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November 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 43, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Regulating Scuba Diving

from the November, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Once a diver is certified, he is certified for life. For those who have been out of the water awhile, some operators may require a refresher session. But, for the most part, a certified diver is free to dive anywhere at any time. Such loose requirement have, on occasion, led to the call for government oversight of training, but that never got very far, and the self-policing training agencies continue to resist any re-certification efforts.

But not so in Quebec, Canada, where the French-speaking province has scuba diving regulations in force that make it unique to North America. They require scuba divers to hold a certificate attesting to their proficiency. Not only must instructors have a duly recognized certificate from a major training agency, they must include specific topics in their classes and be accredited by government-approved examiners.

Scuba divers' certificates must be renewed every three years, offering a log showing at least ten dives during that period, and an inactive diver must take a refresher course. An instructor must renew his license annually and be "in good standing with an approved diving instructor association" and "prove that, during the period of validity of the certificate, he or she took part in at least one improvement workshop of at least 4 hours, focusing on one or more of the topics listed in the schedules provided."

Divers visiting Quebec must get a temporary certificate valid for one month by showing a C-card and logbook attesting to their level of experience. These regulations apply only to recreational scuba diving.

We hear so often of out-of-practice divers embarking on dives that are beyond their ability, often with tragic outcomes. How would you feel if similar regulations were brought into force where you intend to dive? Let's hear what you have to say. Email

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