Who is it for?
There is no definitive answer to this as every case is different. If you completed the Open Water Course a year ago or more and haven’t dived since then we would strongly recommend starting with a refresher. You’ll no doubt remember how much there was to take on during your initial training… Diving involves a complex mix of theoretical understanding and practical skills – it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’.
Perhaps you are a more accomplished diver with a few hundred dives under your weight-belt but a break of 5 years or more. In this case you’ll probably be surprised by how much you do remember and how quickly the old skills return. Still its beneficial to start with an easy beach dive so you can settle back into it with zero stress.
Ask yourself the question: “Are you ready for a 30 metre dive, starting with a back-roll from a rocking boat, at a site with some current and a buddy you have not met before?” Okay, an extreme example, but a good measure of whether you should take the refresher first. You’d be surprised at how much more confident you feel after this dive.
Note: Another option for Open Water divers is to take the Advanced Open Water course. This will provide the same benefits as the Refresher Programme and more.