DM 2. Personnel

2.1 - Introduction

All personnel seeking to engage in diving operations under the auspices of Macquarie University must be approved by the UDO or delegate.

All personnel must have training, qualifications and / or experience in accordance with the requirements of their role as outlined in this document.

All personnel must accept the responsibilities associated with their role as well as have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the diving operation to complete their role in it. It is the responsibility of every member in a dive team to raise any safety concerns they have and to ensure that they are confident that they can safely perform the task they have been appointed to do.

2.1.1 Inductions and check out dives

All inductions or checkout dives must be conducted by the UDO or a competent person authorised to do so in writing by the UDO. A record of all inductions must be kept in file by the UDO for a period of seven years after the diver is no longer registered in FieldFriendly. Records of check out dives and annual rescue assessments are to be kept electronically in FieldFriendly.

2.1.2 Dates of expiry and renewals

Unless a renewal is completed, authorisation to participate in diving operations shall expire exactly one year from the date of issuance, or upon expiration of dive medical, or first aid, or oxygen administration certification, or rescue assessment. Personnel must keep the UDO informed of updated certificates, qualifications, experience, or circumstances. The UDO will review each person's activities annually and ensure that they are active or assess the need to complete refresher training.

No diver is allowed to dive without a current occupational dive medical.

2.2 - Employer

Macquarie University shall:

  • Appoint the UDO in writing;
  • Implement a management process to ensure the compliance of all diving operations with AS2299.2, AS2299.1, Work Health & Safety Act 2011, NSW WHS Regulation 2017, NSW WHS Regulation 2017 Exemption No. 015/17;
  • Consider recommendations made by the University Diving and Boating Safety Committee (DBSC);
  • Coordinate investigation reports on any diving incident / accident as needed.

2.3 - University Diving and Boating Safety Committee (DBSC)

DBSC operates as a specialist advisory group under the auspices of Macquarie University Risk & Assurance. A list of its current members can be requested from the UDO or can be found in the DBSC wikispace. It includes student as well as academic representatives, and meets quarterly or as required by any of its members. In conjunction with Macquarie University's Risk & Assurance, it has responsibility for the following:

  1. Develop and review safety related policies and procedures associated with diving and boating operations at Macquarie University;
  2. Oversee the safety of diving and boating operations, including compliance with relevant policies and operational procedures;
  3. Oversee and advise the UDO and the University Boating Officers in the conduct of their duties;
  4. Make recommendations of appropriate disciplinary action in the event of unsafe diving or boating operations by any individual or group within the University – if necessary including suspension of scientific diving/boating projects, or any individual's certification within Macquarie University;
  5. Provide specialist assistance in the investigation of all diving accidents/incidents.

The structure and reporting pathways of DBSC can be found in the DBSC committee wikispace.

2.4 - Diver general responsibilities

Individuals intending to dive with Macquarie University using compressed gas must fulfil all listed requirements for the level of classification they apply for. Minimum training requirements, responsibilities, and restrictions associated with each classification level are outlined below.
All individuals seeking to engage in diving operations under the auspices of Macquarie University must contact the UDO for inclusion on the University's online management system FieldFriendly. All divers will be appointed at the appropriate level by the UDO after an initial check-out dive, based on experience and qualifications as well as the UDO's assessment of their abilities.

All new Macquarie University divers must undertake an induction with the UDO or delegate (including a check-out dive), and upload all necessary paperwork to FieldFriendly

2.4.1 Divers responsibilities

In addition to all requirements outlined in this manual, all divers must:

  1. Maintain a high level of knowledge and competence with regard to the types of diving they undertake, as well as knowledge of diving equipment in use.
  2. Maintain a level of physical fitness commensurate with the type of diving operations in which they are likely to be involved. In particular all divers must be not engage in any diving unless they are comfortable in their ability to rescue any other member of the dive team safely and efficiently;
  3. Participate in a minimum of one diving operation every six months, in order to maintain their skills and knowledge.

