The Diving at Work Regulations 1997 regulations apply to all scuba diving for training in the UK. This includes both commercial and volunteer training. These regulations have been applied despite adequate self regulation by scuba diving training agencies (e.g. PADI, BSAC, etc). These regulations introduce unnecessary paperwork and effort, including:

  • Yearly medical checks for instructors
  • HSE risk assessments (including non-commercial instructors)
  • Redundancy of safety equipment – every group having their own emergency oxygen, when it could be provided at a central point at established diving locations
  • Unnecessary staffing requirements – this should be dictated by local conditions not blanket rules

These rules should be relaxed, eliminated or replaced by rules that are specifically designed for the wide range of conditions encountered in UK scuba diving training.

These regulations might be usefully retained for scuba diving involving police work, engineering work, etc. I am focusing on recreational diving training here.

Why is this idea important?

Reducing or eliminating these regulations would reduce the admin and logistical burden on individual instructors and diving centres. Safety should be maintained by relying in instructor judgements depending on local circumstances, rather than one size fits all rules. Increase in the availability of training will improve scuba diving and reduce accidents.

TimSC (occasional scuba diving instructor, trained and certified by a major global instructor association).

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