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, Dive Supervisor and Diver Medic (diver medical assistant/support) and Diving Physician are regulated professions (Directive 2005/36/EC). They must proof their competency with a certificate.

COMPULSORY CERTIFICATES

The diving categories, supervisor and diver medical support 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
Dive supervisor Working as a supervisor (A1, A2, A3, B0, B1, B2, B3, B4 or C)

 

Diver medical support

B2 (MAD-A) Diver Medic A Medical support of SSE-diving
B1: (Diver First Aid) Medical support 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.

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

Commercial 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 exam) after following an approved training in the Netherlands
  • Initial (documents study / theoretical / practical exam) 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
  • Recertification
  • Re-integration (same as initial)

CERTIFICATION SYSTEM COMMERCIAL DIVING / DIVE 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 control and/or 4 yearly recertification 

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.

Dive supervisor
Dive supervisor  A1, A2, B0 and B1: supervised at least 20 dives in the preceding 24 months in the competency; 

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

Every two years the certificate holder (diver and dive supervisor) must contact the NDC-CI for an interim control of his portfolio (logbooks). If the certificate holder misses this moment his certificate will be suspended and/or withdrawn. Re-integration is an option. (Re-integration is equal to regular initial certification process).

And

The diver / supervisor certificates must be renewed (every four years) by attending an aptitude test (to demonstrate certain competences, mainly related to emergency response) practical and theoretical (dive supervisor) and the logbook/portfolio examination.

The Diver must do a practical exam taken by an NDC-CI examiner - organized by NDC-CI. The diver need to do this in 3rd or 4th year after issuing. Based on your dive history (logbook) the content of the practical test will be determined. 

The Dive Supervisor can do a practical test by an NDC-CI trained supervisor on the dive site. (the scheme of supervisor did not changed in 2018)

Diver medical support

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 dive supervisors who do not hold a Dutch 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 exam, 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/dive supervisor are counted. For the most applicants this is the quickest and easiest way to obtain the right document.

*) 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).

Dive 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 exam Dutch Diving Legislation must be done. (So Supervisors have to come over to Delft for the theoretical exam) This 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 and an initial exam (= theoretical and practical (aptitude test/in water test) 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 can 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 theoretical exam (knowledge of diving procedures) and/or an aptitude test (actual in water test / dive – emergency procedure on 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

Commercial 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 exam > after payment > you can visit the NDC-CI for theoretical exam > passed for theoretical exam > Phase III invitation for practical exam, the aptitude test > after payment you will receive further details. When you passed for the aptitude test the Certificate will be issued.

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

Note: Dive supervisor: must show a document to proof that he has attend 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 exams 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 & supervisor) have an expiration date of four years and will remain valid when the holder can prove (logbooks / portfolio) his experience every two years:

See previous table for continuous competency. 

If the certificate holder misses this moment (the legal obliged portfolio check) his certificate will be suspended and/or withdrawn. This will be mentioned in the SWOD public register as well. Re-integration is an option. (Re-integration is equal to regular initial certification process). 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 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
A copy of your ID (last 4 numbers readable)
A copy of your diver medical examination (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 exam, 1 per 4 years.
This exam must be taken by an examiner of NDC-CI (per 1st october 2018) and organized by NDC-CI. You need to do this practical exam in the 3rd or 4th year. Before validity ends. Otherwise the practical (inwater) test must be organized by a recognized training institute. (because your certificate is invalid you cannot do a dive without certain circumstances, which the training institute can provide. Example 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 exams.

Dive Supervisor: The Dutch Diving Legislation (chapter 11 of the schemes) requires a demonstration of competence 1 per 4 years.
This demonstration of competence – practical test - must be announced in advance and must be conducted by a dive supervisor trained  for this task by the NDC-CI. 
We advise to do this assessment in the 3rd or 4th year. Before validity ends. Otherwise you must let the test organize by are recognized training institute. (because your certificate is invalid the training institute can provide certain circumstances, like a dive supervisor with valid papers)
The dive supervisor must do/show the practical test plus theoretical exam (knowledge about decompression tables and decompression chamber). If the certificate is expired and the certificate holder still wants to work in the Dutch Sector than re-integration is an option. 

Re-integration 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:
A copy of your 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)  (dive supervisor)
A copy of your Dutch SWOD Certificate / Proof of Assessment
A copy of your ID (last 4 numbers readable)
A copy of your diver medical examination (diver)


Other conditions to keep your certificate valid

  1. The certificate holder informed the NDC-CI as soon as possible of changes in his (digital) address.
  2. The certificate holder used 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 used 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 informed 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 report the loss of the certificate to the certifying body within ten days.

If the certificate holder cannot meet these conditions the consequence can be suspension or withdrawing of the certificate, or a warning.

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.