Diving professionals who teach or guide divers for money in the UK will usually fall under the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 (DWR97).

The regulations apply when at least one diver taking part is at work or is part of an undertaking. There is an accompanying Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) for recreational diving projects which provides advice and guidance on meeting the legal requirements of the DWR97 and it is recommended that all diving contractors obtain a copy of this ACoP. The ACoP is regarded as best practice by HSE and diving projects may be measured against the ACoP in the event of an investigation by HSE or other enforcing authority.

A Risk Assessment must be prepared before undertaking a diving project. Each risk assessment should be site specific, as different dive sites will have differing conditions, requirements and hazards that the dive team should be aware of and be prepared for.

The Scuba Industry Trade Association (SITA) has sponsored the production of a Risk Assessment Guidance booklet and it is available for download here. SITA's Recreational Diving Projects General Guidance for Dive Professionals can be downloaded here.

The Approved Code of Practice can be obtained from HSE books - ISBN 0 7176 1496 4.

Further info for dive professionals can be found at

CLICK HERE for information from the HSE for recreational divers who are paying for a dive guide or instructor.


Professional service providers should be familiar with the relevant ISO standards that cover the services they provide. ISO standards exist as follows:

Introductory training programmes to scuba diving
ISO 11121
Diver Level 1 - Supervised Diver
ISO 24801-1
Diver Level 2 - Autonomous Diver
ISO 24801-2
Diver Level 3 - Dive Leader
ISO 24801-3
Training programmes on enriched air nitrox diving
ISO 11107
Instructor Level 1 ISO 24802-1
Instructor Level 2 ISO 24802-2
Recreational scuba diving service providers
ISO 24803

Copies of these standards can be obtained from:

389 Chiswick High Road,
London W4 4AL
Tel: 020 8996 9000

There is an independent body that certifies training systems' compliance with these European Standards. For details see

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Copyright 2005 British Diving Safety Group.