Getting started as a Dive Instructor in Australia

Date: 2021-06-27 · Word Count: 527 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

I recently moved back to Australia and there have been a few surprises in getting into dive instructing. Here’s what I’ve learned. Note that I got my SCUBA instructors certificate in the Caribbean, so these differences are specific to that experience.

Summary

  • You need an AS2299 medical.
  • You need a training certificate complying with HLTAID011, which EFR does not unless given by someone with a certificate 4.
  • DAN does not provide professional insurance in Australia
  • DAN World is the local Divers Alert Network and you need to switch to them for medical insurance (or use some other medical insurance)

Insurance

When I was diving in the Caribbean, I used Divers Alert Network for both my medical and professional insurance. DAN (the US arm) does not cover Australia and you will need to switch when your insurance term ends.

DAN World provides medical insurance, but not professional insurance.

As my instructors certification is through PADI, I switched to Vicencia & Buckley for my professional insurance.

Dive Medicals

Dive medicals for professionals are mandatory. You need a AS2299 meidcal by a certified doctor.

SPUMS for a list of doctors who can do these. Note that the state needs to be the abbreviation (QLD, not Queensland).

It takes about 2 hours and will cost $150-$250. Doctor availability is also limited, for instance there’s no one in the Bundaberg region and some doctors are booked weeks in advance, as it’s a two week residential course so it’s quite the investment from the doctors side.

Components:

  • Medical history questionnaire
  • Vision test
  • Sharpened Romberg test, with arms raised
  • Hearing test
  • Ear clearing tests (valsalva while the doctor watches with a scope)
  • ECG
  • Vitals (blood pressure, heart rate etc)

Note that there is also the AS4005 which is required for recreational SCUBA divers. In Queensland, this is only required for students who mark YES on the medical questionnaire. Instructors and other professionals require AS2299, which supersedes AS4005.

First Aid

EFR is not recognised unless it’s taught by someone with a certificate 4 in assessment and training (TAE40116). You can do it to meet your PADI course requirements, but you’ll want to be mindful of the limitation that it won’t be recognised for other purposes. As a teacher, it’s worth considering getting the certificate 4. PADI have a write up on EFR in Australia (although the certificate identifiers are now out of date, HLTAID011 has replaced HLTAID003).

For the certificate, the current (2021) identifier is HLTAID011. This includes:

For oxygen provider, you’ll need HLTAID015.

Gear Servicing

Technicians Qualification System is required for serving SCUBA equipment in Australia. There are two places which do this training:

If you’re just looking to get gear serviced, the name that comes up regularly for quality job is OZ Aquatec.

Boating

In order to be employable on a boat, you’ll need Survival At Sea, MARF030 and/or General Purpose Hand, MAR10220. General Purpose Hand includes Survival At Sea.

Many jobs also require a coxswain grade 1 certificate, MAR20318. And there are other maritime certificates, such as the Master 4, which may also be worth considering.