General

Dutch Certification system  based on Norm 17024

Certification is one of the means being used by Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (abbr SA)  to enhance safe and healthy working conditions.

Hyperbaric Labour concerns diving work, hyperbaric medicine work, caisson work and other work under hyperbaric conditions.  Diving is considered, together with a few other professions, as work with an elevated risk profile. This gives hyperbaric labour the status of “regulated profession”. 

The System is based on the international standard NEN-EN-ISO/IEC 17024:2012 Conformity assessment - General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons.

The Ministry of SA,  “responsible” for this task, has not the knowledge and experts, therefore SA appoints certifying institutes.  However,  the Norm is adopted by the Dutch government for 90%. This means that the certifying institutes will be appointed and not be accredited by the Council of Accreditation (CoA), the national accreditation body (every European Union has one AB) . www.rva.nl The CoA primary task consists of accrediting and renewing the accreditations of conformity-assessment bodies: laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies and verification bodies. This is to ensure that trust in the quality of products and services is genuinely justified.

Inspection SA = Enforcer 
SA = Ministry of Social Affairs
CoA = Council of Accreditation
CH = Certificate Holder  

 

The Norm defines sector specific certification schemes, the task of the certifying institutes and the hierarchy of the branch. Important items are described: training and certification processes must be separated, certificates have an expiration date and regularly interim audits (monitoring to be an active certificate holder).

The Management Foundation (SWOD), www.werkenonderoverdruk.nl must have a Central College of Experts, in which the employers and employees are obliged to give their expertise. The Foundation manages the sector relevant certification schemes (made by sector and approved by Ministry of SA), itembank, the public register of certificate holders and directs the consultation between CI’s.

Every subsector (Defense, Public Order and Civil)  has its own College of Experts. For the civil industry the Foundation NOK (Netherlands Training en Knowledge Centre Hyperbaric Labour) manages the Civil College of Experts. www.nokwoo.nl

The Netherlands Diving Centre Certifying Institute, NDC CI, is the certifying institute approved by the CoA and appointed by the Ministry of SA. www.ndcci.nl

In a nutshell: every diver, dive supervisor, diver medical assistant, diving physician working in the Dutch Sector on a permanent base must have a certificate issued by the Dutch Ministry of SA appointed Certifying institute and the status of the certificate must be listed in the SWOD public register. Divers and supervisors who wants to work incidentally in the Dutch Sector can apply for a Proof of Assessment. This document states that the certificate is equal.  Certificates and Proof of Assessments will be issued for 4 years: after 2 years an interim audit + after 4 years a recertification (test). 
For more  details ask for the brochures by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Process

Link to sector specific certification schemes

Scheme Diving Physician http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0008587/BijlageXVIa
Scheme Dive supervisor http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0008587/BijlageXVIb
Scheme Prof Diver http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0008587/BijlageXVIc
Scheme Diver Medical Support http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0008587/BijlageXVId

This schemes are only available in the Dutch language

Translation in a nutshell

Diver / Dive Supervisor

Professional Diver / Dive Supervisor Categories

A1 Diving with SCUBA with a maximum depth of 9 metres
A2 Diving with SCUBA with a maximum depth of 15 metres
A3 Diving with SCUBA with a maximum depth of 30 metres
B1 Diving with Surface Demand equipment till 15 metres
B2 Diving with Surface Demand equipment till 30 metres
B3 Diving with Surface Demand equipment till 50 metres
B4 Diving with Surface Demand equipment till 50 metres including Wetbell
C Closed Bell / saturation diving
SVR Working as a dive supervisor (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3 B4 and C )

Certificates diver and dive supervisor will be issued for 4 years.
The certificate holder and the certifying institute have a contract  (see application form).
The certifying institute must supervise that the certificate holder stays active in his profession and keeps his skills actual. (A periodic logbook check for continuous  professional experience)
Therefore after 2 years he must proof his continuous professional skills.

Diver

Category Experience requirement
A1/B1 at least 20 dives in the preceding 24 months
A2/A3 at least 30 dives in the preceding 24 months
B2/B3/B4 at least 30 dives in the preceding 24 months
C Including at least 10 bell runs which 5x bellman and 5 lockouts in the preceding 24 months

Dive Supervisor

A1 at least 20 dives supervised in the preceding 24 months
A2 – C supervised at least 30 dives in the preceding 24 months

It is also important to know the scope of the diving work (supervised) for this process.

Certificates Diver Medical Support will be issued for 2 years and by following a recognized Diver Medical Training (in time) a recertification process can be started. Certificates Diving Physician will be issued for 4 years and every year an interim audit will take place.

Scheme Professional Diver: 
Chapter 1: General information about the system
Chapter 2: Definitions
Chapter 3: Specific information about the branch specific items and the system
Chapter 4: Certification regulations including procedures complaints about the certificate institutes and appeal. 4.8 is about the SWOD register of certificate holders, 4.10 is about what to do when a certificate is no longer valid.
Chapter 5: Examination regulations
Chapter 6: Supervision by the certifying institute.  Including information about suspension, repeal and/or refusal (of issuing) a certificate. 6.2.: frequency of this supervision including mentioning of the validity requirement.
Chapter 7: Categories of the profession
Chapter 8: Entrance criteria for the different kind of scope certification processes. 8.4.2 gives the curriculum of a recognized training institute.  8.5: gives details about the dive logbook. 8.6 gives information about the documents send in for a certification process
Chapter 9: Attainment. What a least must be examined per category.
Chapter 10: The methodology
Chapter 11: Standards for recertification (4 yearly)
Chapter 12: The text for the layout of the certificate
Chapter 13: Validity requirement:  the certificate holder stays active in his scope professional diver.

A lot of SWOD and government documents are only available in the Dutch Language.
The “SWOD Toetsplan” gives all the details about the theoretical and practical exams. For foreign divers / dive supervisors the NDC Certifying Institute has a lot of information available in brochures.
90% of the foreign divers choose a Proof of Assessment.
Theoretical exams are available in English. Theoretical exams are digital and contains multiple choice questions and closed questions. The software calculates the result. Methodology 70% is passed.
You are entitled to a re-examination. If you failed for a  re-examination you must ask the managing director of the NDC CI  for access to a second re-examination. If you failed for a module of the exams, the passed modules stays valid for one year. So you have one year for
If you failed for the second re-examination, the applicant will be excluded from the certification process for 1 year. After 1 year he can start a new procedure.

Certification procedure
An applicant can use the application form (completely filled in and signed) for starting a certification procedure. Based on all the documents send an admissibility test will take place. (a test to found out if the application is not inconsistent with what he is entitled to). After payment the processing of the application starts. The Certifying institute has 6 weeks for processing. A result can be positive or negative. 

http://www.nuffic.nl/en/diploma-recognition/professional-recognition
http://www.nuffic.nl/en/library/competent-authorities-and-regulated-professions-in-the-netherlands.pdf