All Coral Cay Conservation Marine Volunteers must be trained up to a minimum of PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW), or equivalent, before starting the Marine Skills Development Programme.  For those who have never dived before this is done on site with our experienced PADI Scuba Instructors during the first week of the expedition.  You will complete both your PADI Open Water and PADI Advanced Open Water courses. 


Please note that if you are booking on and are not already a PADI AOW diver or above then you will need to join as a ‘Dive Trainee’ and so will have different start dates to the qualified divers who will join as a ‘Qualified Diver’.

For those of you who are joining for a longer period there will be the opportunity to do further PADI courses during the expedition. 


PADI Rescue Diver - £236

Staying for 4 weeks or more? You can do your PADI Rescue Diver Course.  This course aims to teach you how to look after other divers and makes you more aware of the safety aspects associated with diving.  You will need to supply your own PADI manuals to take part in this course (PIC included).


PADI Divemaster Course - £350

If you stay for 12 weeks or more then you can do your PADI Divemaster course.  This is for those of you who wish to take your diving skills to the next level and is the first step in becoming a PADI professional diver.  You can either do your PADI Divemaster training as part of the marine expedition and fit it in alongside the survey work, or if you want to get more in-depth training and hands on experience of the commercial dive industry then take a look at our Divemaster Internship Programme. You will need to supply your own PADI manuals to take part in this course.


Before starting to collect survey data, volunteers must successfully complete either the marine or terrestrial Skills Development Programme. Volunteers don’t need to have a background in biology in order to partake in these fun, interactive and informative courses.


CCC's Skills Development Programmes have been refined to ensure that everyone with enthusiasm and willingness to get ‘stuck in’ can be trained up to be very capable ‘citizen scientists’! The structure of the course is designed to give you the confidence and knowledge required to become an important part of our survey teams. 


You will be taught by our expert science staff through a series of fun and engaging lectures that, after introducing you to coral reef or tropical forest ecology, follow a broad structure that incorporates both classroom and practical sessions.

The lectures provide a background to the biology and teach you how to easily identify all the different target species you will need to know on a survey. There are lots of learning aids at your disposal, from flashcards and mock exams to experienced volunteers, always willing to share their knowledge with you.


Following every classroom lesson, you will hone your identification skills through practical sessions in the field with a science staff member or experienced volunteer. This will enforce what you have learned and bring the wonder of the natural world to life!

In order to ensure that the data you collect is top quality, you will be required to take a few short identification tests throughout the Skills Development Programme. These consist of both computer-based ID skills tests and practical sessions. 


From past experience we have found that volunteers get the most from their expeditions when they become involved with the local community. That is why in addition to the science and practical lectures a talk introducing the local culture will provide you with an insight into the customs and way of life of our hosts. There are also a number of health & safety talks designed to make your expedition as safe and rewarding as possible.


Overall the Skills Development Programme is designed to make you a confident member of the survey team, ready to get stuck into the surveying and ultimately get you excited about the next phase of your expedition. It is also a great way to get to know the team you’re working with and pass on your valuable skills to the next group of volunteers!


In order for you to get a headstart on your Skills Development Programme, we provide every volunteer with a Science Workbook which outlines exactly what you will be learning and which species you will learn to identify.


As part of your induction as a Terrestrial Volunteer you will go through Field Skills Training.  This course will teach you the essentials of operating safely in tropical forest environments and will cover topics from setting up hammocks and bashers to the use of critical communications equipment. 



“Learn new things, make awesome friends and many nice memories”

Alex Vincent – Volunteer