Each diver's responsibilities include:

  1. Abiding by Macquarie University's diving policies and procedures, and any decisions made by the UDO concerning particular diving operations;
  2. Diving safely within the limits of their capabilities. If they are uncertain about their ability to safely undertake any proposed dive or diving task, they should refuse to attempt that dive/task, and may do so without prejudice by advising the Dive Coordinator that they are uncomfortable with the dive/task. If any diver feels they are being regularly asked to undertake dives/tasks beyond their abilities, they should discuss this with the Dive Coordinator and, if needed, notify the UDO and / or DBSC;
  3. Ensuring they have all required equipment, maintaining it in good working order, conducting functional checks of their equipment before each dive, not diving with malfunctioning equipment, reporting equipment faults to their Dive Coordinator, and providing the UDO with annual service records for certain items of personal equipment (BCD, regulator, scuba cylinder) in use by them;
  4. Ensuring that they are medically and physically fit for each dive; notifying the Dive Coordinator as soon as possible of any injury that occurs to them or their buddy, pre, during or post dive;
  5. Maintaining close contact with their dive buddy, monitoring their own air supply, and informing their buddy at regular intervals of air supply status. Only under extenuating circumstances should a diver surface from a dive with less than 30 Bar of air remaining in their cylinder;
  6. Following the instructions of the Dive Coordinator and Ship's Master, giving their full attention during the Dive Coordinator's briefing;
  7. Initialling the Dive Safety Log before and after diving;
  8. Maintaining an up to date occupational dive logbook and having it signed and stamped by the relevant Dive Coordinator and/or Dive Officer.

2.5 - University Dive Officer (UDO)

The UDO is appointed by Macquarie University in accordance with AS 2299.2 and has University-wide responsibility for diving operations. The UDO is responsible for administering and supervising all diving projects conducted through Macquarie University, and ensuring full compliance with all relevant procedures, legislation and standards. In particular, the UDO is responsible for approving the personnel, equipment and paperwork associated with all Macquarie University diving operations and for ensuring that all members of dive teams are adequately qualified, trained, equipped and supervised.

The UDO reports to DBSC and University Risk & Assurance regarding the safe conduct of dive operations. The UDO has the authority to restrict, suspend or prohibit any diving operation, program or practice which they have formed the view is unsafe, and to require additional safety practices, procedures or equipment that they consider necessary to ensure the safety of the participants.

The UDO can delegate routine decisions relating to diving to other qualified individuals when the UDO is unable to fulfil these tasks. A UDO Delegate must have the qualifications of a Diving Officer as laid out in AS2299.2 and in the present manual, as well as any qualifications equivalent or superior to the level of the task being undertaken. In addition, the delegate needs to have a complete understanding of Macquarie University diving procedures and all current relevant legislation. This delegation shall be done in writing and kept in file with the UDO, and care should be taken to avoid students being approved for diving operations by their academic supervisors.

2.5.1 Qualifications

  1. Meets all requirements of a Scientific Diver as listed in section 2.8;
  2. Is trained to a level equal or exceeding that is specified in AS 2815.1;
  3. Has at least 100 hours of diving experience.

2.5.2 Restrictions

Must only approve dive operations within their training and experience.

2.5.3 Responsibilities

Ensure currency of qualifications for all divers listed as currently active with Macquarie University through the FieldFriendly approval processes;

  1. Ensuring all dive team members are trained and qualified for the tasks they intend to participate in;
  2. Appointing Dive Coordinators and ensuring that they understand their responsibilities and that they act safely in the field;
  3. Conducting diver inductions, check out dives and annual rescue assessments for all active divers;
  4. Ensuring all Macquarie University paperwork is completed and approved prior to the commencement of each diving operation;
  5. Providing advice in the planning of research diving operations, in order to maximise their safety and scientific yield;
  6. Supervising the use and periodic maintenance of Macquarie University-owned diving equipment, and prohibiting the use of equipment which is past its service date, or which they consider unsafe, maintaining a diving equipment defects log;
  7. Supervising the rental arrangements of Macquarie University-owned dive equipment to staff members or students;
  8. Authorising the use of specialist diving equipment;
  9. Approving, providing feedback on and archiving dive related paperwork;
  10. Maintaining records of all inductions, check out dives, dive plans, risk assessments, dive safety logs, incident records and any maintenance/repair of equipment, and keeping such records for a minimum of seven years;
  11. Preparing and presenting annual reports on Macquarie University diving operations including all accidents/incidents to DBSC;
  12. Maintaining up-to-date dive skills and complete a minimum of 10 logged occupational dives a year.

