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Certified diver assessment

This assessment is based on the Recreational Diving, Recreational Technical Diving and Snorkelling Code of Practice 2011 (Sections 2.3.1.3, 2.3.2.6 and 2.3.3.4).

Identifying the hazards

Medical issues

Certificated divers may have been assessed as fit to dive using standards other than those used in Queensland. They may have developed conditions since completing a dive medical. They may have current medical conditions.

The dive site environment

Certificated divers may not have experience in diving in the particular environmental conditions at the dive site. Environmental variables may include:

  • currents
  • weather
  • surface conditions
  • visibility
  • maximum depths at the dive site
  • other hazards e.g. wrecks.

Skills and experience

Certificated divers may have basic levels of dive training and limited dive experience in both numbers and recency of their dives.

Assessing the risk

Completed documents, certificates, asking questions and observation are all ways of assessing the risk to a certificated diver of the hazards identified above. Specific ways of achieving this include:

Medical issues

The diver may be in possession of an appropriate medical certificate or the diver may complete a resort dive medical declaration.

The diver may answer some questions regarding his or her medical condition:

  • Since completing your last dive medical assessment have you suffered any illness or injury that may affect your ability to dive safely?
  • Are you currently suffering any illness or injury?
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medication, other than the contraceptive pill?

If the assessment raises concerns about the medical fitness of a potential diver, then appropriate control measures should be adopted.

The dive site environment

The divers may be questioned about their environmental experience relevant to the proposed dive sites. For example:

Question Y/N Number Date of last dive
Have you dived in the ocean?    
Have you experienced surface or current conditions other than calm?    
Have you dived where the bottom depth exceeds the maximum depth?    
What is the minimum underwater visibility that you have experienced (in metres)?   
Have you dived at night?    

If the assessment reveals the dive site conditions are outside the qualifications and experience of the diver, then appropriate control measures should be adopted.

Skills and experience

The divers may be questioned about their dive skills and experience. Examination of their certification cards and log books will assist this. Questions that may be asked may be with regard to:

  • level of certification
  • recency of certification
  • certifying agency
  • number of dives and their recency.

Certificated divers should be observed for behavioural indicators of a diver's competence such as nervousness, seasickness, peer pressure, equipment difficulties or problems noted underwater.
If the assessment reveals doubts as to the competence of the diver to complete a particular dive, then control measures should be adopted.

Selecting control measures

Medical conditions

Certificated diving should not be conducted for the diver unless the diver seeks medical advice which advises diving can be undertaken or a dive instructor/dive supervisor accompanies the diver on a dive.

The dive site environment

The certificated diver should be supervised in the water by a dive instructor/dive supervisor.

Skills and experience

A dive instructor/dive supervisor should accompany the diver on that dive or assess the diver on an assessment dive.

Implementing control measures and reviewing them

After control measures are selected, they should be implemented and reviewed. For example, a certificated diver with poor skills and experience may undertake an assessment dive. Following this dive the dive instructor or dive supervisor should determine whether they still have concerns or doubts regarding the competence of the diver to complete a particular dive. If they do still have doubts, further assessment or in water supervision should be provided.