Scuba Dive Training – Medical Requirements*
Please read the following information carefully:
If you are planning to participate in ANY scuba diver training (open water or advanced levels), you may be required to get a dive medical certificate prior to your course.
While not everyone needs a dive medical certificate, we encourage you to read the following guidelines carefully to prevent disappointment upon arrival at your course.
If required, a dive medical examination and certificate must be issued within 90 days of commencing diver training.
IMPORTANT: Diving can be a strenuous activity.
When safety procedures are followed and good diving practices and techniques are employed it is a very safe activity.
However, if established procedures and guidelines are not adhered to there are dangers. To scuba dive safely you must not be extremely overweight or out of condition.
Your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good health.
All bodily air spaces must be normal and healthy. If you are, or if you become unwell during your scuba training you will not be permitted to continue with in-water activity until you are fully recovered.
You may never dive with a cold, flu or any respiratory congestion.
IMPORTANT: You will be required to submit a valid Australian dive medical to your scuba Instructor if you answer ‘yes’ to any one of the questions listed below. All dive medicals must meet Australian Standards – see below for details.
Please read the following questions regarding your past and present medical history carefully and answer either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ – if unsure answer ‘Yes’. A positive response does not necessarily disqualify you from diver training, but it does mean that your safety while diving may be affected and therefore a physical examination by a dive physician is required prior to starting your course.
- Are you presently taking ANY prescription medications? (With the exception or birth control or anti-malarial)
- Are you over 45 years of age AND can answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the following:
- Currently smoke a pipe, cigars or cigarettes
- Have a high cholesterol level
- Have a family history of heart attacks or stroke
- Are currently receiving medical care
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes mellitus, even if controlled by diet alone
- Could you be pregnant or are you attempting to become pregnant?
Have you ever had, or do you currently have…
- Asthma, or wheezing with breathing, or wheezing with exercise?
- Frequent or sever attacks of hayfever or allergy?
- Frequent colds, sinusitis or bronchitis?
- Any form or lung disease?
- Pneumothorax (Collapsed lung)?
- Other chest disease or chest surgery?
- Behavioural health, mental or psychological problems (panic attack, fear of closed or open spaces)?
- Epilepsy, seizures convulsions or take medications to prevent them?
- Recurring migraine headaches or take medications to prevent them?
- Blackouts or fainting (full/partial loss of consciousness)?
- Frequent or severe suffering from motion sickness (seasick, carsick etc.)?
- Dysentery or dehydration requiring medical intervention?
- Any dive accidents or decompression sickness?
- Inability to perform moderate exercise (example: walk 1.6km/one mile within 12 mins)?
- Head injury with loss of consciousness within the last 5 years?
- Recurrent back problems?
- Back or spinal surgery?
- Back or spinal surgery?
- Back, arm or leg problems following surgery, injury or fracture?
- High blood pressure or take medication to control blood pressure?
- Heart disease?
- Heart attack?
- Angina, heart surgery or blood vessel surgery?
- Sinus surgery?
- Ear disease or surgery, hearing loss or problems with balance?
- Recurrent ear problems?
- Bleeding or other blood disorders?
- Ulcers or ulcer surgery?
- A colostomy or ileostomy?
- Recreational drug use or treatment for, or alcoholism in the past five years?
If you have answered ‘Yes’ to any one or more of the questions above, you will be required to produce a current dive medical to your scuba Instructor prior to commencing any dive training. Failure to produce a current Australian dive medical will result in the termination of your dive course.
Getting your dive medical:
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the above questions, you are required to get a dive medical that meets Australian Standards AS4005.1. Your dive medical must be conducted by a licenced physician using Australian forms and Australian guidelines, however may be conducted outside of Australia. Your dive medical must be completed in English within 3 months of commencing dive training.
To access the necessary forms, please contact your dive centre who can forward them to you.
Many dive centres now have downloadable versions of the forms available on their website.
We strongly recommend that you use a medical centre that specifically caters to scuba diving examinations, unless your doctor is fully versed with the provisions of the Australian standards and the practices involved in scuba diving.
Please contact your chosen dive centre if you require help booking a dive medical appointment.
Acquiring a dive medical is conducted at the student’s expense.
If your dive medical physician issues an ‘unfit to dive’ medical certificate, you will not be permitted to participate in any scuba activities – however will still be permitted to snorkel.
*This information was correct at the time of publishing (February 2016). As Australian dive standards may change, please seek advice from your dive centre if you have any medical condition, medication, past or current health concern that may affect you participating in scuba diving activities.