2.6 - Dive Coordinator

A single Dive Coordinator (DC) must be present at all times during every Macquarie University diving operation. The DC is the Health & Safety representative in the field, and is ultimately responsible for the safe conduct of the diving operation as approved by the UDO, in compliance with the Dive Plan (as approved in FieldFriendly), AS2299.2 and WHS Regulation 2011. The DC shall coordinate and direct the operations of their dive team in the field, though they may act as either a Dive Attendant or as a Diver during any dive.

For every dive operation, a single DC will be appointed in writing by the UDO. A DC is not required to hold a current dive medical if not diving; however they must maintain a fitness level appropriate to their position and duties. Diver's eligibility to be a Dive Coordinator will be reviewed every twelve months by the UDO.

2.6.1 Qualifications (initial eligibility)

  1. Meet all requirements of a Scientific Diver as listed in section 2.8;
  2. Is trained to a level equal to or exceeding that specified in AS2815 or AS4005.2.
  3. Must have at least 15 logged hours of occupational diving relevant to the dive work that will be supervised as a DC. These diving hours should be recorded in accordance with AS2299.2 (see example of an occupational diver's log book on Appendix 3). These dives should be logged with Macquarie University, although any occupational dives that are properly logged and meet the current standard for occupational diving may be accepted at the discretion of the UDO;
  4. Must have experience with the operation of any equipment being used and any work being carried out during the diving operation;
  5. Must be able to demonstrate current knowledge of dive emergency management;
  6. Successfully complete and pass a DC induction and a check-out outing with the UDO or delegate. This assesses the capacity of the diver to safely supervise dive operations, efficiently use DCIEM tables, comply with all current regulations as well as identify and deal with diving emergencies;
  7. Must demonstrate a working knowledge of Work Health & Safety regulations and risk assessment.

2.6.2 Re-assessment of eligibility every 12 months

  1. Still meet the requirements to be a Scientific Diver (see section 2.8 below);
  2. Be able to demonstrate an up-to-date knowledge of all current Macquarie University procedures relating to diving as well as up-to-date knowledge in the recognition and management of diving emergencies;
  3. The UDO should observe the DC during a dive outing where they act as a DC annually, to make sure that all the skills checked in the initial observation are kept up-to-date;
  4. Must have acted as a DC with Macquarie University at least once every six months;
  5. The DC should show that they have at least 5 logged hours of occupational diving in the last 12 months.

2.6.4 Restrictions

Only coordinate dive operations within their training and experience as approved by the UDO. The UDO has the authority to restrict the activities of any DC.

2.6.5 Responsibilities

  1. Ensuring that all pre-trip paperwork has been logged on FieldFriendly and approved by the UDO;
  2. Notifying the Nominated call-back person of the dates and times of departure/return for the trip, ensuring the call-back person is aware of their duties in the event that personnel from the trip do not report within a designated time frame, and checking in with the call-back person at the designated time/s;
  3. Ensuring that all risk minimisation strategies indicated in the approved Risk Assessments are implemented by the appropriate personnel as specified in the Risk Assessments;
  4. Ensuring that all individuals who will be involved in the operation are sufficiently trained and experienced to perform all required tasks safely;
  5. Ensuring that all safety equipment (especially first aid kit, oxygen cylinders and oxygen resuscitation equipment, dive flag, and means of communications) is taken on the dive site and that it is in working order;
  6. Ensuring every diving operation is performed in accordance with the dive plan as far as is reasonably practicable, and notifying the UDO of any changes ahead of the dive;
  7. Conducting a pre-dive briefing in the presence of the entire dive team (including the Ship's Master if present), conducting the onsite risk assessment, and discussing all necessary control measures with the dive team as identified in the Risk Assessment;
  8. Ensuring every diver is fully aware of their particular tasks for the dive, including knowing which other diver/s that they are to act as a buddy for;
  9. Delegating Dive Coordinating duties if they intend to dive and ensuring that this person is made fully aware of this fact and associated responsibilities;
  10. Whilst in the field, restricting or suspending any operation considered unsafe, with particular attention to environmental conditions;
  11. Ensuring that a member of the dive team completes the Dive Safety Log for every dive;
  12. Ensuring that all members of the dive team know what to do and who to contact in case they are experiencing any medical issues before, during or after the dive;
  13. Notifying the UDO as soon as possible of any diving-related injury or incident that occurs to any member of the dive team, completing an accident/incident report in this eventuality, and ensuring appropriate members of the team also complete an accident/incident report;
  14. Coordinating any emergency situation and follow appropriate emergency procedures should the need eventuate.

