Diver and diving supervisor certification

Note: This information note was originally published in January 2018.  Minor amendments were made in September 2018 to bring the information listed up to date.

This information note supersedes IMCA D 16/16 which is now withdrawn, and supplements section 5.1 of IMCA D 014 – IMCA international code of practice for offshore diving.

1 Diver certificates

The following certificates are currently recognised by IMCA for offshore diving under the IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving (IMCA D 014):

Surface-supplied diver certificates

  • ADCI Entry Level Diver/Tender – International Endorsement
  • ADCI Surface Supplied Air Diver – International Endorsement
  • ADCI Surface Supplied Mixed Gas Diver (HEO₂) – International Endorsement
  • Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme Part 3
  • Brazilian Curso de Especialização em Mergulho para Praças
  • Brazilian Curso Especial de Escafandria para Officiais
  • Brazilian Curso Básico de Mergulho Raso Profissional
    Brazilian certificates to be supported by a Brazilian Navy stamped divers logbook
  • Canadian Category 1 Diver
  • Canadian Surface Supplied Mixed Gas Diver to 70m
  • Canadian Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diver to 50m
  • French Class 2 Mention A
  • India – Commercial Surface Supply Course, Kochi (run from September 2002 to 12 January 2013)1
  • Netherlands Part 1 – Surface Dependent Diver (issued up to 2002)2
  • Netherlands Certificaat Duikarbeid Categorie B42
  • New Zealand Construction Diver Part 33
  • Norwegian NPD Surface Diver
  • Norwegian PSA Class 1 Surface Oriented Diver
  • South African Class II
  • Swedish B 50 Våtklocka (VK)
  • TSA or MSC Basic Air Diving
  • UK HSE Surface Supplied Diving Top-Up
  • UK HSE Part I
  • UK Transitional Part I (issued between 1 July to 31 December 1981)
  • IMCA Surface Supplied Diver:
    • Certificates issued with the approval of IMCA following the competence assessment of experienced surface supplied divers in accordance with IMCA D 06/00 subsequently IMCA D 26/01 from July 2000:
      • Interdive
      • National Hyperbaric Centre
      • Diving Diseases Research Centre
      • KB Associates
    • Currently only KB Associates is approved by IMCA to carry out the competence assessment of experienced surface supplied divers in accordance with IMCA D 26/01.  This approval was given following a detailed review of its assessment procedures.  KB Associates is required to obtain approval from IMCA before any assessments are performed.
    • Certificates issued under the ‘Verification of experienced ACDE surface supplied and bell divers’ undertaken by The Ocean Corporation or KB Associates (Europe) with the approval of IMCA.

Closed bell divers certificates

  • Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme Part 4
  • Brazilian Curso Especial de Mergulho Saturado
    Brazilian certificate to be supported by a Brazilian Navy stamped divers logbook
  • Canadian Category 3 Diver4
  • Canadian Bell Diver
  • French Class 3 Mention A
  • Netherlands Part 2 – Bell Diver (issued up to 2002)2
  • Netherlands Certificaat Duikarbeid Categorie C2
  • New Zealand Construction Diver Part 43
  • Norwegian NPD Bell Diver
  • Norwegian PSA Class 2 Bell Diver
  • South African Class 1
  • TSA or MSC bell diving
  • UK HSE Part II
  • UK HSE Closed Bell
  • UK Transitional Part II (issued between 1 July to 31 December 1981)
  • IMCA Bell Diver:
    • Certificates issued under the ‘Verification of experienced ACDE surface supplied and bell divers’ undertaken by The Ocean Corporation and KB Associates (Europe) with the approval of IMCA.

Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE) Certificates issued since 1993

Certificates issued by US training schools which are accredited by the ACDE in respect of training/assessments performed in accordance with US Standard ANSI/ACDE-01-1993 and its successor standard ANSI/ACDE-01-1998. These schools are independently audited and certificates from them can be accepted as showing suitable basic training. Subsequent diving experience needs to be demonstrated by logbook entries. A list of currently accredited schools can be found at acde.us/schools.htm.

No other diver training certificates are currently recognised by IMCA

2 Diving Supervisors

IMCA Offshore Diving Supervisor certificates

IMCA has run the IMCA Offshore Diving Supervisor Scheme for a number of years.

Two levels of IMCA supervisor certificate are available:

  • IMCA Air Diving Supervisor;
  • IMCA Bell Diving Supervisor.

These certificates are only issued by IMCA.

For a supervisor to hold an IMCA diving supervisor certificate, he must sit and pass an IMCA examination. To be eligible to sit the examination, he must:

  • Meet minimum entry criteria (including holding the appropriate diver qualification and having appropriate experience);
  • Complete and pass an IMCA-approved trainee diving supervisor training course;
  • Then complete a minimum number of panel hours under direct supervision offshore as a trainee supervisor;
  • Be recommended by his company following satisfactory offshore reports.

A number of organisations are approved by IMCA to run the trainee diving supervisor courses – a list of currently approved organisations is available on our website at imca-int.com/training. These training organisations normally issue their own certificates on successful completion of the course. Such certificates are not valid diving supervisor certificates and only show completion of the trainee diving supervisor course.

Diving supervisor and life support technician (LST) certificates issued by AODC (which merged to form IMCA in 1995) remain valid (except for those listed as withdrawn and suspended by IMCA – see this link).  AODC certificates are not replaced with IMCA certificates.

Comparable certificates

IMCA has entered into recognition arrangements with the following organisations:

  • Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme (ADAS);
  • Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC);
  • Netherlands Diving Centre.

Under these arrangements, the following certificates are recognised by IMCA as being appropriate for diving supervisors for the purposes of compliance with IMCA guidance:

  • ADAS offshore diving supervisor;
  • DCBC offshore diving supervisor;
  • NDC supervisor (for working in Dutch waters only – for those working in other waters there is a special arrangement for gaining IMCA certification).

Full details on these arrangements are set out in information note IMCA D 08/09 – Diving supervisor certification - mutual recognition agreements.

Note: Some diver and supervisor certificates have expiry dates and need to be periodically renewed in accordance with the requirements of the relevant issuing authorities. IMCA does not recognise diver training certificates that have passed their expiry dates.

  1. The Commercial Surface Supply Course run at Kochi, India, has ceased to be recognised by IMCA from 12 January 2013
  2. Netherlands certificates changed with the introduction of the Arbeowet regulations (see information note IMCA D 05/03). The previous certificates ‘Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’ have been replaced by ‘Category B’ (Category B4 from 2012) and ‘Category C’ from January 2003
  3. New Zealand certificates have also changed, with those in use previously having been withdrawn. The above lists have been updated to show the new Part 3 and Part 4 certificates in the place of those previously recognised
  4. This list has been updated to remove Canadian Category 2 Diver – category 2 refers to a mixed gas diver who may have no training or experience in closed bell diving so is not considered an appropriate qualification.