Here at Dive Rutland we are constantly looking at the way we run our business and the impact that we have on the planet and that is why we actively run a Reduce, Recycle, Reuse policy.
We have been developing our Dive Professional training and wanted to give all of our attendees something to remember their time with us, so went through all the normal things like:-
T-Shirt / Polo Shirts - decided no due to the impact of microfibres on our environment - you have seen our blog on that subject yes?
Water Bottles - we have these in store for those who do not have but we actively engage everyone owning these so you might already have one and we wanted something more - something unique
Hats - as cold water divers most of us have enough warm hats, we looked at baseball type caps but if you have ever seen me in one of those you know why that got taken off the table!
We ask all of our students who are being invited back into training, to read and be fully aware of the following procedures and processes that have been put into place in line with all of our relevant agencies and government advise and with the primary objective to keep us all safe and well.
This blog post supersedes all previously published policies and procedures and moving forward will be updated to stay in line with any changes that occur. Can we kindly ask everyone to keep checking back in and ensuring they are up to speed with them, prior to attending for training.
Before attending for Training
If you are displaying any symptoms as defined by the NHS for Coronavirus (COVID) then we kindly ask you to be responsible and follow the latest government guidelines for isolation and testing.
Not sure what the symptoms and guidelines are then please refer to the NHS webpage at Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
At the Dive Centre
All arrivals for training are to sanitise their hands on entry to the dive centre and PRIOR to moving around the dive centre and classroom areas.
Stock is not to be touched unless you are considering purchasing an item - due to the ongoing isolation requirements.
Face Masks are as per government guidelines no longer mandatory to be worn, however we ask everyone to be respectful of each other and if you want to wear a mask then please do.
You will be met by your instructor or support team member who will then guide you to your setup / training area.
During the briefing at the shop all students will be taken through the in water procedures required to meet the latest COVID diving guidelines but as a minimum everyone who is in the water on diving equipment will have a snorkel in their mouths at all times - which is good in water practise. If you need to talk to your instructor, please make it known and they will place their snorkel or regulator in their mouth and position themselves accordingly - please give them time to do this.
Parents, can we please ask you to drop your children at the Dive Centre for their pre-pool session activity and then wait outside or come back and pick them up to transport to the pool? This is to ensure that we keep safe operating limits in the dive centre and classroom.
Oakham School Swimming Pool
EVERYONE is to be swim ready (swimming costumes underneath clothing) as changing rooms are NOT available on the way in
Entry to Oakham School Sports Centre pool for your diving session is via the Main Sports Centre Reception entrance - The door code will be provided to you by a member of the Dive Rutland professional team
The address for the Swimming pool is Oakham School Sports Centre, Kilburn Road, Oakham, LE145 6QN
Everyone is to sanitise their hands on entry and exit from the Oakham School Sports centre.
Face masks/coverings are actively encouraged to be worn upon entry and exit unless exempt under the government guidance.
Members are encouraged to arrive bather ready (swimming costumes underneath clothing) to reduce time in changing rooms or use the changing rooms to change on arrival
When arriving “bather ready” please enter the swimming pool using the main entrance to the swimming pool, change and leave belongings on top bench. Changing rooms can then be used on exit.
If using changing rooms prior to pool use, please use allocations provided in changing rooms and then enter swimming pool using main door.
No hairdryers or showers are to be used at the Sports Centre.
Please adhere to all directional signage around the Sports Centre.
Please only arrive 5 minutes before the start time of your session. If you arrive early, please wait outside the Sports Centre main doors.
The Dive equipment will be taken to the pool side by the Dive Rutland Staff members, whilst this is happening, please prepare for the pool session and put wetsuits on
Parents / Guardian
Parents are welcome to stay and watch
At the end of the pool session can we please ask you to leave the pool area and wait outside
Dive Centre diving masks and snorkels are only available for use by Bubblemakers / Discover Scuba Sessions / Seals and Master Seals, this is due to the isolation and cleaning process that has to occur, also all divers should invest in this basic equipment to ensure proper fit for the best diving experience
We have a large selection in stock, which we are happy to fit you for.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
v3.00 July 2021
When you imagine yourself, diving do you imagine clearing your mask whilst kneeling on the bottom, or taking a photograph of a beautiful coral reef whilst lying on the coral reef? I doubt it, you imagine yourself swimming effortlessly whilst observing the beautiful environment you are in.
From your first pool session with you will notice we are different. You will start by diving, swimming underwater in the pool in your SCUBA equipment. After all this is what you signed up to learn. You didn’t sign up to spend 10 hours kneeling at the bottom of a swimming pool learning skill after skill.
Don’t get me wrong, you will have to complete the skills required for certification, but you will accomplish these whilst actually diving.
