BDA certification is awarded to individuals who demonstrate that they meet the competencies detailed in the BDA competency requirements. BDA certification brings with it a number of responsibilities and the following provisions are based on the recognition that BDA certification is conditional upon the certified person operating safely and sensibly within the law at all times; or where there is no specific legislation, in compliance with recognised standards and/or codes of practice. These measures are designed to ensure that the present high level of professional standing of BDA and BDA certificate holders is maintained.
Basis of Certification
BDA certificate holders are certified on the basis that they must operate in compliance with relevant legislation and/or standards. Certification may be suspended or cancelled if certificate holders are proved to be operating unsafely or illegally. BDA Certificates of Competency (licence) are only valid for diving if certificate holders are certified “medically fit to dive” in accordance with AS/NZS 2299.1:2007 or approved international equivalent, and are in possession of an Occupational Diving Medical Certificate issued by a medical practitioner trained in underwater medicine by an organisation acceptable to BDA. This condition does not apply to BDA certification for Diving Supervisors, Life Support Technicians, Life Support Supervisors, etc, when those persons are not required to dive. Certification is for five years, other than Diver Medical Technician which is for two years, from the date of issue. After that time, certificate holders must apply for renewal of their certification based on demonstration of continued proficiency at the level of competency for which they are certified.
Renewal of Certification
Certification will be renewed on the basis of the applicant certifying that he/she has retained their operating competency over the previous period of certification. Applicants may be required to provide BDA with evidence of current competency (e.g. by log book and/or similar evidence demonstrating current practice in diving and/or other relevant activities). As a minimum, this will generally be:
- For divers – the undertaking of 20 dives within the 24 month period prior to renewal
- For supervisors – or supervision of 20 dives within the 24 month period prior to renewal
- For LSTs – 200 LST panel hours within the 24 month period prior to renewal.
Acceptable alternatives could be:
- Undertaking a Proof of Competency assessment and gaining a ‘Letter of Competency’ by an appropriately qualified BDA or IMCA supervisor attesting that the applicant continues to possess the required level of competency
- A course of training at a higher level of proficiency
- Completing an assessment at an BDA Accredited Training Establishment (ATE).
Applicants who cannot fulfil any of these criteria should contact BDA to discuss their situation prior to applying for renewal.
BDA will conduct random audits of renewing applicants and require such verification.
An inability to satisfactorily certify and/or demonstrate such competency will result in the certificate holder being required to undertake an approved form of currency updating or, failing this, to surrender his/her Certificate of Competency (see below). The applicant is required to supply a ‘Declaration of Applicant’ as attached to the renewal application form certifying that they are current in the practical and theoretical skills and knowledge relevant to their level of BDA certification as identified in the BDA competency requirements. BDA requires applicants to apply for renewal of their BDA licence by the date of expiry on the licence held. Failure to do so renders the certificate holder’s certification invalid and details are removed from the active data base. Re-issue of certification may incur a rejoining fee to cover the administrative expenses involved in reinstating divers on the database, processing late applications, and verifying continued proficiency evidence which the applicant is required to provide at the level of the BDA licence being renewed.
Applications received beyond the date of expiry of the BDA licence are processed as follows:
- Applications received within 2 years after the date of expiry of the licence will not incur any additional charges, and certification will be renewed from the original date of expiry.
- Applications received after 2 years from the original date of expiry of the licence will incur a rejoining fee of $150 (ex GST). This fee is additional to the licence renewal fee. Renewal will provide five full years of certification from the date of issue of the renewed licence. Applicants also have to show proof of continued proficiency before their certification is renewed.
Suspension or Cancellation of a Certificate of Competency
BDA may suspend or cancel a certificate of competency if it is satisfied that the holder of the certificate:
- Obtained the certificate on the basis of false or misleading information or a failure to disclose or provide required information
- Has operated in a manner which endangers the health or safety of the holder or any other person
- Has failed to operate in compliance with relevant legislation, codes and/or standards
- Is no longer capable of performing to the level of competency specified by the certificate.
Appeal against Suspension or Cancellation of Certificate of Competency
Before suspending or cancelling a Certificate of Competency, BDA will:
- Notify the holder of the certificate in writing by registered mail, to the last known address of the accredited diver, of the proposed suspension or cancellation
- Give the holder of the certificate 28 days, from the time of service by registered mail to the last known address of the certificate holder, to make representations in writing to BDA in relation to the proposed suspension or cancellation
- Through the BDA Appeal Committee, take reasonable regard of the representations made by the holder of the certificate [the BDA Appeals Committee is composed of representatives of the relevant diving industry, and/or union, and/or the State/Territory].
The Grievance Policy within the BDA Code of Practice will provide more detail. Applicants who are unsuccessful may seek redress through civil legal action.
Notification of Suspension or Cancellation of Certificate of Competency
If, after having regard to any representations made by the holder of the certificate, BDA decides to proceed with the proposed suspension or cancellation, BDA will inform the certificate holder in writing by registered mail to their last known address:
- Stating that the certificate is suspended or cancelled
- In the case of a suspension, stating the period for which the certificate is suspended
- Giving the reasons for the suspension or cancellation.
Date of Effect of Suspension or Cancellation of Certificate of Competency
The suspension or cancellation takes effect on the date on which notice of the suspension or cancellation is served on the certificate holder by registered mail at their last known address, or on any other later date which is specified in the notice.
Notify Others of Suspension or Cancellation of Certificate of Competency
BDA may inform others (the certificate holder’s employer, other contractors, State/Territory regulators, etc) of certificates that are cancelled or suspended.
Surrender of Cancelled Certificates of Competency
The holder of an BDA Certificate of Competency that is cancelled must return the certificate to BDA within the period specified in the notice of cancellation.