INTRODUCTION

In 2012 the Dutch government introduced a new system of accreditation and certification based on NEN EN ISO IEC 17021 (system) & 17024 (individual) Norms. The English translation of the Dutch Working Conditions Act, Decree and Regulation is available on the OSHA Europe website or on the website of the enforcer Inspectorate of SZW The Diver, Diving Supervisor and Diving Medical Attendant (Diver medic, diving medical assistant) and Diving Physician are regulated professions (Directive 2005/36/EC). They must proof their competency with a certificate.

COMPULSORY CERTIFICATES

The diving categories, diving supervisor and diving medical attendant are:

Commercial diving

Category A1 SCUBA till 9 mtrs
Category A2 SCUBA till 15 mtrs 
Category A3 SCUBA till 30 mtrs
Category B0 SSE till 9 mtrs
Category B1 SSE till 15 mtrs 
Category B2 SSE till 30 mtrs
Category B3 SSE till 50 mtrs
Category B4 SSE till 50 mtrs + wetbell
Category C Closed Bell / saturation diving
Diving supervisor Working as a supervisor (A1, A2, A3, B0, B1, B2, B3, B4 or C)

 

Diving medical attendant

B2 (MAD-A) Diving Medical Attendant  (Diver Medic)
B1: (Diver First Aid) Diver First Aid - Diving Medical Attendant of low risk diving work (art. 6.16 lid 4 Arbo Act) & Category A1 divers

The aims of training and certification for these certificates have been set down in the Working Conditions Law. See annexes of Working decree for the certification schemes.

Diving supervisor: http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0008587/BijlageXVIb

Professional Diver: http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0008587/BijlageXVIc

Employers should make a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) that contains the risks for their employees during the work that they carried out. This RI&E must show the employability of the divers categories. For more details about safety in the Dutch Diving Sector see the digital Working Conditions Catalogue for working under hyperbaric conditions.

CERTIFYING INSTITUTE

The Netherlands Diving Centre Certifying Institute, NDC CI, is the certifying institute approved by the Dutch Accreditation Council and appointed by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Employment. NDC-CI issued SWOD Certificates on behalf of the Dutch government.

For more than 30 years NDC-CI certificates are highly appreciated worldwide. 

CERTIFICATION PROCESSES

Certificates will be issued:

  • Initial (theoretical/practical examination) after following an approved training in the Netherlands
  • Initial (documents study / theoretical / practical examination) after following an approved training (recognized certificates issued by authorities) outside the Netherlands
  • Proof of Assessment (documents study / knowledge legislation) after following an approved training (recognized certificates issued by authorities inside EU/EER)
  • Two-yearly portfolio check
  • Recertification (4-yearly)
  • Re-integration (same as initial)

CERTIFICATION SYSTEM COMMERCIAL DIVING / DIVING SUPERVISOR

The Dutch Certification system of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is based on the ISO IEC 17024 Norm. Which means that the training and certification process must be separated and certificates issued have an expiration date.
Certificates (diver & supervisor) have an expiration date of four years and will remain valid when the holder can prove (logbooks / portfolio) his experience every two years:

Continuous competency – 2 yearly portfolio check and/or 4 yearly recertification 

Professional Diver

Category

SCUBA or SSE

Continuous competency

A1 *)

SCUBA till 9 mtrs

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes in the competency.

A2

SCUBA till 15 metres

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes of which at least 5 dives with a minimum bottom depth of 9 metres and a total dive time of 50 minutes.

A3

SCUBA till 30 metres

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes in the competency.

B0 *)

SSE till 9 metres

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes of which at least 20 dives with a total dive time of 200 dive minutes with SSE.

B1

SSE till 15 metres

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes of which 1) at least 20 dives of at least 200 dive minutes with SSE; and 2) At least 5 dives with  at least dive depth of 9 metres and and a total dive time of 50 minutes.

B2

SSE till 30 metres

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes, of which at least  15 dives with a total dive time of at least 150 dive minutes with SSE.

B3

SSE till 50 metres without wetbell

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes, of which at least 15 dives with a total dive time of at least 150 dive minutes with SSE.

B4

SSE till 50 metres with wetbell

At least 30 dives and a total dive time of at least 300 minutes, of which at least  15 dives with a total dive time of at least 150 dive minutes with SSE.

C

Closed Bell / Saturation

If the diver also is competent for category B4 the bell  bellruns made as a diver (10 bellruns 5x diver / 5x bellman) can be compensated for the B4 dives.

Diving supervisor
Diving supervisor  A1, A2 and B1: supervised at least 20 dives in the preceding 24 months in the competency; 

Diving supervisor A3, B2, B3, B4 or C: supervised at least 30 dives in the preceding 24 months in the competency.

