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The Underwater Centre Blog - Training you for the job, not just the ticket

ADIPEC: Exploring Opportunities in the Global Subsea Industry

The upcoming Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC) aims to provide a global hub, bringing together East and West. As such it provides an excellent opportunity for businesses from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres to explore regional and international opportunities in a rapidly changing and dynamic market.

adipec-email-logoFrom our Centres in Fort William, Scotland, and Tasmania, Australia, The Underwater Centre is well positioned to provide high quality training services to the global subsea industry.

Steve Ham, Commercial Director, will be attending ADIPEC along with Scottish Development International (SDI) on the 7th – 10th November 2016 (Stand 1210, Hall 1).

Visit The Underwater Centre at ADIPEC, 7th – 10th November 2016

ROV Competence Training for Subsea Industry

WCROVOne of the items on the agenda for ADIPEC is The Underwater Centre’s new model for increasing workforce competency in the ROV industry. Steve commented, “The new ROV Training Programme has been developed with a modular approach, covering topics such as ROV maintenance and operations, tooling, electrical and electronic systems, high voltage, working at heights, fibre optics and OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer), and hydraulics. The training is also staged to address the training needs of new entrants, as well as established and experienced personnel. This approach allows training to fit with companies’ existing competence development programmes.”

“The competency and training of ROV operators will be an important factor in ensuring the continued development of the industry bringing increasingly significant operational and cost efficiencies.”

Read more about the new ROV training standards

Global ROV Training Programme

The Underwater Centre has been delivering training in partnership with and for the subsea industry for over 40 years. More recently we’ve delivered extensive commercial diver training for a Malaysian company at our Tasmanian site, and bespoke ROV operations training for SAAB Seaeye at our Fort William site.

As well as providing both commercial diver and ROV pilot technician training from our open-water, well equipped sites in Fort William and Tasmania, we also have the capability for providing some elements of training in-house, at a site of your choice. We recently provided ROV training for the Royal New Zealand Navy at the Naval base in Devonport, New Zealand.

Read more about the companies we’ve provided training for

To arrange a meeting with Steve Ham during ADIPEC please contact us on or call +44 1397 703786.

Alternatively, visit us on the Scottish Development International (SDI) stand at ADIPEC, 7th – 10th November, Stand 1210, Hall 1.

Diver Case Study: It’s What You Do in the Water that Counts

david-bohm-the-underwater-centre-commercial-diver-5David Böhm completed his first course at The Underwater Centre, Fort William in 2012. He was working as a commercial air diver within a month of qualifying.

Before completing the Premium Industry Package in Fort William, David had a diverse career; drafted as a national conscript EOD in the Swedish Army, as a Telecom technician; an industrial technician involved in the construction of high pressure hydraulics for the dairy industry; and as a service technician for security system on banks and government buildings. He’s since returned to the Centre to complete his HSE Closed Bell training and now works as an air and saturation diver.

Here he tells us about training and working as a commercial diver.

Tell us about finding work as a commercial diver

david-bohm-the-underwater-centre-commercial-diver-9“I got my first job by constantly calling all the IMCA registered companies I had details for. I had a lot of experience with tools and technology before I did my training, but the underwater training with tools was crucial to making a good impression and being offered more work. It’s what you can do in the water that counts.”

Find out more about the skills training included in our commercial diver training

“The various tasks I did on the course definitely helped me stay in work too. I was expected to do all of that since the first day I was on an inshore job. Super important! And with any diving job safety comes first.”

What did you think of the commercial diving instructors at The Underwater Centre?

david-bohm-the-underwater-centre-commercial-diver-7“I value their advice to this day, I couldn’t have asked for better instructors than the ones I had. I am also very surprised by the openness and general attitude. Top notch! Every single one had a part to play in order for it to be a good course, and they all do it very well. I enjoy thinking back to that time at dive school.”

If you are interested in completing your HSE Closed Bell there is still some availability on the HSE Closed Bell course starting 7th November 2016 – this is the last available course date until June 2017.  Find out more here.


For more information about commercial diver training, visit our website here. Alternatively, contact our Student Advisors on +44 1397 703 786 or email

Find out more about HSE Closed Bell Training

Find out more about Commercial Diver training 2


Saab Seaeye ROV Training: Working in Partnership with Industry

Saab Seaeye are well known as the world leading manufacturer of electric powered Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) systems for the subsea industry.  Saab Seaeye recently sent part of their team to experience open-water, multi-operation ROV piloting at our Fort William site.

the-underwater-centre-saab-seaeye-rov-training-3ROV training in a subsea environment

Part of Saab Seaeye’s commitment to their customers is ensuring that all staff have a comprehensive knowledge of their systems – and of the conditions in which they will be used.  The 4 day bespoke course focussed on giving the candidates experience in a range of ROV operations in the deep tidal waters of Loch Linnhe; the site has a range of depths similar to the working areas of the North Sea.  Visibility was low for the duration of the course, adding to the realistic environment.

Find out more about ROV training here

Paul Dyer, Senior Commissioning Engineer, said that the course was “well planned with no wasted time”.  The course content was taken from the flying element of our 7 week Premium ROV Course. Piloting the observation class Saab Seaeye Falcon ROV, candidates carried out seabed survey and mapping; navigation using sonar; search and recovery using the manipulator; as-found surveys including general visual inspection and close visual inspections; video logs and dive plans; and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) structural survey on our mock-up rig structure.

the-underwater-centre-saab-seaeye-rov-training-1“Exceptional focus on safety”

The course also included commercial diver observation, giving candidates vital experience of working on a site where a range of operations are being carried out.  Ali Roy, Systems Engineer, noted that there was an “exceptional focus on safety”.  All candidates adhered to our permit-to-work documentation, and were fully briefed with toolbox talks throughout.

