Why do you need HSE or ADAS diving certification?
IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association) is a trade association. It provides guidance and advice on carrying out offshore diving operations safely, but not legislation. The IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving states: “Divers should have completed diver training to an IMCA-recognised closed bell or surface supplied diver qualification and be in possession of a valid training/ competence certificate.”
About IMCA recognised commercial diver certification
However there is often confusion around certification. IMCA also provide competence assurance and assessment in the commercial diving sector for countries where no government legislation has been adopted. This is a trade-backed assessment programme rather than formal training. It is not used internationally. In certain countries you have to dive under a government –backed diving certification scheme.
To be sure of being able to work as commercial diver anywhere in the world you have to have an internationally recognised diver certification. Certification from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), or the Australian Diving Certification Scheme (ADAS) is globally recognised.
HSE and ADAS: Globally accepted commercial diving qualifications
It boils down to where in the world you want to dive. The accepted certifications are decided by the national legislative body, and often the oil companies, in the waters the work will be taking place in.
For example, if you wish to dive in UK waters in the North Sea you must hold an HSE diving certification or equivalent. Certificates issued under the IMCA diver assessment programme are not considered as equivalent. That means experienced divers need to upgrade their commercial diving certification on an HSE Experience & Competence Assessment Course.
Similarly, IMCA certification isn’t recognised for diving in Australian waters. So if you are based in the Southern Hemisphere you can complete an ADAS Recognised Prior Learning Course to get suitable offshore surface supplied diving qualifications.