SWOD Certificates & Proof of Assessment
SWOD Certificates are issued for four years. On the certificates are mentioned the dates of issuing, 2-yearly interim logbook check and end of validity. 

Proof of Assessment (PoA) has the same validity period and same validity conditions as certificates. See below for the difference between applying for a certificate or for a Proof of Assessment. Holder of proof of assessment has to inform the NDC-CI every year that he wants to work in the Dutch Sector in the coming year. !!

2 yearly interim portfolio check in the context of supervision
Every two years the holder (diver and diving supervisor) must contact the NDC-CI for an interim check of his portfolio (logbooks). He has to proof his continuously competency in his scope. If he misses this moment his certificate will be suspended and/or withdrawn.
For requirements 2-yearly logbook check see table above. 

And

4 yearly recertification
Every four years the certificates or PoA's  (diver / supervisor) must be renewed.
Diver: Besides the logbook check also needed is the proof of attending a practical test (to demonstrate certain competences, mainly related to emergency response in your scope) taken by an examiner (NDC-CI). 
Diving Supervisor: Besides the logbook check also a theoretical examination taken by the certifying institute (NDC-CI) and the proof of attending an on site pre-announced assessment taken by a special trained diving supervisor at the dive site. See the list of trained and approved diving supervisors

On a regularly base the NDC-CI organises practical test on recertification for professional divers. Ask the administration This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for dates. The diver needs to do the practical test taken by NDC-CI in 3rd or 4th year after issuing. Based on his dive history (logbook) the content of the test will be chosen. Avoid doing the practical test after expiration date. When your application started in time, but your certificate is invalid you have to let this practical test organised by a recognized diving school / training school including the presence of examiners. If the diver does not meet the validity requirements the NDC-CI must impose measurements. Every situation is different, but it is possible that the practical test will be replaced by a practical examination. 

The Diving Supervisor can do an on site pre-announced assessment/practical test conducted by an NDC-CI trained supervisor at the dive site. (the scheme of supervisor did not changed in 2018)

Diving medical attendant

The diver medic certificates must be periodically renewed by attending refresher training as follows: B2/MAD-A and B1/Diver First Aid: every two years. The legislation about the use of foreign Diver Medical Certificates is very complicated. So please send us a copy of your certificate for more details.

FOREIGN CERTIFICATES

Divers and diving supervisors who do not hold a Dutch valid and recognized SWOD certificate and wish to work in the Netherlands or on the Dutch Continental Shelf, must have their certificates assessed/converted.

The procedure depends whether you like to work in the Dutch sector permanently or occasionally and whether you are an EU resident or not.

There are two assessment procedures

Proof on Assessment issued on Equivalence (approx. 40 days per year working in the Dutch Sector ) It will be possible to obtain the Document "Dutch Proof of Assessment" issued on Equivalence after an assessment. Every year the holder of this certificate must contact the NDC-CI and announce (fill out the form) that he will work in the Dutch Sector in the coming year. 

In the Dutch Legislation the Proof of Assessment is mentioned "Bewijs van Toetsing". 

This document can be issued without a complete theoretical and/or practical examination, based on examiners report and Skype interview *) Working occasionally in the Dutch sector is considered (EU statement) as working less than 40 days per year. Only the days you actually work as a diver/diving supervisor are counted. For the most applicants this is the quickest and easiest way to obtain the right document.

*) Professional Divers: During an interview the knowledge of Dutch Diving Legislation will be tested. This interview and ID-verification can be done during a SKYPE conversation or in person (visiting our office in Delft).

Diving Supervisors: The knowledge of Dutch Diving Legislation must be proven by showing a proof of attending a recognized Dutch Module Diving Legislation given by a recognized training institute and a theoretical examination Dutch Diving Legislation must be done. (So Supervisors have to come over to Delft for the theoretical examination). The document proof of assessment is valid for 4 years with the same validity conditions as the regular certificate. 

OR

For regular work, living and working in the Netherlands, (working more than 40 days per year) it will be possible to obtain the Dutch certificate after an assessment (document control) and an initial examination (= document control, theoretical and practical examination conform the certification scheme).

EU residents – you have two options: to work permanently in the Dutch sector or on an occasionally basis you can apply for a proof of assessment. Non EU residents have to apply for a certificate. Also the training location is important outside the EU/EER (except ADAS and DCBC).
See below consequences of Brexit. 

DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR APPLICATION

Application Form filled in including the signed Certification Agreement (download, print and sign and scan). Make your decision – Proof of Assessment or Certificate.