Confined Water Dives
For each skill you will talk to your Instructor about what you will be learning, how you are going to accomplish it and how you will let them know you are happy with that skill. Once you descend into the pool your Instructor will demonstrate the skill for you and then ask you to repeat the skill, whilst swimming. After you complete the skill a few times and you are confident you will move on to the next one. We should warn you, there is a lot of happy acknowledgement, the Dive Rutland dance and laughter in these sessions.
Open Water Dives
When you are diving in one of our open water sites you may notice that we use our blob (surface marker buoy with a line attached to something solid at the bottom) for you to use during your descents and early ascents. Once you have descended and you are comfortable you begin your dive, you will swim around exploring the underwater world and your Instructor will ask you to complete the required skills, whilst swimming throughout the dive. At no point in your training will you be asked to kneel on the bottom, this is all practice for when you go out and dive on the wonderful coral reefs of the world, the UK included.
For you to be the best diver you can be
So, why do we teach how we teach? It’s because of you our students, we want you to have the best Instruction, with the most modern teaching techniques out there so you can be the best divers you can be. It may take a little longer, but the end result is well worth the additional effort. It takes time to make a good diver
A reel like no other, the Apeks Lifeline Ascend takes the humble SMB reel to the next level of quality and functionality.
Designed and built in the UK, the Lifeline Ascend exemplifies what Apeks has become renowned for, giving the diver the finest equipment to take on their next adventure.
Designed to make deploying your delayed surface marker buoy a breeze, the 30 metre Apeks Lifeline Ascend is the finest reel on the market. It doesn’t just look good, it plays good.
Designed to be used both left and right-handed, the Lifeline Ascend is simple and smooth to operate, even if you’re wearing thick gloves. From the easy grip rubber handle to the secure stainless-steel attachment points, the Lifeline Ascend sets a new standard in dive reels.
The Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) diving medical screening system was first published in 1989. This screening questionnaire was a collaborative project orchestrated by and through the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Diving Committee and subsequently endorsed by the RSTC.
Since its inception, this tool has become the most frequently used method of efficiently and effectively screening scuba divers for training or diving activity participation.
After almost 30 years, there was sufficient evidence to support a revision, and an independent international group of diving medical experts, the Diver Medical Screen Committee (DMSR), was brought together in 2017 to initiate an evidence-based review and an updated diver screening questionnaire underwent field testing for efficacy and screening sensitivity and was published in June 2020.
Can an Instructor decline to train a student with a signed Medical?
As a dive professional, you know a student for any certification course – that is from beginner courses and all continuing education courses must fill out the RSTC diving medical questionnaire (in addition, if you run a club and organised events it is strongly recommended that you hold an in date medical on file and it is annually reviewed).
If there are any YES answers on the questionnaire then the student must get a physician’s approval to dive prior to participating in any training with you (the latest form is 2020 Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire)
So, cut and dried – well our training agencies would have us believe that, but it is never that simple.
What is the definition of Physician?
In the context of the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire, the term “Physician” has a specific meaning.
In most countries, this means a medical doctor, one who focuses on the non-surgical treatment of patients’ conditions.
The ideal medical provider to perform fitness to dive examinations has undergone training in diving and hyperbaric medicine as evidenced by board certification or certificate of added qualification (the designation of these qualifications varies around the world).
However, the Diver Medical screening system was designed to equip physicians who don’t have this specialised training with resources to assist in their medical consultations. The Diving Medical Guidance to the Physician provides insight from the Diver Medical Screen Committee into medical conditions as they relate to diving, and where there is any doubt concerning a patient’s condition, the Divers Alert Network has referral specialists around the world that can be reached for this purpose or in the UK an AMED doctor (http://www.ukdmc.org/medical-referees/)
During your course orientation or initial conversations with potential students stress the need for absolute truth and accuracy on these forms because once underwater there is nothing worth seeing that is worth risking their and your life over.
When you are uncomfortable teaching a student with a Medical Condition
You have a student who has truthfully completed the medical statement with a YES and then gets a physician’s signature that allow them to proceed, but you are not comfortable with their fitness to dive.
Maybe the person is showing signs or symptoms, acting in a manner that you know will be not only challenging for them or the other student(s) but for you and your instructional team; more importantly safety becomes questioned or flagged in the training risk assessment. We all get challenging students at times but what we are talking about is where the student is actually presenting a challenge to their own safety or that of others around them.
We are not physicians and our training agencies say if the student has a medical, they can commence training. If a student had a YES, you do not get to play physician and say, “Oh you do not need a physician signature that’s nothing.” As an instructor, you can refuse to accept to teach a student with a physician signed medical form. We are granted this by our certification agencies because we must be comfortable for our safety and the students, we have a duty of care to while teaching diving courses.