2.7 - Dive Leader

A Dive Leader is a diver in charge of a specific part of a diving operation (each buddy pair shall have a dive leader who is responsible for decisions made underwater relating to the conduct of the dive). Usually a Dive Leader will be chosen depending on their particular expertise or experience with a specific task to be conducted. A Dive Leader shall be:

  1. The DC or a diver appointed directly by the DC, or;
  2. A scientific diver or a visiting scientific diver with adequate knowledge and experience of the diving techniques and equipment that will be used during the dive.

When the dive leader is in charge of a single group of divers in untethered SCUBA mode, they shall take responsibility for any decisions during the dive, in consultation with the dive coordinator if available, and in accordance with the dive plan as much as is reasonably practicable.

2.8 - Scientific Diver

Able to dive as part of Macquarie University dive operations as approved by the UDO or delegate, and act as Dive Leader on an approved diving operation under the supervision of a DC.

2.8.1 Qualifications

  1. Be 18 years of age;
  2. Hold one of the following diving qualifications:
    1. a relevant occupational dive qualification specified in AS2815 (e.g., an ADAS qualification Part 1R or higher) OR;
    2. a recreational dive qualification specified in AS4005.2 (Training and Certification of Recreational Divers – SCUBA dive supervisor (e.g., "Dive Master" or "Recreational Dive Instructor")
  3. Be certified medically fit to dive by a practitioner trained in underwater medicine as per AS2299.1 in the last twelve months;
  4. Hold a current first aid qualification;
  5. Hold a current CPR qualification;
  6. Hold a current oxygen administration qualification;
  7. Have at least 15 hours of underwater diving experience after initial certification;
  8. Have completed and passed a check out dive with the UDO or delegate;
  9. Has passed a Rescue Assessment in the last twelve months (either with Macquarie University or with a recognised recreational diving training and certification agency)

2.8.2 Restrictions

Dive within their training and experience, as approved by the UDO. The UDO has the authority to restrict the activities of any diver. Divers who feel that they are unfairly restricted may appeal to the DBSC.

2.8.3 Responsibilities

  1. Full understand the dive plan before diving;
  2. Conduct all diving in strict accordance with the dive plan and follow any instructions from the Dive Leader and / or Dive Coordinator;
  3. Upload all current certifications to the University Dive Register and inform the UDO of any changes in circumstances that may affect their ability to participate safely in diving operations;
  4. Act as a buddy as necessary and maintain communication with them at all times while diving;
  5. Assist others and follow directions from the DC in the event of an emergency;
  6. Abide by the procedures for diving as described in AS2299.2, Work Health & Safety Regulations 2017 and the Macquarie University Diving Manual.

2.9 - Exempt Scientific Diver

This category is specifically for students and volunteers who want to be involved in, or observe, research but who have not been trained in accordance with AS2815 or AS4005.2. These Divers may qualify to be exempt Scientific Divers through the NSW WHS Regulation 2017 exception 15/17.

2.9.1 Qualifications

  1. Exempt divers meet all of the requirements of Scientific Diver (Section 2.8 of this manual), except they meet Qualification via a VET-approved "Scientific Diver" qualification meeting AS2299.2 Appendix A4 from either one of the recreational agencies accredited to deliver "AHCLPW305A: Perform diving for scientific purposes".

2.9.2 Restrictions

  1. Dive within their training and experience, as approved by the UDO. The UDO has the authority to restrict the activities of any diver. Divers who feel that they are unfairly restricted may appeal to the DBSC.

  2. Shall only dive as part of diving activities undertaken as part of post graduate research or education in marine sciences.
  3. A staff member cannot qualify to dive through the exemption.
  4. Shall not act as a Dive Coordinator. 

2.9.3 Responsibilities

As 2.8.3 above.

2.10 - Restricted Scientific Diver

Divers who do not pass the annual Rescue Assessments may remain active with Macquarie University as Restricted Scientific Divers at the discretion of the UDO.

