• Facility Support Services
  • Occupational Safety & Risk Management
  • Research Safety & Services
  • The Scientific Diver Certification is recognition status of a permit to dive at the University while it is current and for the purpose intended. The requirements are those defined by the AAUS and provide a basis for inter-organizational reciprocity.

    Diver certification is at two levels – Diver-In-Training (DIT) and Scientific Diver (SD). See the AAUS Manual section 4 for details.

    The Diving Science and Safety Program (DSSP) does not provide basic scuba instruction. This can be obtained from the UF – PEN1136, or through a local dive shop. The scientific diver training options include in-house classes through DSSP or FAS SDDP. All of the necessary paperwork and forms for completion of an application for scientific diver are to be found under Forms.

    For reciprocity purposes the Dive Safety Officer will provide a certification form/letter to any other organization with whom one wished to do research diving. The adherence to AAUS standards will be sufficient for many universities, aquariums, and NOAA. However, in recognition of the relatively benign conditions under which the University works, some projects may require additional proof of competency to cope with environmental conditions and or new or different equipment.

    To facilitate UF scientific diver compliance with the DSSP requirements, the following GUIDELINES are provided. Approval for participation in scientific diving is based on criteria established by the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS).

    DSSP Diver Classification Level
    Scientific Diver
    Diver meets 100 hour training criteria with at least 12 additional dives, totally 6 hours underwater. (AAUS section 4) A checkout dive will be required if not previously completed at the time of classification as a DIT, or via reciprocity from another research diving program.
    A new diver (openwater scuba diver with 5 open water dives) who has not met the 100 hour training rule. Individual has had a check out dive (in accordance with AAUS Standards Section 4.20) conducted or approved by the DSSP. Individuals qualified at the DIT level must dive with an ACTIVE scientific diver at all times.
    Visiting Diver
    Diver certified through reciprocity from another scientific diving program.
    Volunteer Diver
    Will be classified under DSSP requirements.
    DSSP Status Level
    Diver has current medical examination with no contraindications for diving; has current certification in First Aid, O2 Administration, and CPR; has had their equipment serviced within last 12 months; and has logged the minimum of 12 dives within the previous 12 months (at least one dive near their maximum depth certification limit each 6 months).
    Diver has one or more deficiencies, i.e., medical examination has expired, CPR O2 provider, or First Aid is not current, or has not maintained the 12 dives per year activity level.
    Diver has let medical examination expire for a two year period beyond required update and/or has not maintained minimum dive frequency of 12 dives per year for a two year period. It is assumed that an INACTIVE diver is no longer involved in research that includes diving and his record will be retired. Reconsideration for ACTIVE dive status may require refresher training and a skills/academic evaluation.
    Special limitations are imposed on diving activities in which the diver may participate, e.g., restrictions due to the diver’s medical status or questionable skills.