General NACD Course Outline

NACD TRAINING STANDARDS

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND LEGAL EFFECT

 

The purpose of the NACD Training standards is to provide each NACD instructor with a general statement of the technical and philosophical principles of cave and cavern diving espoused by the NACD, with a view to insuring that every student receives training consistent with the policies and goals of the NACD. Unlike other certifying agencies which required their instructors to slavishly follow a rigid curriculum and training regimen, the NACD believes that a professional educator should have the discretion and freedom to bring his or her own unique knowledge, experience, and teaching style to the classroom, whether above or below the water, as long as the result is a well-trained cave or cavern diver.

 

This freedom not only recognizes the competence and professionalism of each NACD instructor, but also allows each course to meet adequately the varying needs, interests, and skill levels of each student. The NACD further acknowledges that many facets of cave and cavern diving practice, procedure, and equipment configuration remain topics of debate by equally qualified experts and that it is in the best interest of the student to be presented with differing views. Accordingly, these Training Standards are not intended to establish, nor should they be construed as, legal standards of care, and the failure of an instructor to adhere to one or more of the Training Standards shall not be evidence of; nor give rise to any inference of; a lack of the requisite degree of care on the part of such instructor.

 

PURPOSES AND GOALS OF THE NACD

 

The primary goals for the NACD training program are:

 

1. Establish and maintain standards for the training of SCUBA divers in cavern and cave

diving.

2. Establish and maintain quality standards for the training/evaluation and certification of

instructor members.

3. Promotion and encouragement of education and awareness of the general public in

the safety and training aspects unique to cavern and cave diving.

4. Supervise and control the professional activities of instructor members while they are

engaged in cavern and cave diving instruction.

5. Introduce training programs for instructor members and inform them of current

practices.

6. Provide and circulate course curriculum guidelines, materials, and publications for

cavern and cave training.

7. Coordinate with other professional organization's programs and activities of cavern

and cave diving safety and education.

 

NACD PROGRESSION OF TRAINING

 

NACD encourages continuing education in overhead environment diving to increase

both safety and the enjoyment of those who wish to participate in this unique subaquatic

realm. Non leadership certifications from cavern diver through full cave diver and

specialty cave diver are offered.

 

CAVERN DIVER

 

CAVERN DIVER IS THE NORMAL ENTRY LEVEL COURSE FOR PROGRESSION

THROUGH THE TRAINING COURSES. Within the cavern diver course, we are able to preassess our student's presence in the water, as well as buoyancy skills, and other general open water diving skills, without exposing them to the hazards of the full overhead environment. It further gives us the opportunity to assess their ability to deal with task loading and other factors that will be stress producing in the cave.

 

The Cavern course is an extension of recreational diving designed for the use of single tanks. The course develops and establishes minimum skills, knowledge, dive planning abilities, problem solving procedures and the basic abilities to safely cavern dive. Unlike the other NACD courses, prospective students may be encouraged to enroll in the Cavern Diver Course. The NACD feels that this course is comparable to other open water specialty classes and will have a significant safety benefit for all active scuba divers who enroll, even if they do not continue to dive in the overhead environment. Promoting students to continue training or diving in the overhead environment beyond this level is a violation of NACD ethical standards.

 

CAVERN COURSE PRE-REQUISITES:

A. Open water certification.

B. Minimum age 16, with signed parental consent. Provisional status certification for younger divers with written approval of NACD training director only.

NOTE: Nitrox certification is recommended.

 

INTRODUCTION-TO-CAVE DIVING COURSE

 

The Introduction to Cave Course is to develop basic cave diving skills with limited penetrations in the cave environment. This is the second level of the progression to the full cave diver certification. It is a recreational cave diving course that develops and establishes minimum skills, knowledge, dive planning abilities, problem solving procedures and the basic abilities necessary to safely cave dive to limited penetrations, using single tanks.

 

INTRODUCTION-TO-CAVE PRE-REQUISITES:

A. NACD cavern diver or equivalent.

B. Minimum of 25 logged non training dives.

C. Minimum age 16, with signed parental consent. Provisional status certification for younger divers with written approval by the NACD training director.

NOTE: Nitrox certification is recommended.

 

APPRENTICE CAVE DIVER COURSE

 

Although the NACD strongly supports and encourages the four-day Cave Diver course, it

recognizes that some students may benefit from a program that provides for two separate two day courses to attain the Cave Diver level. For this reason, the NACD has elected to recognize  and adopt the Apprentice Cave Diver/Cave Diver program.

Education of the student in proper cave diving techniques and procedures, cave awareness and conservation, dive planning and dive execution is emphasized at the Apprentice level of training. While the student shall be introduced to jump and gap procedures, skills and emergency drills previously presented at the Cavern and Intro to Cave courses are reinforced and refined. The student shall be encouraged to continue to develop safe cave diving techniques and practices, awareness of the cave environment and conservation of the cave environment through personal and dive team planning and technique.

 

APPRENTICE CAVE PRE-REQUSITES:

A. NACD Intro to Cave, or equivalent program; and

B. 18 years of age.

C. If training dives are conducted in which the dive plan results in required decompression

students must be certified in decompression diving. In all cases it is recommended that

students have completed a decompression course prior to participating in the Apprentice

Cave Diver course.

 

CAVE DIVER COURSE

 

The Cave Course is to teach the openwater, Cavern, Introduction to Cave and Apprentice Cave divers the necessary skills to safely dive in the overhead (cave)

environment.

 

CAVE DIVER PRE-REQUISITES:

A. NACD Intro-to Cave or equivalent when entering the 4 day Cave Diver course; NACD

Apprentice Cave or equivalent if entering the 2 day Cave Diver course.

B. 18 years of age.

C. If training dives are conducted in which the dive plan results in required decompression

students must be certified in decompression diving. In all cases it is recommended that

students have completed a decompression course prior to participating in the Cave Diver

course.

 

SPECIALTY CAVE DIVER  (GENERAL STANDARDS)

 

COURSES OFFERED: NACD currently approves the following specialties.

• Survey techniques and procedures

• Stage diving / extended penetration techniques and procedures

• Cave Side mount / advanced configuration diving techniques and procedures

• Submersible diver propulsion vehicle techniques and procedures

 

NOTE: At the present time, there are specific standards for Survey, Stage, Side

mount/advanced configuration and Submersible Diver Propulsion Vehicle techniques.

 

The aim of specialty cave diver programs are to provide continuing education and

experience for the fully trained cave diver under the supervision of a qualified specialty cave

diving instructor. As more scuba divers pursue training and become certified cave divers, the interest and demand for training in specialized / advanced techniques in safe cave diving grows at a steady rate. It is the intent of the NACD training program to meet this challenge by providing an organized format that will professionally and safely guide the interested cave diver in the proper direction using the most current procedures.

 

SPECIALTY CAVE DIVER PREREQUISITES:

A. NACD full cave diver or equivalent.

B. Must verify the completion of 25 or 50 non-training cave dives after Full Cave certification

depending on specialty.

C. It is recommended that Cave DPV students have completed an NACD Cave Stage Diving

course or equivalent.

D. Minimum age eighteen.

 

 

 

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P.O. Box 14492 Gainesville, Florida USA 32604

Email: Info@nationalassociationforcavediving.org