Skip to content

Opportunities for trainee bell diving supervisors to gain panel time as trainee air diving supervisors


In the past few years some diving companies have stopped undertaking air diving operations due to the nature of their business.  This has created a problem for trainee bell diving supervisors within the IMCA offshore diving supervisor certification scheme.   Some of these applicants have been finding it increasingly difficult to get the opportunity to act as trainee air diving supervisors on at least ten offshore commercial dives (as required by the IMCA offshore diving supervisor certification scheme).

In order to accommodate these changes in diving companies’ operations, an alternative route has been developed.  This will provide an alternative route for candidates to obtain the necessary developmental training in air diving supervision to meet the entry requirements for the exam.


In addition to the existing routes, IMCA will allow trainee bell diving supervisors to meet the entry requirements for the IMCA Bell Diving Supervisor exam by acting as trainee air diving supervisors on a minimum of ten air dives conducted at any commercial diving school which issues an IMCA recognised diver training certificate (see Information Note IMCA D 09/14), providing they meet the following criteria:

  • The supervised training must be undertaken over a minimum of 5 days;
  • The trainee supervisor must be involved in all aspects of the dive including; the planning, dive briefing, risk assessment review, emergency plan review and diver checks.  It must be recognised that the training of student divers creates different risks to those offshore;
  • Two of the dives must be undertaken from a wet bell;
  • Two of the dives must be in excess of 30 metres;
  • Two of the dives must involve surface decompression (this may be simulated, but must involve putting a diver under pressure in a chamber within the allotted surface interval time);
  • Two of the dives must involve in-water decompression;
  • Two of the dives must involve training in diver rescue from depth.

These dives must be undertaken under the direct supervision of a qualified instructors employed by the school who must counter sign and stamp the candidate’s log book.  In addition, for the sake of planning, a number of the required skills may be combined into one dive. However, all of the required criteria must be met.

Should a candidate wish to take this route, suitable arrangements must be made with the relevant training facility and copies of the relevant logbook pages must be submitted as part of the application to sit the IMCA examination.  IMCA will accept applications from candidates who choose to meet the air dive requirements either using the method outlined in this Information Note or by following the requirements as detailed on page 8 of IMCA D 013 Rev. 4 – IMCA offshore diving supervisor and life support technician certification schemes.  The changes described in this Information Note will be incorporated in the next revision of IMCA D 013.

Note that IMCA will not accept dives supervised by instructors at diving schools in the normal course of their work as qualifying offshore surface dives within the IMCA Offshore Diving Supervisor Certification Scheme.

Further details on the scheme may be obtained by contacting the IMCA Accreditation & Certification Team.

IMCA Contact

Peter Sieniewicz
Technical Adviser - Diving

Information Note Details

Published date: 12 January 2015
Information note ID: 1253

Related Guidance

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.