Peter Vallender, Saab Seaeye’s Publications and Training Manager, added “All four of our personnel commented on the extensive knowledge and experience of the instructor.”

For more information on bespoke corporate training, visit our website here, or to find out more about ROV career training, visit our website here.

Alternatively, contact us on +44 1397 703786 or

Find out more about ROV Pilot Tech trainingFind out more about corporate training

Reinvent Your Career – Just Like These Guys

Why change your career? You could be unhappy in your current role and looking for more fulfilment, you could be bored and looking for more excitement, or you could be looking for a career that gives you better pay.  We’ve seen all these reasons and more for people choosing to retrain for a career as a commercial diver or ROV pilot technician.

Find out more about our training here.

Here are just a few of our past students who’ve changed their lives: 


Ex-miner sees commercial diving as worthwhile investment

Steve Hallet was a miner and a sheet metal worker before completing his ADAS commercial diver training.  He said, ““I love diving and I enjoy construction, putting things together and learning new skills, so I thought why not put it all together and become an occupational diver. It has certainly been a worthwhile investment.”

Read more about Steve here


 TUC Aquaculture course 4Carpenter and Joiner does it for fun! (and the money)

Mark Cate, a 39-year-old carpenter and joiner from New Norfolk, has taken the plunge into commercial diving and hasn’t looked back.  When asked what attracted him to work as a diver in the booming aquaculture sector, his response was “I did it for fun” – but he does concede the promise of better pay was also a contributing factor.

Read more about Mark here


Milly ADAS Commercial Diver The Underwater Centre TasmaniaFrom conservation to the variety of commercial diving work

Amelia (Milly) Bartlem always loved being outdoors, but it wasn’t until she did voluntary work with Marine Conservation Cambodia that she tried diving for the first time.  Now qualified as a commercial diver she says, “The variety of work that I’ve been exposed to in a short time in the industry has been really awesome. I love doing the thing that I’ve dreamed about for a long time and I like the physical aspects of the work I do.”

Read more about Milly here


Reinvent Your Career Expo – Sydney

Reinvent Your Career, organisers of the Career Expo taking place on 22nd and 23rd October in Sydney, say that “Career decision making is a series of continuous choices across the life span, not a once-and-for-all event. ‘Real Age’ career people view careers as a spiral sequence of all life roles.”  

We’ll be at the Reinvent Your Career Expo, 22nd & 23rd October, Rosehill Gardens, Sydney on Stand 42 for you to discuss your career options.  

The event is free so don’t miss this opportunity to talk to our commercial diving staff for yourself. 

Alternatively, call our Student Advisors on +61 3 6383 4850 or email for more information.


Find out more about commercial diving


Commercial Diving Work: Searching for Unexploded Ordnance

Stephan Kuypers, from Den Bosch in The Netherlands, originally worked in road and sewer construction, but wanted more.  When an opportunity came up for specialised work detecting unexploded ordnance (UXO) from WWI and WWII he jumped at it, and now that he’s got his HSE commercial diving qualifications he can take the search underwater.

commercial-diving-work-stephan-4-the-underwater-centre-fort-williamCommercial diving work: teamwork

Like all commercial diving work, Stephan works in a team, and as a team; “I like the challenging worksites, and working with all kinds of people who want to get the job done!”

He tells us, “Getting the commercial diving ticket is the biggest challenge of my career so far. The supervisor in my company told me about The Underwater Centre, and he knew some people who did their course there. With this ticket I can expand my job, not only to search on land but also in the water for UXOs!  We have one full diving team now, so when there is a search job under water, they come to me.”

Training at The Underwater Centre

When asked about his experience at The Underwater Centre, Fort William, Stephan said, “The Underwater Centre is a great place to get your certificates! Everyone, from the kitchen staff to the managers, is doing their best to get you through the course. The instructors and supervisors have a lot of experience to teach you the right stuff, and to get safe in and out of the water. I really enjoyed the nine weeks here; it seems a long time, but times fly when you’re having fun!”

Find out more about training to be a commercial diver here.

commercial-diving-work-stephan-3-the-underwater-centre-fort-williamCommercial diving career progression and advice

“At the moment I’m a diver, but probably after a certain amount of time the next step would be a supervisor in our dive team. For now though I’m concentrating on getting more dives, and getting more experienced in this kind of work.”

“Is commercial diving for everyone? Maybe if you like to do a lot of different tasks, and working in a team who want to get the job done. If you like putting yourself to the limits, then this is the place to be.  I would say don’t just do it for money, there’s more to it than that.  When it comes to getting work when you listen around, listen to the people at the Centre, and you want to work, it is not difficult. But it doesn’t come by itself, you have to put the effort in – but that’s the same in all things in life when you want something!”

“If you really want it, put all your effort into it, are willing to listen to the people who know, and you’re not afraid to get dirty and tired, then you can!”

Find out more about working as a commercial diver on our website here, or for more information contact our Student Advisors on +44 1397 703786 or

Find out more about Commercial Diver training 2