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Applications from Training Providers to Teach IMCA Approved Trainee Air/Bell Diving Supervisor and IMCA Approved Assistant Life Support Technician Courses

1.      Introduction

This information note is maintained by the IMCA Secretariat in accordance with IMCA’s Bye-laws.

IMCA promotes improvements in health, safety, environmental, quality, technical and contracting standards and IMCA expects its Members to comply with IMCA’s Bye-laws, codes of practice, guidelines, information notes and other materials. An entity’s membership of IMCA, does not constitute a representation, warranty or guarantee by IMCA that the Member will perform their operations consistently in accordance with IMCA’s Bye-laws, codes of practice, guidelines, information notes and other materials. IMCA assumes no responsibility or duty of care to any person in respect of any operations of any Member (or IMCA certified person) and IMCA shall not be liable in tort, contract or otherwise in respect of any such operations.

This document describes:

  1. the membership application process for those training providers seeking admission to the DT2 category of IMCA membership.  DT2 members are training providers offering IMCA approved Diving Division training courses;
  2. the procedures to be followed by DT2 applicants wishing to teach IMCA approved Trainee Air Diving Supervisor, Trainee Bell Diving Supervisor, and Assistant Life Support Technician courses.

The document also contains information for existing DT2 members on how to ensure their IMCA approved Diving Division training courses continue to attract IMCA approval going forward.  

IMCA provides approval for the following courses:

  • Diver Medic Technician (DMT);
  • Diver Medic Technician Refresher (DMTR);
  • Trainee Air Diving Supervisor (TADS);
  • Trainee Bell Diving Supervisor (TBDS); and
  • Assistant Life Support Technician (ALST).

There are no other Diving Division courses for which IMCA offers approval.

2.      DT2 Membership Application

New DT2 membership applicants should note the following points:

  1. IMCA DT2 membership is available to training providers seeking to offer one or more of the above IMCA approved Diving Division courses. IMCA will not give a training provider permission to teach an IMCA approved Diving Division course unless the training provider becomes and remains an IMCA Supplier Member in the DT2 category.
  2. Applicant companies must submit a standard online membership application via the IMCA website and, once invoiced by IMCA, pay the standard application fee.
  3. Once payment has been received IMCA will conduct its standard due diligence checks.
  4. Upon successful completion of the due diligence checks, DT2 applicants wishing to teach IMCA approved TADS, TBDS, and ALST courses will then be required to observe the additional requirements set out in this Information Note. Those wishing to teach IMCA approved DMT training courses will need to observe the additional requirements contained in IMCA Information Note 1583.

3.      Additional Requirements – Diving Supervisor and ALST Course Approval Applications

The general requirements for training providers wishing to teach IMCA approved Trainee Air Diving Supervisor, Trainee Bell Diving Supervisor, and Assistant Life Support Technician courses are set out in two documents, together with associated Information Notes, 1484, 1578 and 1580:

  • IMCA D 013 IMCA offshore diving supervisor and life support technician certification schemes;  and
  • IMCA D 005 Auditing of IMCA training courses for diving personnel.

3.1          Documentation to be Provided

Training providers seeking to offer IMCA approved TADS, TBDS, and ALST courses will need to send a document package to IMCA at [email protected]  For each course the training provider wishes IMCA to approve, copies of the following materials are required:

  1. Details of the course administration requirements/arrangements.
  2. Details of the course syllabus (outlined in IMCA D 013).
    The course should be designed to cover the relevant parts of IMCA D 014 IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving and any supporting IMCA Information Notes.  IMCA D 022 Guidance for diving supervisors should be used as one of the course manuals to support the supervisor and LST programmes, and copies should be provided to the students.  The course should also cover the relevant parts of the latest revision of the US Navy Diving Manual.
  3. The course programme – showing which lecturers will teach which parts of the course.
  4. Lesson plans for each lecture, including details of the terminal objectives and supporting training materials.
  5. A list of training videos intended for use during the course(s).
  6. A list of any training aids used for the course(s).
  7. PowerPoint presentations and notes.
  8. Course quizzes and the end of course final exam.
  9. Procedures for nominating an invigilator and conducting the end of course examination.
  10. CVs of proposed trainers.
  11. Relevant qualification and training certificates of staff members.
  12. Details of any simulator training or actual diving practice used on the programme.
  13. Details of any practical assessments and exercises.
  14. Risk Assessments for all training activities together with details of how the identified risks are managed to a level as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
  15. Documentation supplied to students.
  16. An example course completion certificate. Consideration should be given to the use of ‘hologram’ type stickers to deter unauthorised duplication of genuine certificates

Further details can be found in IMCA D 013. 

For assistance with points 1, 2, 3 and 4 above, see the Terminal Objectives in Section 7 of IMCA D 013 and the guidance contained in IMCA Information Notes 1484; 1578; 1580 and Training Staff

On the diving supervisor and ALST programmes, as a minimum, IMCA expects the lead instructors on courses to be qualified IMCA diving supervisors or qualified IMCA LSTs respectively. All instructional staff must have attended a formal train-the-trainer or teacher training program and hold certification as a trainer/teacher.

  • Supervisor training.

For the trainee diving supervisor courses (Air and Bell), IMCA requires the lead instructor to hold an appropriate IMCA diving supervisor certificate for the relevant course and to have logged industry experience as an offshore IMCA/AODC diving supervisor.  For TADS courses, the lead instructor should have supervised a minimum of 150 offshore surface supplied dives as a qualified IMCA Air Diving Supervisor.  For TBDS courses, the lead instructor should have supervised a minimum of 100 bell runs as a qualified IMCA Bell Diving Supervisor. All supervisor training staff should demonstrate continuing professional development. This can be done by remaining “in-date” with the IMCA supervisor CPD app.