2.9.1 Qualifications

  1. A Restricted Scientific Diver shall meet the requirements of a Scientific Diver (2.8.1) or an Exempt Scientific Diver (2.9.1) with the exception of the annual rescue assessment.

2.10.2 Restrictions

  1. Only dive when conditions are suitable for untethered SCUBA mode, as defined by Macquarie University as:
    1. Less than 10 knots of wind;
    2. If diving from a boat, boat safely anchored or moored;
    3. Current nil to slight (assess upon boat being anchored or prior to descending if diving from the shore);
    4. Less than 1m of swell / wave height;
    5. In-water visibility of 5 metres or more;
    6. During daylight hours.
  2. Not dive to depths beyond 12 metres;
  3. Not act as a standby diver or dive leader;
  4. Not use any tool or lift bag.

2.10.3 Responsibilities

As 2.8.3 above.

2.11 - Recognising specialist qualifications

All compressed gas divers will be initially classed as "restricted scientific divers", "scientific divers", and/or "dive coordinators" using SCUBA. Once classed as either "scientific divers" or "dive coordinators" individuals can seek further endorsements from the UDO by showing recognised qualifications and logged experience using special techniques and / or equipment. The University currently recognises the endorsements listed below. Anyone wanting to engage in specialist work that is not covered in this document should contact the UDO for further information.

2.11.1 Surface Supplied Breathing Apparatus (SSBA)

Able to dive using surface supplied breathing apparatus on approved diving operations. All SSBA dives must be conducted by SSBA-trained personnel. Panel Operators must be SSBA-certified divers. Qualifications

  1. Meet all requirements of a Scientific Diver listed in section 2.8;
  2. Hold a current certification in occupational SSBA (ADAS Part2R or higher);
  3. Complete a check-out SSBA dive with the UDO or SSBA-qualified delegate. Restrictions

  1. All SSBA dives must be supervised by a Dive Coordinator with a SSBA endorsement and approved by a UDO, who holds an ADAS Part 2R Certification or higher.
  2. All SSBA dives must be logged on the appropriate SSBA Dive Record form, included in Appendix 12.

2.11.2 Enriched Air Nitrox (EANx)

Able to dive using EANx on approved diving operations. Qualifications

  1. Meet all requirements of a Scientific Diver listed in section 2.8;
  2. Hold an ADAS nitrox endorsement, OR an 'EANx' diver certification with an accredited diver training organisation. Restrictions

  1. EANx dives must be supervised by a Dive Coordinator with an EANx endorsement.
  2. EANx dive paperwork requires approval from a Dive Officer with a current ADAS nitrox endorsement.
  3. No dive shall be conducted with ppO2 above 1.4 at any time, or with gas mixes containing more than 40% O2.

2.12 - Dive support personnel requirements

Most diving operations require the use of ancillary personnel in a range of roles. Individuals intending to assist diving operations in these roles must fulfil all listed requirements of this Manual as outlined in the section describing the role and at Section 2.4. All support personnel must be at least 18 years old.

2.12.1 Ship's Master

The master of a vessel has specific legal obligations. The DC must fully brief the master before embarking, and the master should be involved in dive trip planning. In the event of a diving emergency, the master shall assist the DC in accessing any outside assistance required. Both the UDO and the Marine Fieldwork Manager have the right to veto any Ship's Master. Qualifications

  1. The Master of any vessel must meet all requirements of New South Wales Maritime (or appropriate/relevant regulatory body) for their vessel;
  2. Have a working knowledge with the Macquarie University Diving Operations Manual. Responsibilities

  1. Be properly inducted into Macquarie University boating policies and procedures and have a good working knowledge of the vessel;
  2. Ensure the vessel safety equipment is loaded, and the vessel is adequately supplied for the planned trip;
  3. Ensure that the vessel is trimmed for operation and all equipment is stowed safely;
  4. Be in charge of the vessel during travel to and from the dive site, and maintain position at the dive site;
  5. Be in charge of personnel leaving and entering the vessel;
  6. Display the appropriate dive flags and signals during diving operations;
  7. Deploy a current line as appropriate; and
  8. Maintain radio communications as required.

