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 www.diversalertnetwork.org, 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 info@wrstc.com.

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.

RSTC Members State their Positions regarding Agency-Neutral On-line Training

At a recent meeting, the members of the Recreational Scuba Training Council 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 RSTC 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 the retail store, instructor or training agency they wish to receive certification through to verify if that on-line program is acceptable for meeting the training agency’s requirements.

SDI is approved for RSTC Canada Membership

Scuba Diving International (SDI) was approved for RSTC Canada Membership February 16, 2006.

By unanimous vote, the Recreational Scuba Training Council of Canada’s Board of Directors welcomed its newest member. Scuba Diving International, which came into existence in 1999, will now join ACUC International, PADI Canada and SSI Canada in establishing minimum training standards at all levels of recreational scuba diving in order to promote public safety in Canada. RSTC training requirements are recognized around the world as the global industry standard.

“SDI is very pleased to join with the charter members of RSTCC”, stated Brian Carney President of SDI. “We look forward to working together in the promotion of consistent and safe diver education for the benefit of future dive enthusiasts.”

RSTC Approves Hand Signals

In November of 2005 RSTC approved standard hand signals and common hand signals used by divers. Many of these standard signals were originally an ANSI standard. They are based on the standard hand signals used by training agencies when training entry level divers.

The approved hand signals are posted here on the World Recreational Training Agency (WRSTC) web site under the download area.

Recreational Scuba Training Council Officers for 2006

According to the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) by-laws the officers rotate annually. The agency fills the position not necessarily an individual. The Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) officers for 2006 are:

President PDIC
Vice Pres SSI
Vice Pres IDEA
Vice Pres SDI
Secretary PADI
Treasurer YMCA

The individuals that attend the RSTC meeting for each of the agencies are:

IDEA David Scoggins and Pam Sattler
PADI Jeff Nadler and Brad Smith
PDIC Mel Murphy and Tony Davidson
SDI Brian Carney and Sean Harrison
SSI Ed Christini and Dennis Pulley
YMCA Tom Leaird and Dan Marelli

Individuals that have an idea that may be considered by RSTC should contact one of the individuals listed above.

SDI joins RSTC

Scuba Diving International (SDI) was approved for RSTC Membership at the August 2004 meeting.

By unanimous vote, the RSTC Board of Directors welcomed its newest member. Scuba Diving International, which came into existence in 1999, will now join IDEA,PADI,PDIC,SSI and the YMCA in establishing minimum training standards at all levels of recreational scuba diving in order to promote public safety. RSTC training requirements are recognized around the world as the global industry standard.

“SDI is very pleased to join with the charter members of RSTC”, stated Brian Carney President of SDI. “We look forward to working together in the promotion of consistent and safe diver education for the benefit of future dive enthusiasts.”

RSTC Approves Revised Instructor Trainer Standards

The most recent standard to be reviewed and updated is the Instructor Trainer Standard. Originally developed in 1993, the Instructor Trainer Standard was revised to stay consistent with the wording changes that have taken place with the Instructor, Open Water Diver, the Introduction to Scuba standards, Dive Supervisor standard and, most recently the Assistant Instructor Standard.

Notable change that was made is:
Candidates must have a broad base of teaching background and have taught at least 150 divers.

These standards were approved in October 2003 and in effect as of January 1, 2004.