Copies of the relevant certificate(s). The validity, equivalence, authenticity and rightful ownership will be checked by the responsible authority.
Note: relevant certificates are certificates issued by authorities (government body or appointed certifying institute) not issued by the training institutes.
(Original certificate(s) must be shown to the certifying institute by SKYPE and/or in person).

A readable copy of a valid ID: passport or ID-card (only the last four numbers are readable and make the photo unrecognizable)

Copy of your diver medical certificate (this medical certificate must be valid and be issued by a recognized diving physician of the EU/EER land where you have your resident (the protocol must be similar) or a certificate issued by a Dutch recognized diving physician. (see the "lijst van duikerartsen)

Copy/copies of your logbook page(s) with personal data and photograph.
Dives made during your relevant commercial diver training.
When your training is longer than 1,5 years ago: send also the dives made in the past 24 months.

The holder has to prove (logbooks / portfolio) his experience in the preceding 24 months:

See previous table

 

PRIVACY: GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION

This is a process obliged by government procedures. We only use your information for the certification process and in future for communication with you as a certificate holder. Please be aware of the fact that you keep us informed about your actual (digital) addresses. The database is built in a safe digital environment. Your private data will not be used for commercial activities by us or others. Your data will be given to SWOD for the Public Register. SWOD has taken care of the safety of the website and register as well. The websites do not have cookies. Privacy statement (pdf)


APPLICATION - Procedure

Check the: PRICE LIST
Please fill out the application form and send all the documentation needed. When your application is acceptable (admissible) – which means you asking for the right certification process and all the documents needed are received – you will receive an invoice. After payment your process will started and your file will be sent to the team leader to make sure you ask for the right certification procedure and the documents are useful. After his approval your file will be sent to an examiner. When the certifying institute needs more documentation – a reaction period will be given. Without responding an application for initial process will be closed. Your file will be destroyed conform GDPR.

The decisions made by NDC-CI will be based on relevant and actual Dutch legislation. If an application is found to be untruthful the certificate will be refused. The team leader of NDC-CI will do the admissibility test.

Example: Process in a nutshell Proof of Assessment Commercial Diver (you have a certificate issued by an authority EU/EER-zone): payment Phase I = paperwork (certificates, diver medical, dives logged training & 24 months working) > after positive review > SKYPE conversation for ID and an interview Knowledge Dutch Diving Legislation > issuing Proof of Assessment based on Equivalence (same validity requirements as certificate but every year letting the NDC-CI know that you want to work in the Dutch sector.
Note: an extra specified theoretical examination (knowledge of diving procedures) and/or competent test (actual in water test / dive – emergency procedure at the dive site) can be part of this procedure. The extra costs will be specified in a written offer.

Example: Process in a nutshell Certificate

Professional Diver (you have a certificate issued by an authority EU/EER-zone): payment Phase I = paperwork (certificates, diver medical, dives logged) Phase II = invitation for complete theoretical examination > after payment > you can visit the NDC-CI for theoretical exam > passed for theoretical examination > Phase III invitation for practical examination > after payment you will receive further details. When you passed for the practical examination the Certificate will be issued.

When you are not passing for the theoretical exam, you can do a re-exam. (for second re-exam a written request must be sent). Please be aware of the fact that re-exams must be done within 1,5 year. Process must be ended within 1,5 year.

Note: Diving supervisor: must show a document to proof that he has followed a recognized Dutch Module for supervisors.

ISSUING CERTIFICATE / PROOF OF ASSESSMENT

At the end of the certification process the team leader of  NDC-CI will check your file and hands over all the documents, examiners report, results of examinations to the person who is appointed to make the decision about issuing the certificate or proof of assessment. Both documents, the certificate and the proof of assessment, have an expiration period of 4 years. Validity requirements based on competence are the same. Once per year a team of the Dutch Council of Accredition will check 20% of the files. 

TWO YEARLY PORTFOLIO

Certificates (diver &  diving supervisor) will be issued for four years and will remain valid when the holder can proof (logbooks / portfolio) his experience every two years in his competency:

See previous table for continuous competency. 

If the certificate holder misses this moment (the legal obliged portfolio check in the context of supervision) his certificate will be suspended and/or withdrawn. This will be mentioned in the SWOD public register as well. If there is a reason why you cannot start or fulfill the two-yearly portfolio process – please contact the NDC-CI for more options before the moment of portfolio check.

Documents needed for your application 2-yearly portfolio check:
A copy of your (supervised) dives logged in the past 24 months
A copy of your logbook page with personal data and photograph
A copy of your Dutch SWOD Certificate / Proof of Assessment or stating the registration No.
A copy of your ID (last 4 numbers readable)
A copy of your valid and recognized diver medical certificate (diver)

RECERTIFICATION EVERY FOUR YEARS 

Same as two yearly portfolio and a proof of a practical inwater test.

