Diver in Training Process

Overview; Diver-In-Training Qualification process

1. Diver Application

2. Medical Exam

3. Water Evaluations

Become a Diver-In-Training

Diver-In-Training (DIT) status is required in order to be eligible for further training and qualification as a UH Scientific Diver. Once DIT status is earned, the diver is authorized to participate in further Scientific Diver training, and may work under the supervision of a qualified UH Scientific Diver on UH projects. Authorization is limited to conditions and activities with which the diver has demonstrated prior experience and proficiency.

Generally, during DIT qualification the diver demonstrates (1) a need to dive as part of his/her studies or employment at UH, (2) medical fitness for diving, and diving knowledge and skills equivalent to that produced by a rigorous entry-level recreational scuba certification through (3) confined water evaluations and (4) open water evaluations. Following are the steps you will need to take, in roughly the order in which they are required:
Regarding Delays: UHDSP often experiences periods in which we receive many applications, and multiple divers are usually in the qualification process at any given time. It is up to you, the applicant, to ensure that the requirements listed above are completed and that the qualification process proceeds in a timely fashion.

  picture of flow chart on path to authorization to become a diver in training.  
1. Complete an Application

Complete the Application for University of Hawaii Scientific Diver Authorization forms, and return to the Diving Safety Program (UHDSP) Office.  Usually UHDSP will have no way of tracking your progress until this is done. Complete the forms, including your sponsor’s signature, and return them to UHDSP accompanied by photocopies of your scuba certification cards and any other pertinent supporting information (CPR, First Aid, Lifeguard, etc.). UH employees and volunteers are required to provide proof that scientific diving is part of their official duties of employment through completion of the Employers Verification. Non-employees, including students, are required to provide evidence of current Divers Alert Network diving medical insurance.

The Application for Scientific Diver Authorization must be submitted complete and include:.

  • Applicant Information with Dept. Sponsor’s signature
  • Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Release Form
  • Medical Consent and Insurability Form
  • Verification of Employment
  • Diving History and Experience
  • Diving Injury History
  • Applicant Signatures
  • Copies of Certification Cards
  • Proof of DAN Diving Accident Insurance (if required)
2. Schedule and Complete a Diving Medical Exam

Schedule and complete your diving medical exam. The examining physician’s office should forward the completed exam, including copies of all completed test results directly to our office.

The medical exam may be conducted by any licensed physician (M.D. or D.O.), as long as all required tests are conducted and included in the physician’s determination. You may choose to go to your personal medical provider. However if this exam is for employment, it may not be fully covered by personal medical insurance, and private providers often do not have immediate access to required equipment for all required tests, such as chest x-rays and pulmonary function tests. This may result in delays and increased costs to you. Further, if some finding is a contraindication to diving, UHDSP may need to send the exam results to the UH Diving Medical Officer for final review and approval.

Alternately, the University of Hawaii has arranged for diving medical examinations to be conducted by Straub Occupational Medicine Clinic in Honolulu , which is prepared to conduct the examination including all required tests in a time-efficient manner and at a cost well below normal provider rates. The Straub physicians are trained and experienced in the medical evaluation of divers according to the standards required for workplace diving (AAUS, NOAA, ADC, UHMS) and seldom require secondary review.

3. Complete Water Skill Evaluations

Skill Evaluations: Once UHDSP receives the results of the medical exam, you will need to complete water skills evaluations, which allow staff to see your current level of proficiency. These may be scheduled with UHDSP staff, or with your local Unit Diving Coordinator.

The confined-water session entails the following:

•  400 yard swim in less than 10 minutes

•  25 yard underwater swim without push off (no fins)

•  Transport another swimmer 25 yards

•  10 minute tread water (last 2 minutes no hands)

•  Basic scuba skills, including: dive planning; entry and exit; swimming on the surface and underwater; buoyancy control and general awareness; mask removal and replacement; regulator removal and recovery; removal and replacement of the scuba unit underwater and at the surface; out of air scenarios; tired diver and unconscious diver rescue.

Equipment: What to bring to the evaluation sessions

•  Swimsuit and swim goggles

•  Mask, snorkel, and heel-strap fins

•  Exposure suit, gloves and booties

•  BC and Regulator

•  Depth gauge and timing device

For open water you will also need the following:

•  Compass

•  Cutting device

If you are using personal SCUBA equipment you must provide proof of service of your BC inflator, regulator, alternate air source, and SPG swivel within the previous 12 months, according to the manufacturer’s service recommendations. BCs and regulators are available for loan from UHDSP on a short-term basis. UHDSP will provide scuba cylinders. Some weights and belts are available, but supplies may be limited.

If you have questions regarding policy contact Dave Pence: dpence@hawaii.edu or 956-6420.

For questions regarding the status of your application contact Maria Laamang: uhdsp@hawaii.edu or 956-9643.

For scheduling evaluation sessions or questions about training contact Liv Wheeler: liv4@hawaii.edu or 956-6617.

What is a Diver-In-Training ?

The Diver-In-Training permit signifies that a diver has completed and been certified as at least an openwater diver through a nationally or internationally recognized certifying agency, scientific diving program or its equivalent, is medically fit and proficient in basic diving skills.

Diver’s-In-Training are undergoing the training necessary to obtain scientific diver status.

Forms for DIT Qualification:

Application for University of Hawaii Scientific Diver Authorization forms

UH Diving Medical Exam Forms

Medical Exam Instructions