Posted by Eins on November 25, 2000 at 20:34:44:
In Reply to: Europe is getting ready to standardize scuba instruction posted by Eins on November 24, 2000 at 21:14:10:
Sport diving is booming worldwide. Germany alone is likely to have over one million recreational divers. Despite of less accidents happening in scuba diving than in other sports, the consequences are often more severe or even fatal. Substantial prerequisites for the divers' safety are physical fitness, reliable equipment and good education.
Since early 1999, a group of experts has been working at a series of European standards toward education in diving as well as for the qualification of instructors and dive operations.
Established organizations which offer diving related services in Germany joined with other interested groups into the "Diving Services" working committee to represent German interests in the CEN working group (CEN = European Committee for Standardization).
The first result was a draft for a European Standard for requirements of training and education of recreational scuba divers. It will soon be presented to the public. Working on a European level proved to be very discussion-intensive because not only the various, already proven instruction standards but also the extremely differing diving conditions in the European states have to be taken into account. The approval of the draft can therefore be seen as a milestone on the way toward being able to compare differing diving instruction that is available now.
The future standard describes the requirements toward qualification of divers in three performance levels:
1. Basic knowledge/skills to dive under supervision,
2. qualification to independent diving, as well as
3. qualification of responsible leaders of dive groups.
The standard is to describe substantial performance criteria of the individual levels and therefore make the different instruction models and offers comparable. It was expressly mentioned that the standards are not to replace the existing courses.
The first performance level describes practical and theoretical course contents to be conveyed so that the diver can dive to 12m/40ft, accompanied by a qualified diver, or up to 20m/66ft accompanied by a qualified instructor.
The level of an "independent diver" is to qualify for diving with an equally certified diver to a suggested maximum depth of 20m/66ft.
The third performance level describes the abilities a diver needs to lead inexperienced divers or groups of divers, e.g. divers of the first performance level.
I hope this made it a bit clearer. Excuse my insufficient language skills.
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