Types of Occupational Diver Certifications issued by DCBC

The Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC) certifies divers to the standards of competency described in the Canadian Standards Association’s Competency standard for diving, hyperbaric chamber, and remotely operated vehicle operations (CAN/CSA Z275.4). The standard includes the various categories of occupational diver as shown below. DCBC does not endorse divers’ certificates for categories or qualifications which are not specifically listed in CSA Standards Z275.4 or Z275.6.

The DCBC also audits and accredits Diver Training Establishments which train to one or more of the following categories:

Restricted Surface-Supplied Diver

The Restricted Surface-Supplied Diver is trained to dive using surface-supplied diving equipment to a maximum depth of 30 metres. Holders of this certification often work in seafood harvesting, aquaculture, underwater engineering inspections, archaeological investigation, police operations, underwater film production and emergency services rescue response.

The CSA Occupational safety code for diving operations (CSA Z275.2) clearly states that unless the diver has received special training for and is qualified to perform specific tasks restricted surface supplied diving shall not be used on operations that involve the following functions: welding, burning/cutting, high-pressure jetting, explosives, hoisting, dredging, using power tools, working in a contaminated environment, and liveboating.

Although Restricted Surface Supplied Divers may go on to obtain further training in various tools, DCBC does not provide endorsements for such training. Candidates wishing to be employed in underwater construction and maintenance, either inshore or offshore, should consider choosing unrestricted surface supplied diver training.

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Unrestricted Surface-Supplied Diver

The Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diver is qualified to work inshore and offshore to 50 metres depth. They are trained in a range of power tools (air and hydraulic), hot water systems and dry suits, burning & welding, surface decompression on oxygen (Sur-d-02) procedures and dive management. The USS diver is qualified to work on marine construction and maintenance inshore as well as in support of hydrocarbon development and production offshore.

After at least one year of experience, the Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diver is eligible for further training, to become certified as a Closed Bell Diver, also known as a saturation diver.

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Restricted SCUBA Diver

The Restricted SCUBA Diver is trained to dive on self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) to a depth of 20 or 30 metres depending on the training of the holder. Holders of this certification often work in seafood harvesting, aquaculture, underwater engineering inspections, archaeological investigation, police operations, underwater film production and emergency services rescue response.

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Unrestricted SCUBA Diver

The Unrestricted SCUBA Diver is trained to dive on self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) to a depth of 40 metres. Holders of this certification may work in the same occupations as a Restricted SCUBA Diver, just to a greater depth.

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Closed Bell Diver

The Closed Bell Diver is trained to work as a lockout oriented bell diver at depths greater than 70 metres while breathing mixtures other than air. Holders of this certification usually work in support of hydrocarbon exploration, development and production and in support of offshore construction.

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