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Standard Underwater Medicine

Standard Underwater Medicine

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Key information


The primary mission of the course is to train Service Medical Officers and Civilian Medical Practitioners (CMP) on the medical standards for Military Occupational Diving and Service Recreational Diving.

A secondary objective for the course is to give Medical Officers and CMPs a working knowledge of:

  • The tasks and equipment associated with the missions of military divers.
  • The physics and physiology of diving.
  • The spectrum of diving-related injuries and illnesses.
  • The management principles of diving-related injuries.
  • The basic principles of decompression theory and non-diving hyperbaric medicine.
  • A basic understanding of the relevant UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulations influencing UK Military Diving policies and procedures.

Course details

Topics covered include:
  • Basic introduction to diving.
  • Physics and physiology of diving.
  • Medical problems associated with diving (Decompression Illness and Barotrauma).
  • Medical fitness standards for military occupational diving and recreational diving.
  • Injuries requiring recompression therapy and Recompression Treatment Tables.
  • Physiological and pathological effects of gases.
  • Introduction to Commercial Diving.
  • Pathology of Diving Accidents.
  • Thermal aspects of diving.
  • Familiarisation with Pulmonary Function Testing standards.
  • Comparison of military diving standards with commercial diving standards.
  • Introduction to Marine Biohazards.
  • Submarine Escape and Rescue systems and Submarine Medical Standards.


  • Must be a qualified Medical Officer (Service Medical Officer, Civilian Medical.
  • Practitioner, Non-MOD employed civilian doctors, Allied Forces MedicalOfficers).
  • Candidates should be those involved and interested in the medical aspects of diving.
  • The course is taught in English. Students should have a solid foundation in communicating in the English language (also see IELTS requirement).


Qualifications gained

  • Level 1 Certificate awarded on successful completion of all aspects of the course including a multiple choice examination.
  • Level 1 certificate authorises the graduate to perform diving medical examinations for UK Service Occupational Divers.
  • Successful completion of this course is recognised by the Health and Safety.
  • Executive (HSE) toward the Authorised Medical Examiner of Divers (AMED) qualification, which requires a separate application to the HSE.

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