How to become a Scientific Diver

This page summarizes what you must do to become an authorized Scientific Diver under the auspices of Simon Fraser University. It also outlines what you must do to maintain your diving authorization once you obtain it. For more complete information, please contact the University Diving Safety Officer (DSO), Dr Isabelle Côté, at 778-782-3705.

How to become an authorized Scientific Diver in four steps


Step 1:

contact the DSO at 778-782-3705 to request a registration package or, preferably, download the registration material from this website (see left sidebar).

It will contain the following:

  • Diver registration, release and waiver forms
  • Medical history and examination form (with information sheet for medical examiners)
  • Annual project description and approval form
  • Dive log spreadsheet
  • SFU diving safety manual


Step 2:

Make an appointment to meet with the SFU DSO, Department of Biological Sciences, Room B8272. Bring to this meeting the following materials:

  • Diver certification card(s)
  • Current first aid and CPR card(s)
  • Diver’s log book
  • Completed diver registration, release and waiver forms

NOTE: If you are not a certified diver yet, you must make your own arrangements to obtain appropriate certification(s) or contact the DSO for information as some certifications may be completed in conjunction with the registration procedure.


Step 3:

You must satisfactorily pass a diving fitness evaluation and medical examination.


Step 4:

You must satisfactorily complete a written examination and open water skills evaluation with the SFU DSO. Schedule appointments with the DSO to take the written examination and to do a check-out dive in open water.

The written examination will cover the following areas:

  • Diving physics and physiology
  • Diving equipment
  • DCIEM air diving tables
  • Health & safety procedures in diving
  • Procedures for tides and currents in British Columbia waters
  • Diver rescue and emergency procedures
  • SFU Diving Safety Manual, and related regulations

The open water check-out will cover the following areas:

  • Equipment and emergency (rescue) procedures
  • General diving skills

Depending on your skill level and experience, additional training dives (up to 15) under DSO supervision may be necessary.

IMPORTANT: You are expected to provide/bring all necessary diving equipment.

That's it! The materials you submitted to the DSO will be reviewed and, subject to approval, you will certified as a scientific diver.