving. Undertaking correct training will ensure you have the knowledge and skills required for dealing with situations which you would normally rely on your diving buddy for.

Will dive centres recognise the PADI Self Reliant certification?

Will I use a redundant air source?

Yes. Each student will use a redundant air source which can be accessed and operated with one hand. These may include a pony cylinder, twin-set with isolation valve or sidemount configuration.

Who is this course suitable for?

The traditional buddy system of diving has many advantages and for the majority of divers this is there preferred method of diving. However, some divers find that time after time they are looking after themselves on there dives. Instructors, Divermasters and Photographers often find themselves alone, setting up hang tanks, tying off mooring lines or simply waiting for that perfect shot. Being self reliant is more than just having the confidence to look after yourself, it is a toolbox of knowledge, skills and equipment with which you can utilise to plan for & handle emergencies.

07743 719172
Trent House, Trent Walk,
Joiners Square, Hanley,
Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire,
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