ADAS is totally committed to operating within the Principles and Standards of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This includes, when it does not conflict with ADAS responsibilities under Federal, State and Territory law, a commitment to recognise the training qualifications issued by other Registered Training Organisations.
Please note that, with some limited exceptions when courses are delivered directly by ADAS personnel, ADAS training and assessment courses are delivered through Accredited Training Establishments (ATEs). ADAS places responsibility on these ATEs and their training staff for providing students with relevant and appropriate information on course administration and training information in these instances.
This Code of Practice is designed to provide information to prospective participants of training and assessment delivered by ADAS and its ATEs.
ADAS is the Australian national occupational diver certification scheme. It was developed by the Australian Federal Government in 1988 to promote safe occupational diving operations through accredited training and assessment and diver certification/licensing. ADAS provides occupational diver training and assessment to Australia, New Zealand and to South East Asia, Asia and the Middle East. It comprises commercial, scientific, military, and police Accredited Training Establishments (ATEs). This document applies to all competency-based training and assessment services supplied by ADAS.
As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), national code 88104, ADAS operates within the principles and Standards of the VET Quality Framework. ADAS provides quality training and assessment services to ADAS employees, ATE training staff and external clients using accredited courses and National Training Packages.
ADAS provides training and assessment services within our scope of registration as an RTO which may be viewed on the training.gov.au website.
All applicants for ADAS diver training must comply with the general prerequisites listed below and any course-specific prerequisites as listed in the course information before starting training. Occupational diving is a high risk occupation that requires candidates and certified divers to be exposed to the hazards of hyperbaric and aquatic environments. It can involve strenuous activity in and under the water and the performance of tasks that require the candidate to have reasonable degrees of fitness, mobility, agility, dexterity and strength.
Candidates will be required to enter and exit the water from boats, piers and jetties and to assist other team members to do so. They will need to don and doff relatively heavy items such as weight belts and scuba tanks, to load and unload equipment from vehicles and to rescue and recover their team mates from the water in simulated (and perhaps real) emergencies.
Candidates must be able to communicate clearly and accurately with team mates and supervisors, to relay instructions to and from divers underwater, to write accurate, clear, concise and legible reports on inspections and underwater work and to carry out reasonably complex mathematical calculations involving pressure, time, depth, changes in buoyancy, decompression etc.
In the interests of personal and team safety, no allowances can be made for any disability which affects the capacity of a candidate to operate as a fully functioning dive team member.
Divers are subject to substantial pressure effects as they descend and ascend, and operate at depth. This exposes the diver to a range of physical, physiological and medical factors that can increase the level of risk to the diver. Additionally, the existence of certain physical, physiological and medical conditions are also well known to substantially increase risk to the diver. Also, occupational divers are required to undertake strenuous underwater activities that increase the level of physical and physiological stress.
These effects are well known and understood, and modern diving medical and fitness standards, as well as diving practices and procedures, are designed to control those risks within acceptable limits. The Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2299.1 Occupational Diving Operations prescribes medical fitness levels for occupational divers and details the medical examination and tests to be carried out by a medico specially trained in underwater medicine in order for an occupational diver to be certified as medically fit to undertake occupational diving.
All ADAS trainees undergoing initial occupational diver training must, before commencing practical diving, be in possession of a valid medical certificate of medical fitness to dive issued within 90 days of the start of the course.
If for any reason the medical certificate is older than 90 days, the medical history of the candidate during the intervening period must be checked to identify if there are any obvious occurrences that would require the candidate to be re-assessed by a medical doctor.
> Also see Medical Fitness
The Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2299.1 Occupational Diving Operations requires that candidates for occupational diver training be a minimum of 18 years of age. This is due to a combination of factors:
> Also see How old do I need to be?
Candidates are required to undertake reasonably arduous underwater activities involving manual handling, lifting and carrying, and extended times in and underwater. Candidates need to be reasonably fit and to have good swimming skills.
Fitness must be demonstrated by the trainee completing a 200m swim on the surface (using mask, fins and snorkel while wearing SCUBA equipment and neutrally buoyant) within eight minutes. Fitness is also tested by the trainee treading water for 10 min while fully clothed (i.e. wearing a long sleeved shirt and long pants).