If you are not comfortable teaching someone you must be able to articulate the reasons why, but you can say no, even if the student has a signed medical.
What happens if the physician attaches a letter or note telling you what the student can or cannot do?
Medicals prior to the 2020 Diver Medical there was a section for Physicians to write comments, this has now been removed with the Physician only able tick Approved or Not Approved on the Diver Medical in the Physician’s Evaluation Form section, but this does not stop the Physician from writing additional notes or attaching a letter or note!
If a Physician does attached a letter or note, then in PADI terms the instructor manual covers this very clearly and states that there can be no restrictions or conditions noted by the physician (for example depth limits, water temperature restrictions etc.)
The student tells you that they had to go to several physicians before one would sign it
This always raises a red flag, and you should understand the reason for this and that can be done with a “Oh really, why was that” type of question.
It could be that their local physician was not comfortable signing a medical questionnaire as they declared they are not a diving doctor and do not understand the implications – Great that is honesty.
It could be the local surgery policy is to not sign these types of forms and we are seeing this more and more in our local area.
It could be the cost of the local physician to sign was prohibitive – yes it happens.
Now it could be that one physician advised the student to not come diving and the student then ‘shopped’ around until they found a physician who would sign it.
In this latter case, politely advise them to have a conversation with a diving AMED, after all they understand diving medicine.
During training something comes up or happens which brings the divers medical into question
Yes, there are times a student fills in the medical statement and puts a NO when they should have put a YES. After all they want to come diving and experience all of the amazing things we talk about and put over our social media channels, who would not want to experience that after all.
Something might come up in conversation with a member of your professional team it might be something you see – it could be a serious scar and they have put NO to major surgery. It is at this point you need an open and honest conversation with the student and politely point out the NO on the medical statement and see if it changes to a YES, it probably will and then stop training until you have a signed medical statement from a physician.
A student becomes ill or injured during training
In PADI terms the instructor manual covers this very clearly and states that a student diver who becomes ill or injured during a PADI course is to complete a new Medical statement before further in water activities. Use the medical form to rescreen the student to determine if the changed medical condition would cause the diver to check off something new on the medical. If so, the diver must be cleared for diving by a physician prior to resuming in water trainin
Form signed by a Physician
We have had forms signed by our local GP practices and potentially the student has paid a lot of money to get that signature, but we inwardly question if the physician actually read the guidance documentation or did any research into the student’s condition as it relates to diving. Because they have approved someone with a condition that we have previously seen students not approved to dive. We might not be physicians but a number of us are aware of conditions and medication that a student would be advised not to dive with or on.
In this case, you technically cannot decline to train the student, unless the criteria outlined in part one is present. What we do is gently refer the student to a diving doctor which here in the UK is an AMED doctor and we give our students the name of number of our local ones, explaining that we think the student would benefit from talking to the AMED doctor as they are understanding diving medicine whereas their doctor probably does not. In fact, if a student declares a medical condition in our early conversations, we advise them to go to an AMED over and above their local physician. Our local chamber doctor has been incredibly helpful over the years.
We are an inclusive sport, and we should do everything we can to include disabled divers. There are plenty of parliamentary acts to ensure that no one is unfairly discriminated against and quite rightly. But everyone needs a medical BEFORE they can undertake any diver training.
But let us take just one example - you have someone who is morbidly obese, and they receive a yes from their physician. (This potentially should not happen – see the DDRC article that answers the question “Can I dive if obese” on https://www.ddrc.org/diving/can-i-dive/can-i-dive-if-obese/)
But you are uncomfortable teaching this individual. It could be an operational risk – you are concerned that you would physically not be able to exit them from the pool or open water site in an emergency. The rental equipment is not going to fit, and you are not going to train them without exposure protection. This would require a well-articulated message that states all of this. Plus, other professionals can help with the message The Dive Centre Risk Assessment has raised a number of issues that we cannot remediate that would make you the student safe and us the instructional team able to safely deliver the course.
Everyone has to be “Fit to Dive” and we have other articles that cover this subject as Fit to Dive covers your physical, emotional and mental fitness
(Potentially cheaper as trip priced on 10 persons)
Number of Places: 12
£350 Non-Refundable Deposit required to secure your place on this trip with final Payment by 1st March 2022*
You need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water with Deep Speciality (or equivalent) for this trip. Maybe consider being DECO40 trained to take advantage of the longer decompression stop times!
*Dive Rutland Trip Terms and Conditions apply
Dive Rutland is the trading name for Dive Rutland Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 9433835.
Registered address: 8 Horn Close, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6FE