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Commercial Diving Q and A Forum

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Question
Posted : July 3, 2007
What training do I need to become a commercial diver?

Answer
Posted : July 4, 2007
To become a commercial diver in the UK you need to take a diving course at a recognised commercial diver training school. Before starting the course you will need to complete a commercial diving medical with a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) approved diving doctor. The medical examination checks things like the function of your lungs, heart, ears, nervous system and how quickly you recover after exercise. You don’t need to be superman to pass this medical, but you do need a reasonable level of fitness. If you do some exercise frequently and have no major medical problems, then you should have no trouble.

You will need to complete an aptitude test which checks that you have a good grasp of the English language. All the exams and lectures are in English and though many are multiple-choice, some require written answers. It also involves checking you can do arithmetic using a calculator.

In the UK commercial diving courses are certificated by the HSE and the duration of a course depends on which qualification you want. If you were to do a full HSE diving course it would involve one week in the classroom to begin with where we cover subjects including diving illness, decompression tables, diving physics, first aid and legislation. Once these subjects have been understood we can go diving. We do 4 weeks of Surface Supplied diving up to a maximum depth of 50 metres, then 1 week of diving from a “Wet Bell” using hot-water suits to stay warm. This is followed by three weeks of Scuba diving, including full-face Scuba masks. We dive up to a maximum of 30 metres in Scuba. You will need to pass several exams while on course too.

So plenty of diving and study is required to complete the course, but one of the best contributions you can make in diving is teamwork.
Answer provided by Ali MacLeod, The Underwater Centre

Ali MacLeod
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