Dive Medical Requirements
The rules and requirements are slightly different for different classes of recreational divers:
- Introductory or Resort Dives
Prior to diving you will be required to fill in a Medical Questionnaire given to you by the company you are diving with. If you answer YES to any question you will be referred to a qualified physician for a Dive Medical assessment that conforms to Australian Standard AS4005-1. You will not be allowed to dive until the Dive Medical has been carried out and you are certified as being fit to dive. Some dive companies require that all uncertified divers over 55 must produce a current Dive Medical Certificate.
- Learn To Dive Courses & Referral Programs
All divers are required to have had, and to have passed, a Dive Medical that has been done in accordance with Australian Standards AS4005.1 - end of story!. While a dive medical that conforms to AS4005.1 may be available in countries other than Australia, if the medical certificate does not state that the medical examination has been done in accordance with the Australian Standard, it will not be accepted.
- Advanced Dive Courses
You are required to fill in a Medical Questionnaire. If you answer YES to any of the questions you will be required to undergo a medical assessment to Australian Standards AS4005-1. This includes Open Water Dive Courses and Rescue Diver Courses.
- Dive Master Courses & Instructor Development Courses
An AS4005.1 dive medical assessment less than 12 months old is required. Even if you have had one, you may also be required to fill in a Medical Questionnaire. If you answer YES to any of the questions you will be required to undergo a medical assessment. If you are intending to work in the diving industry it will be an ASNZ2299 (the standard for occupational diving) dive medical. If you are NOT intending to work in the industry it will be an AS4005-1 dive medical.
- Expedition Diving - Certified Divers
Prior to diving you may be asked to fill out a Medical Questionnaire, or to simply sign a waiver releasing the dive operator from liability. If you do answer YES to any question in the Questionairre you will be referred to a qualified physician for a medical assessment. Depending on the dive operator, this assessment may need to be AS4005-1 compliant, or it may simply be a release from your doctor saying that you are fit to dive. Regardless, you will not be allowed to dive until the medical assessment has been carried out and you are certified as being fit to dive. Please note that a qualified and experienced diver will be disqualified from diving immediately if a previously undisclosed medical condition becomes known to the diving supervisor or dive master while on board.
Overseas dive medicals or diver fitness certificates will NOT be accepted unless the assessment certificate clearly and specifically states that the Dive Medical was carried out to the Australian Standard AS4005.1.
It is far better to visit a physician whilst in Australia and obtain a valid dive medical certificate that complies with Australian Standards (AS4005.1), rather than show up for your liveaboard dive trip and watch the boat depart without you because you weren’t prepared.
» About The Medical Questionnaire... » About The Dive Medical Examination...
Cancelling The Right To Dive Anyway
Under the various state and federal legislations covering workplace health and safety in Australia, a dive operator (and their agents) has the power to exclude any diver from participating in diving activities, regardless of whether or not they are in possession of a current Dive Medical Certificate.
Such decisions are rare and would only be made in the event that a risk assessment determined that any diver's health, safety and well-being was significantly at risk if that person was allowed to dive, and is usually related to an incident, illness or condition that has occurred, or become apparent, subsequent to the Dive Medical being taken, or a “low level” medical condition identified by the Dive Medical examination that could become a significant risk to the diver’s well-being due to unusual conditions at the dive site.