Diver: The Dutch Diving Legislation (chapter 11 of the schemes) requires a demonstration of competence, a practical test taken by an examiner. 
This practical test must be conducted by an examiner of NDC-CI (per 1st october 2018) and organized by NDC-CI. You need to do this practical test in the 3rd or 4th year. Before validity ends. Otherwise the practical (inwater) test must be organized by a recognized diving school/training institute. (because your certificate is invalid you cannot do a dive without certain circumstances. These circumstances can be provided by a recognized diving school/training institute (For Example the presence of a dive team with valid papers)
The NDC-CI, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  can give you the dates of the practical tests.

Diving Supervisor: The Dutch Diving Legislation (chapter 11 of the schemes) requires a demonstration of competence 1 per 4 years.
This demonstration of competence – practical assessment - must be announced in advance and must be conducted by a diving supervisor trained and recognized for this task by the NDC-CI. 
We advise to do this assessment in the 3rd or 4th year. Before validity ends. Otherwise the practical (inwater) assessment must be organized by a recognized diving school/training institute. (because your certificate is invalid you cannot supervise  without certain circumstances. These circumstances can be provided by a recognized diving school/training institute (For Example the presence of a dive team with valid papers)
Besides proofing this assessment the diving supervisor must attend a theoretical examination (knowledge about decompression tables and decompression chamber) as well. 

If certificates are expired please contact the NDC-CI for further options. Maybe Re-integration is an option. This process is equal to regular initial certification process.

If there is a reason why you cannot start or fulfill the recertification process – please contact the NDC-CI for more options asap.

Documents needed for your application 4-yearly recertifcation:
A copy of your (supervised) dives logged in the past 24 months
A copy of your logbook page with personal data and photograph
A copy of the page "competence assessment record" (part 5 IMCA logbook)  (diving supervisor) or proof of positive result practical test taken by examiner (diver)   
A copy of your Dutch SWOD Certificate / Proof of Assessment  and/or stating the registration No
A copy of your ID (last 4 numbers readable)
A copy of your recognized and valid diver medical certificate (diver)


Other conditions to keep your certificate valid

  1. The certificate holder informs the NDC-CI as soon as possible of changes in his (digital) address.
  2. The certificate holder uses the certificate only when it is valid.
  3. The certificate holder meets the continuous requirements to keep his certificate valid (the –yearly portfolio check)
  4. The certificate holder uses  his certificate for the diving activities for which the certificate is issued.
  5. The certificate holder cooperates with the control by the NDC-CI and approves with random tests by his employers and/or clients.
  6. The certificate holder approves the registration of the status of his certificate in the public register of certificates of SWOD.
  7. The certificate holder informs the certifying institute about complaints of his competency / skills and cooperates with research by the certifying institute.
  8. The certificate holder will report misuse of this certificate by third parties as much as possible and reports the loss of the certificate to the certifying body within ten days.

If the certificate holder cannot meet these conditions the consequence can be warning, suspension and / or withdrawal.

Brexit

For the divers and dive supervisors living in the United Kingdom we have to inform you that our government is preparing its implementation of the EC legislation for possible changes due to the Brexit. In our legislation known as “The recognition of EC Vocational Qualifications and the temporary and incidental provision of services”. It is possible that the “proof of assessment”  for temporary and incidental work no longer can be given to inhabitants of the UK. At this moment we are waiting the instructions of our government. Of course we shall communicate with the Dutch Diving Companies and our authorities about the (im)possibilities for the future. 

APPEALS 

Certification and assessment is subject to the rules set out in the Working Conditions Legislation and the General Law on Government procedures. Appeals against decisions may be made to the NDC CI Appeals Committee within 6 weeks of receipt of the decision.

CONDITIONS OF PAYMENT

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, all payments must be made in advance without any rebates or compensation. In case of failure to qualify or leaving before completion there will be no reimbursement of payments. Overdue payments will be subject to an interest charge of 1% per month over the unpaid amount, to be charged as of date of billing and counting part of a month as a full month. In case of non-payment all extra out-of-court costs will be charged, including charges for legal assistance. These charges will be 15% of the amount due plus 21% VAT with a minimum of € 70,- plus 21% VAT.

All legal disputes will be decided upon by the applicable Court of the District Rotterdam. Without prejudice of changes of legislation

LIABILITY

Except in case of malice or gross culpability on the part of the NDC CI, the NDC CI is not liable for any damages to persons and/or goods during or in connection with training or any other activities of the NDC CI.