2.12.2 Divers attendant

A diver's attendant, or "Surface support" person, will stay on surface and help divers as well as assist in the event of an emergency. A diver's attendant must not carry out any activities such as reading, swimming, sleeping or fishing, which may divert their attention from the duties set out above. Qualifications

  1. Has current qualifications in first aid, CPR and oxygen administration, except where a second person with such training and knowledge is present and remains at the surface at all times while divers are in the water;
  2. Has a complete working knowledge of the dive plan, and all tasks to be performed underwater;
  3. Has knowledge of any signals, dive tables, and dive equipment in use;
  4. Be able to effect an in-water rescue of a diver;
  5. Be able to recognise and manage a dive accident;
  6. In the case of SSBA or tethered SCUBA diving, be familiar with most commonly used lifeline signals (refer to Appendix J in AS2299.1:2015). Responsibilities

  1. Assist with the deployment and recovery of divers, samples and equipment as required;
  2. Establish and maintain a constant look-out over any divers in the water;
  3. Promptly and accurately fill in the Dive Safety Log (see 'Diving forms');
  4. In the case of SSBA diving or tethered SCUBA diving, maintain contact on the diver's umbilical or lifeline at all times whilst the diver is in the water.

2.12.3 Nominated Call-back Contact

Nominated call-back contacts are individuals who the Dive Coordinator contacts to update them on the status of the diving operation, usually notifying them of the safe conclusion of the day's diving operations.
Nominated call-back contacts agree to the following responsibilities:

  1. Must be accessible through the agreed means at the agreed times, and should be available through the agreed means throughout the dive operation;
  2. Must have knowledge of the missed contact procedures (to be agreed between the DC and the call-back before commencement of the fieldwork);
  3. Must have a copy of the fieldwork notification and site registrations to be able to provide relevant detail to the relevant authorities should an emergency arise;
  4. Must be willing and able to commence the missed contact procedures should the need arise.

2.13 - Reciprocity for visiting personnel

The UDO will classify the visitor as a "visiting restricted scientific diver" or "visiting scientific diver" depending on their qualifications (See sections 2.8 and 2.9 for details of requirements for either these categories) and may place restriction on the diver in accordance with their experience. Visiting scientists shall provide the following to the UDO for consideration:

  1. A letter or reciprocity from their host institution's dive officer certifying that the diver is currently authorised to dive in his/her host institution; and
  2. Copies of dive certifications, log book, and a current occupational medical certificate.

2.14 - Fitness to dive / Rescue Assessments

Passing an annual commercial diving medical examination is mandatory for anyone to dive with Macquarie University. However, this does not guarantee the ability of an individual to dive or perform a task on the day of a dive. Each diver must notify the UDO and / or DC of any medical condition or injury that may have commenced/occurred since the date of their last medical, and which could affect their diving. It is also noted that minor illnesses can affect diving, especially colds and any dispositions that affect one's ability to equalise ears and sinuses. It is the diver's responsibility to make sure that they are fit to dive, and to inform the DC if they have any concerns about their ability to dive.

The DC on site has the right to declare a diver unfit for a task, and must confirm with all divers immediately prior to the dive that they are feeling fit to dive. If an individual's physiological or psychological state has been altered, or appears to have been altered, by illness, fatigue, injury, intoxication, or loss of coordination from the effects of prescription drugs or other substances the DC must not allow that diver to participate in the operation.

Every diver must show evidence of having passed a Rescue Assessment, either with Macquarie University or with a recognised recreational diving training and certification agency within the last twelve months. The UDO must keep records of all Rescue Assessments conducted by Macquarie University divers for a period of seven years after they have stopped being listed as active divers in FieldFriendly. The Rescue Assessment Record Form is included in 'Diving forms'.

2.15 - Work up dives

At the discretion of the UDO, divers who have not dived for an extended period of time (6 months or more), those who wish to dive to increased depths, or those who wish to use new tools or techniques may be required to perform a series of 'work up' dives which will focus on developing the skills, techniques and experience that the diver is lacking.

2.16 - FieldFriendly

All individuals participating in fieldwork through Macquarie University (including diving) must submit relevant information using the university's online fieldwork management system, called FieldFriendly. It is the participant's responsibility to ensure that relevant qualifications and documents are recorded and kept up-to-date using FieldFriendly (

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