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AAUS Certification Program

Frequently Asked Questions

 

In 2013, AAUS launched the AAUS Certification Program in cooperation with International Training (ITI).  This program provides AAUS and its members with a number of valuable benefits, only one of which is to provide recognized credentials and certification cards for AAUS Scientific Divers and Scientific Diving Instructors/ Diving Safety Officers.  A thorough description of the program and program updates can be found HERE.  Below are some commonly asked questions about the program both for scientific divers and instructors.

 

For Scientific Divers

1)  What are the requirements to become an AAUS Scientific Diver?

AAUS requires scientific divers to have a higher level of training and proficiency than most recreational divers.  Participation in an AAUS-sponsored Scientific Diver training course with minimum of 100 hours of cumulative training including 12 training dives is required.  Additionally, AAUS Scientific Diver Certification requires that divers be affiliated with an AAUS Organizational Member (OM) to maintain active status. 

2)  Where can I get trained and certified as an AAUS Scientific Diver?

AAUS itself does not train or certify divers.  Training and certification as an AAUS Scientific Diver can only be acquired through an AAUS Organizational Member (OM). Most AAUS OMs require divers to be employees or recognized affiliates in order to participate in their programs, and not all AAUS OMs participate in the Certification Program.  Please refer to the current AAUS OM list to find and contact an AAUS OM in your region. 

3)  Can I apply/qualify as an AAUS Scientific Diver by showing documented experience and training? 

Not usually.  AAUS itself does not train or certify divers.  Training and certification as an AAUS Scientific Diver can only be acquired through an AAUS Organizational Member (OM).  Some AAUS OMs may accept previous qualifications and training to expedite admission to their programs; others do not.   Please refer to the current AAUS OM list to find and contact an AAUS OM in your region. 

4) How long is my AAUS Scientific Diver certification valid?

AAUS Scientific Diver certification is different than recreational diving certification in that it is not valid indefinitely.  While an AAUS certification card will document that you received training from an AAUS OM, certain elements of your certification expire and must be kept current (CPR/First Aid training, diver activity level, diver medical exam, etc.).  Additionally, AAUS Scientific Divers must be affiliated with an AAUS OM to maintain active status. 

5)  I’m no longer affiliated with an AAUS OM but I want to maintain active status as an AAUS Scientific Diver.  Can I renew my certification directly with AAUS?

No.  AAUS itself does not certify divers.  Status as an active AAUS Scientific Diver can only be conferred by an AAUS Organizational Member (OM).

 

For Instructors

1)  What are the requirements to become an AAUS Scientific Diving Instructor?

AAUS Instructor applicants must be:

a)     active AAUS Scientific Divers

b)     affiliated with and sponsored by an AAUS Organizational Member (OM)

c)     current scuba instructors with an internationally recognized training agency

d)     the OM Diving Safety Officer (DSO) or other approved instructional staff member

*  Additionally, Instructor applicants must have attended an AAUS DSO Orientation or attended two (2) AAUS Symposia in the past five (5) years.

 

2)  How do I apply as an AAUS Scientific Diving Instructor?

AAUS Instructors must be affiliated with and sponsored by an active and approved AAUS (OM); AAUS does not certify independent AAUS Instructors.  Additionally, AAUS Instructors may not offer AAUS Scientific Diver Certifications independently; affiliation with an AAUS Organizational Member is required. The application forms for AAUS Scientific Diving Instructors can be found here. Please note that both an AAUS Facility Application and an AAUS Instructor Application are required.

 

3)  Can I apply/qualify to be an AAUS Scientific Diving Instructor with AAUS directly?

No.  AAUS Instructor applicants must be affiliated with and sponsored by an AAUS OM Facility.  AAUS does not certify independent AAUS Instructors.

 

4)  I’m an SDI/TDI Instructor, how do I cross-over to be an AAUS Instructor? 

There is no SDI/TDI to AAUS crossover process.  AAUS Instructor applicants must be affiliated with and sponsored by an AAUS OM.

 

5)  I’m no longer affiliated with an AAUS OM but I want to maintain active status as an AAUS Scientific Diving Instructor.  Can I renew my certification directly with AAUS?

No.  Your status as an active AAUS Scientific Diving Instructor is valid only while working under the auspices of an AAUS Organization Member.  AAUS Instructors may not offer AAUS Scientific Diver Certifications independently; affiliation with an AAUS OM Facility is required.  



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