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Changes to Membership for Training Providers Offering In-Water Training of Commercial Divers

IMCA has been made aware of several serious diving safety issues during basic training routines. Despite these operations being overseen by various national regulators, we remain very concerned with the safety performance of in-water diver training. Safety has been and will always be at the core of our values and consequently we are duty bound to address these issues.

We are therefore taking direct steps to address these concerns. This has led IMCA, guided by its Diving Division Management Committee, to completely reassess this category of membership.

Accordingly, in 2023 IMCA will implement a Membership assessment scheme (including both a desktop and onsite audit) for all Members in the T1 category (“Training providers offering in-water basic diver training”, formerly DT1), similar to the audits we undertake for all prospective diving contractor Members. In addition, we will implement a biennial onsite auditing programme of all in-water diver training school Members.

The T1 membership category will only be open to training schools approved by relevant certifying authorities to teach in-water diver training courses that lead to the award of diver training certificates recognised by IMCA (see IMCA Information Note 1394). We believe that this category of IMCA Membership is likely to attract the attention of persons wishing to undertake safely delivered, high-quality in-water diver training courses.

Our programme of onsite audits will be rolled out in 2023. The package of documentation we will require for the desktop audit will be available on our website shortly. This will include details on providers’ safety management systems, equipment planned maintenance, diving records, etc.

Membership renewal invoices will be issued this month in the normal way. However, the new invoice and annual fee will be £5000, a sum that is inclusive of desktop and onsite audit fees (but will not include travel and subsistence costs incurred by IMCA auditors, which will be invoiced at cost plus 5%). Successful completion of the audit process will confirm Membership of IMCA as a category T1 Member.

We appreciate that these measures will increase the cost of IMCA membership for such providers, but decisive action is needed to address genuine safety concerns and restore IMCA’s confidence in this vital part of industry.

IMCA Contact

Ali Macleod
Technical Adviser - Diving

Information Note Details

Published date: 7 November 2022
Information note ID: 1625


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