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Medical Standatds for Service Sport Divers

Different medical fitness assessment procedures exist for separate groups of divers because of different legislative requirements and variations in the provision of medical services.  The following regulations apply:

 A.        Service personnel must have a valid certificate of medical fitness to dive issued by a Service Medical Officer or MOD Civilian Medical Practitioner.  The medical standards required for certification are laid down in a Surgeon General’s Policy Letter and BRd 1750A “The Handbook of Naval Medical Standards” (see Part 2, Chapter 8, Para 0824 ).

 B.         There is an exemption to Para 11a for Try Dives. Service personnel who complete the Try Dive Medical Health Questionnaire at Annex A and sign Declaration 1 can be found fit to undertake a Try Dive without further assessment. Service personnel who cannot sign Declaration 1 or in whom there is any other reason to doubt medical fitness to dive must obtain a valid certificate of medical fitness to dive issued by a Service Medical Officer or a MOD Civilian Medical Practitioner in accordance with Para 11a. (See Para 26).

Try-Dives may be carried out in swimming pools or approved Sheltered Water Training Areas  to a maximum depth of 4m.  Try Dives are to be conducted in accordance with the directions contained in BSAC Information Sheet T12.  Before undertaking a Try Dive, candidates must successfully complete a basic swimming assessment, be compliant with Medical Standardsnd are to be given a full safety brief by the BSAC Qualified Instructor in charge.

C.       Civilian personnel who participate in Service sports diving and who are “at work” are to be assessed in accordance with the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 and the Recreational Diving Projects ACoP. These personnel must have a valid certificate of medical fitness to dive issued by an HSE Approved Medical Examiner of Divers.  The certificate of medical fitness is valid for up to 12 months and must be renewed annually if the diver wishes to continue to participate “at work” in Service sports diving. Note: All Civilian's must have HSE Diving medical if they wish to dive on service AT.

D.         Civilian personnel who participate in Service sports diving and who are not “at work” are to be assessed in accordance with standard BSAC policy.  This applies to the vast majority of civilians authorised to take part in Service sports diving.  This requires completion of the UK Sport Diver Medical Form for annual self-declaration and (when required) further assessment and certification by UK Sports Diver Medical Referees.

 E.     Certificates of medical fitness to dive become invalid if a diver develops a new medical condition that may affect his or her safety.  During the risk assessment before each dive the SADS must check that each diver has retained his or her medical fitness since the certificate was issued.  Divers have a legal responsibility to care for the health and safety of themselves and others.  This includes declaring when their fitness may have fallen into doubt.

Medical Forms are on the Documents page