Lead instructors must also have undergone some formal leadership training. 

  • ALST training.

For ALST courses, IMCA requires the lead instructor to be at least a very experienced IMCA certified Life Support Technician (LST) or Life Support Supervisor (LSS) with a minimum of 360 days working offshore as a qualified IMCA LST. 

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and currency.

All course instructors are expected to have maintained currency in their area of expertise, either through continuing professional development (CPD) or ongoing field experience in the disciplines they are teaching. They should also remain up to date with all relevant IMCA guidance. 

  • Instructor approval.

All instructors teaching on IMCA approved TADS, TBDS, or ALST courses need to be approved by IMCA in advance.  If there is to be a change or addition to the instructional team for any reason, the CV and relevant training certificates of any proposed new instructor(s) must be forwarded to IMCA for approval at least two weeks before the commencement of the first IMCA approved course the new instructor(s) will help to deliver.

3.3          On-Site Audit

Providing the application documents submitted to IMCA fulfil the necessary requirements, it will normally be necessary for representatives of IMCA to carry out an on-site audit.  Prior to the audit IMCA will give approval for the training establishment to run a pilot course and the on-site audit will be undertaken while the pilot course is running.  The training establishment will be contacted about the necessary arrangements in advance of the on-site audit.

During the site audit, representatives of IMCA will assess the training establishment’s premises, administration process, learning management system, training facilities, and other relevant aspects. 

The training establishment will be advised if the audit findings are unsatisfactory and appropriate feedback will be provided.

Provided IMCA is satisfied with the audit findings, and provided IMCA DT2 membership is approved (see Section 3.4 below), the course(s) will be approved initially for a period of three years and a course approval certificate issued.  The training provider will also be listed on the IMCA website as a provider of the relevant course(s).     

Should an on-site audit be conducted, a fee will be charged (see Appendix 1 IMCA Approved Trainee Diving Supervisor and ALST Courses – Audit Fees attached to this Information Note).

Training providers should be aware that a change of company ownership or relocation of premises will require a re-audit which will incur a fee, Course recognition is not transferable (see Appendix 1 IMCA Approved Diving Supervisor and ALST Courses – Audit Fees attached to this Information Note).

3.4          DT2 Membership Approval

Upon successful completion of the on-site audit the standard online membership application form originally submitted (see section 2) will be subject to a final review, before being sent to the IMCA Operations Committee for approval.  This is a standard 2-week process.

Should the application be approved by the Operations Committee, an invoice for IMCA DT2 membership will be issued.  Membership runs from January to December and invoices are calculated on a pro-rated basis.

Upon receipt of payment for the membership fee invoice, a certificate of membership will be issued, alongside a course approval certificate.  Note: the membership certificate will be renewed annually, but the course approval certificate will be valid for a period of 3-years.  All audit related invoices will need to have been paid before any certificates will be awarded.

4.           Continuation of Approval to Deliver IMCA Approved TADS, TBDS, or ALST Courses

In order to maintain IMCA Diving Supervisor and ALST training course approvals, training providers must:

  • submit a list of all students attending each IMCA approved course;
  • ensure that all students who complete the course(s) fill in the IMCA Training Course Evaluation forms;
  • return 100% of the completed Training Course Evaluation forms to the IMCA Secretariat within 14 days of course completion.

The consistent return of Training Course Evaluation forms to the IMCA Secretariat is central to the maintenance of IMCA Diving Supervisor and ALST training course approvals for the full 3-year period.

IMCA also reserves the right to undertake audits of DT2 members teaching IMCA Approved Diving Supervisor and ALST training courses at any time. These may be desktop only audits, or a combination of desktop and on-site audits.  Failure to maintain an appropriate level of quality in the delivery of IMCA courses may result in suspension or withdrawal of IMCA course approvals at any time.

DT2 members seeking new 3-year course approval certificates will be audited by IMCA prior to the expiry dates recorded on their existing course approval certificates and, where appropriate, new course approval certificates valid for a further 3-year period will be issued.  Such “re-certification audits” may be desktop only audits, or a combination of desktop and on-site audits. 

5.           Online Distance Learning

The IMCA Trainee Air Diving Supervisor, Trainee Bell Diving Supervisor, and Assistant Life Support Technician courses may be delivered in a traditional classroom setting or via online distance learning (ODL). ODL can be delivered in one of two ways:

  1. Through an online virtual classroom with the instructor delivering the lessons in a lecture type format via a suitable videoconferencing platform.
  2. Through an online distance learning programme using platforms such as Moodle etc.

More details on online distance learning can be found in IMCA Information Note 1519.

6. Away from Home Training Courses

Training providers may on occasions deliver their courses at a venue different from that which has been previously audited by IMCA. All away from home courses require prior approval from IMCA. Approval should be sought no less than two months from the proposed start date of the away from home course. Training providers are required to ensure that an away from home venue is adequate for the training to be provided and that the quality of delivery and training aids and materials is to the same standard as the training delivered at their home base.

Travel and subsistence expenses

A full reimbursement of the travel and subsistence costs of IMCA’s auditor(s) is required.

Any additional costs arising from travelling and accommodation etc. of the auditors will be charged after completion of the audit.  No course approvals will be awarded until all outstanding invoices are paid. 

For more information, please contact [email protected].

IMCA Contact

Ali Macleod
Technical Adviser - Diving

Information Note Details

Published date: 7 October 2021
Information note ID: 1584

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