Guidance for diving supervisors


Version history

June 2024 Rev. 1.3 – Section 10.1 updated with tables 1 &2 from DMAC 07

August 2016 Rev. 1.2 – Section 10.3 updated to incorporate AODC 020 (later replaced by IMCA D022)

April 2015 Rev. 1.1 – Sections 9.13, 14.34.2 and 15.21 updated

May 2014 Rev. 1 – To reflect changes in IMCA diving documentation

May 2000 – Initial publication



IMCA provides certification schemes for bell diving supervisors, air diving supervisors and life support technicians. The schemes comprise formal training courses followed by documented experience on the worksite. On completion of the relevant training and work experience the candidate, sponsored by a diving contractor member, will be put forward to sit the relevant IMCA examination. If successful, the candidate is awarded the appropriate IMCA certificate.

A bell diving supervisor will need to have passed both the air diving and bell diving modules of the certification scheme and be qualified and competent to supervise all surface and closed bell diving operations (including those in deck chambers).

An air diving supervisor will need to have passed the air diving module of the certification scheme and be qualified and competent to supervise all surface diving operations, including decompression in a deck chamber. The examination and training for an air diving supervisor does not include surface mixed gas diving techniques.

Possession of the certification does not necessarily imply that a supervisor is competent to carry out a specific operation. The diving contractor should be satisfied of the diving supervisor’s competence before appointing him. Diving supervisors are to be appointed in writing by a letter of appointment from the diving contractor.

A diving superintendent or senior supervisor is an appropriately qualified diving supervisor who is in overall charge of an operation. Diving supervisors in charge of each part of the operation have direct responsibility for diving operations carried out under their control.


  • Introduction
  • Diving Physics
  • Diving Medicine and First Aid
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Communications
  • Documentation
  • Management and Planning
  • Support Locations
  • Gas Handling
  • General Diving Procedures
  • Surface Supplied Air Diving
  • Surface Supplied Mixed Gas Diving
  • Closed Bell Diving
  • Chambers
  • General Safety Requirements
  • Appendix 1 – IMCA Certification Schemes
  • Appendix 2 – Maximum Bottom Time Limitation
  • Appendix 3 – Weather Terminology and Classifications
  • Appendix 4 – Vessel Hazard Drawings
Reference(s): IMCA D022
Published:June 2024
Version:Rev. 1.3
Grade:IMCA Recommended Practice

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