Scientific dive training

The scientific diving program is based on the Canadian Association of Underwater Science (CAUS) standards.

This program assists researchers in safely conducting underwater scientific studies on SCUBA as certified level 1 (20m/60ft) divers.    

This training program generally runs from September to May with opportunities for some requirements to be completed in advance of the fall start.

CAUS level 1

This training is intended for eligible participants registered in the scientific diving program with a planned or approved project. 

1. Scientific diving theory via Brightspace

  • Complete the online theory course.
    • Note: theory must be completed before you start the ocean dives.   
  • Please email  to be enrolled.

2. Zoom intro session

  • Participate in the scheduled session to meet the team and review expectations.

3. Swimming/diving skills evaluation

  • A training session will be scheduled at McKinnon pool for late September/early October.
  • This session is not optional and must be completed before ocean dives commence.

4. Certifications

  • Dive accident management training
    • This course will be scheduled as required; over 1 to 2 days.
    • The course includes a classroom session and practical component in the ocean. 
  • Oxygen administration for divers
    • This is a full day in-class course and will be scheduled as required.
    • The course includes an online theory component that must be completed in advance of the classroom session.

6. Ocean dives

  • Dives will be scheduled throughout October to May.
  • You must be able to commit to attending 25 dives (15 hours dive time) over a period of ~ 6 months. This generally requires joining 15 of the scheduled dive days.
  • A calendar will be posted with pre-scheduled dive days for you to register for attendance.
  • Your dive project/plan must be sent to the for review no later than 2 weeks before your first ocean dive training session.

7. Diver-in-charge practical

  • Each diver will need to demonstrate diver-in-charge competency. This will include:
    • submission of a dive plan 2 weeks prior to your practical
    • being diver-in-charge for your dive day (e.g. discussions of hazards & risks, instructions for the dive plan, confirmation that diver logs are completed appropriately)

Surface safety attendant training

Surface safety attendants provide support for diving operations by remaining on the surface and monitoring top-side hazards and have the authority to abort the dive if there is any risk to the health and safety of divers.

All surface safety attendants must be approved by the UVic Diving Safety Officer.  Contact  with your expression of interest.

To be certified as a surface safety attendant, you must hold a current First aid with CPR certification (OFA level 1 or equivalent) and complete the following:

Part 1 - Surface safety attendant training via Brightspace

  • Please email ohs@uvic.ca to be enrolled.
  • Complete the online training course

Part2 -

  • Complete dive accident management & oxygen certification course.

Annual check-out dives

Annual check-out dives include an assessment of competency with:

  • running through all open water skills
  • participating in rescue scenarios underwater and on the surface

Please contact if you are due for your annual check-out.