Minimum Course Content for Common Hand Signals for Scuba Diving

Revised Standard Available for Public Comment


The Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC), the secretariat for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in regards to recreational diving instructional standards, has revised the Minimum Course Content for Common Hand Signals for Scuba Diving standard and is being submitted to ANSI for accreditation.  As is a required part of the ANSI process, the document is being made available for review.  Anyone interested in a copy of the revised standard in electronic format can request a copy from Dan Orr, RSTC Coordinator at


RAID Joins RSTC US Council

Rebreather Association of International Divers (RAID) has joined the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) US as an Associate Member.

By unanimous vote, the RSTC Board of Directors welcomes RAID as its newest member. Rebreather Association of International Divers was formed in 2007, and will join PADI, PDIC, SDI and SSI as members of the RSTC. The RSTC announced changes to its membership criteria in November 2015, accepting members at two levels, Associate Member and Voting Member. The RSTC seeks to continue to improve diver safety, and increasing membership is part of this strategy. RAID was the first training organization to answer that call and make application. RAID CEO Jim Holliday states “RAID is proud to be accepted as an RSTC Associate Member and RAID is committed to meet its commitment to help uphold the safety standards of the RSTC.” Dan Orr, RSTC Coordinator said, “we are very pleased to have another agency join our council.” He went on to say, “RAID was very enthusiastic and jumped at the chance to join. We look forward to their active participation.”

RSTC training requirements are recognized around the world as the global industry standard. New members are assessed to ensure compliance with RSTC standards. Members must make an ongoing commitment to ensure compliance with RSTC standards.

Scuba training organizations interested in applying for membership with the RSTC may download membership information at

Recreational Scuba Training Council Revises and Updates Membership Application Process

The Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) has revised the application process for organization membership. While additional changes may be made in the future, RSTC is looking to expand the membership in the organization by implementing these changes more scuba training agencies will have the opportunity become part of the important work of the RSTC.

A few of the changes are listed below:

– Membership Application now allows agencies located outside the United States to apply for membership within the RSTC. The new membership application includes an Associate Member level.
– The updated process allows membership for training organizations conducting business within the United States, as well as other locations globally.

Scuba training agencies that are interested in applying for membership
in the RSTC should visit and go to the download area where
all information is located.

RSTC Approves Supervised Diver Standard

Effective August 2010 RSTC approved the Supervised Diver standard.

This standard covers the requirements to conduct dives for divers with a limited diver rating.

These divers must dive under the supervision of a certified dive professional to a limited depth. The Supervised Diver standard is a subset of the Open Water Diver standard. All the information and skills required for certification as a Supervised Diver are part of the Open Water Diver standard. Agencies that offer this level of certification may have procedures a diver completes to upgrade to an Open Water Diver rating.

WRSTC Website Revised

The WRSTC website has been revised to provide clearer contact information for both WRSTC and the RSTC groups located around the world

The contact information for the WRSTC lists an email address as well as a mailing address. A separate email address for RSTC US has been developed, and is located on the contact page for the RSTC groups worldwide.

The website was update in September 2010.

ISO approves 6 Diving Standards

ISO approves 6 Diving Standards
The International Standards Organization (ISO) is the largest developer of technical standards which positively impact our global society. In January 2007, six (6) recreational diving standards were approved. With the involvement of diver training organizations from many countries, ISO was able to act as a bridging organization to bring them all together to approve one standard that will be implemented world wide.

The ISO is a network of national standards institutes from 157 countries with a central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland that coordinates the system. For the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the ISO representative. As the ANSI Accredited Standards Developer for recreational diving standards and safety, the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) actively participated in the ISO standards approval process.

Although some of the terminology is different, the long-standing industry standards developed by the RSTC are consistent with the applicable ISO Standards, as identified in the following chart.

RSTC Standard ISO Standard Alternative ISO Title
Introductory Scuba Experience No equivalent
No equivalent Level One Diver Supervised Diver
Open Water Diver Level Two Diver Autonomous Diver
Dive Supervisor Level Three Diver Dive Leader
Assistant Instructor Level 1 Instructor
Scuba Instructor Level 2 Instructor
Instructor Trainer No equivalent
No equivalent Service Provider

RSTC Endorses DAN Diabetic Guidelines

Dr. Guy Dear from Divers Alert Network (DAN) presented the new guidelines for those with diabetes to the RSTC committee at their last meeting in August 2006. These guidelines allow for some individuals with diabetes to dive. DAN has advised diabetics against diving for many years until the mid 1990s when they determined that a percentage of their members were not only diabetic but those with insulin requiring diabetes.

With this information DAN launched a study from 1997 to 1999 to determine the possibility of those with diabetes being able to dive. The finding of that study prompted the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) and DAN to hold a workshop in 2005 with the diving medical experts from around the world to seek formal guidelines for diabetes and diving.

After a thorough overview of the new guidelines RSTC unanimously endorsed the guidelines. RSTC will also work to with the UHMS to add the new information to the current RSTC Medical Guidelines to the Physician.

A copy of the guidelines can be obtained from DAN. You can go to the home page of DAN, search for “diabetes” and you will find DAN Divers Alert Network : Medical Research : Diabetes & Diving click on that link and you will find an article about the research. At the end of the article you will find the citation for the complete work shop and also a one page summary of the guidelines.

RSTC Canada’s Position Regarding Agency Neutral On-line Training Programs

At a recent meeting, the members of the Recreational Scuba Training Council of Canada determined it was important to provide collective clarification regarding agency neutral on-line training programs.Over the past two to three years a number of websites not affiliated with a training agency have launched on-line scuba training programs. On these sites, the customer is lead to believe that all training agencies will accept these programs to meet their academic requirements for scuba training. This is not correct. Because of concerns about the educational validity of these programs and the inability to monitor the quality of education and services, as well as liability and insurance issues, each RSTCC member organization has independently determined it cannot accept these non-affiliated training programs to meet its academic requirements.Before customers sign up for any on-line training program, they should first check with training agency they wish to receive certification through to verify if that on-line program is acceptable for meeting the training agency’s requirements.

The RSTCC consists of American and Canadian Underwater Certifications (ACUC),Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), Scuba Diving International (SDI)
Scuba Schools International (SSI) and meets throughout the year to deal with issues involving training in the scuba industry.

For additional information on Recreational Scuba Training Council of Canada, contact any member organization or contact

Enriched Air Nitrox

At its August 2006 meeting, the RSTC approved a standard for Enriched Air Nitrox diver. This standard is a recreational entry level nitrox diver standard for depths shallower than 130 feet/40 metres.

Standards for Enriched Air Nitrox have been posted to the downloads page.