Marine Conservation Philippines
Volunteer in Marine Conservation Philippines

PADI Self-Reliant Diver Course

Through the PADI Self-reliant diver course you learn how to scuba dive safely on your own. Diving without a buddy adds significantly to the complexity of equipment, just as it aggravates and adds certain risks. As a matter of fact, the whole reason the buddy system was put in place to begin with, was to mitigate risk. Through this structured PADI course, you learn how to best deal with these added risks, how to dive safely, and how – through training, equipment and planning, you can handle most of these problems in a prudent manner. It goes without saying, that the requirement for enrolling in the PADI Self-reliant Course are rather steep. You must already be a very comfortable diver, otherwise you have no business being in the water alone.


  • You must be a PADI advanced open water, or have an equivalent certificate from another training organisation.
  • You must have at least 100 logged dives
  • You have got to be 18 years of age or older
  • And you have successfully complete a dive skills assessment by one of our Self-reliant Diver Course instructors.



The course entails:

Classroom session on self-reliant theory covering a range of subjects ranging from equipment redundancy, additional risks in solo diving, the psychology of self-reliant diving to advanced dive planning and gas management. The Self-reliant course has two specific aims; Primarily it trains divers to be able to dive independently in as safe a manner as possible, secondly it aims to create better divers. A dive team of two divers who have received self-reliant training can better help each others as dive buddies, yet are also able to handle almost anything by themselves. Thus it could really be said, that through this course the real value and application of the buddy system becomes abundantly clear. Suggested reading: PADI’s position on self-reliant diving.

Besides the theory sessions, the Self-reliant course has three dives to a depth no greater than 30 meters, and with no planned decompression other than – of course – the regular safety stops.

An important note regarding independent diving for volunteers: All scientific diving conducted by volunteers at Marine Conservation Philippines is conducted in teams. We acknowledge that self-reliant diving can be practised is a reasonably safe way, but we do not see any immediate scientific benefit in letting volunteers conduct solo diving. Additionally we feel, that a team can better handle problems, and that a well-trained, qualified dive buddy add safety and mitigates the few aggrevated risks, that a solo diver can not deal with himself. (Say if you suffer a stroke or an extreme allergic reaction) Despite this policy we teach self-reliant diving to divers who meet the strict PADI requirements, because we feel the skills and training are valuable.