ADAS courses are normally based on intensive and active 10-12 hour days for 5 days a week. All candidates must hold a recognised certificate of recreational diving competence (e.g. a sports diver qualification from a recognised SCUBA training organisation, or a certificate as a military diver) including the completion of at least 10 logged dives since open water certification was gained. The ADAS courses do not include basic SCUBA diving training.
> Also see Medical Fitness
Occupational diving has clear minimum requirements in regard to language, literacy and numeracy as explained below.
ADAS courses are designed to take account of this and all ADAS trainers and assessors provide:
All students have the option to be assessed in order to ascertain if their LLN skills are sufficient to successfully undertake the training program. This is usually via interview or completion of exercises contained in the proposed training program. Where clients require additional practice and training ADAS can provide some LLN support.
Effective communication is a fundamental aspect of safety in occupational diving. Instructions and changes in situations and conditions must be able to be communicated clearly, concisely and accurately between supervisors, attendants and divers. This is especially important under conditions of increased stress as may be experienced in an emergency and/or when communication is inhibited by adverse environmental conditions and/or substandard radio or telephone equipment. All members must be able to communicate effectively in a common language.
Additionally, occupational divers are often required to report on specific aspects of seabed, equipment or work site conditions to other divers or client representatives on the surface.
Except in ADAS courses specifically conducted in a foreign language, candidates must be able to understand written and verbal communication in English, and be able to communicate accurately in English with other people (this is of particular importance where trainees or instructors are of differing nationalities). It must be remembered that an ADAS certificate entitles the holder to dive in Australian, UK, Canadian or Norwegian waters where fluent communication in English is a key factor in safe diving.
As part of their job, occupational divers are often required to undertake underwater surveys and inspections and must be able to write accurate, clear, concise and legible reports on inspections and underwater work displaying acceptable standards of spelling, grammar and syntax.
Occupational divers are often required to carry out mathematical calculations involving pressure, time, depth, changes in buoyancy, decompression etc. Some of these are fundamental to effective dive planning and diver safety and others are required to fulfil the requirements of the job.
All ADAS diver candidates must be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, decimals and fractions; calculate percentages (non-programmable calculators may be used); and transpose and solve simple formulae which may be required to demonstrate understanding of, for example, the gas laws.
These mathematical requirements will be revised during ADAS courses but candidates must commence the course with reasonable standards of numeracy in order to be able to cope with these demands.
Course information is provided on commencement of a training program. Information on individual Units of Competency from Training Package qualifications can be accessed via the training.gov.au website (code: 88104). ADAS accredited course competencies are available from ADAS on request.
ADAS and/or its ATEs will provide accurate, relevant and up-to-date information to participants prior to enrolment regarding their training and assessment program and options. This includes as a minimum:
Information for each training program is available to all participants from ADAS and ATEs.
The ADAS Trainee Record Books (TRBs) provide information on required Units of Competence relevant to each of courses. They are distributed as part of the induction process, together with information and guidelines relating to Skills Recognition (Recognition of Prior Learning or Recognition of Current Competence). Students will be briefed on all relevant training and assessment issues including course program, timetable and assessment details, occupational health and safety standards, required trainee behaviour and discipline issues, appeal arrangements, and performance expectations.
Course materials are provided to all participants. Feedback in relation to course delivery, assessment procedures, relevance and outcomes, is actively sought to assist in reviewing existing programs, and in the development of future training and assessment activities.
ADAS or the ATEs can provide guidance in relation to training activities and training pathways. If participants require additional information, advice or guidance they should contact ADAS.
Trainee records and personal information are available on request, by the candidate, by giving 48 hours written notice to the ATE or ADAS. At all other times trainee records are kept secure and confidential. Note that detailed training records are maintained by the ATEs and that only summary information is provided to ADAS.
ADAS ensures the resources in the area(s) of recognition sought meet the requirements of the relevant endorsed training package(s) and/or accredited course(s), for the delivery, assessment and issuance of qualifications.
ADAS affirms that it has in place and applies the following resources:
Delivery strategies utilised by ADAS are always selected to best achieve the required elements of competence while giving due consideration to the learning style of the participant.
Delivery modes may include, but are not limited to:
ADAS information-based training is normally conducted indoors using a variety of training aids and methods. Occupational diving is a potentially high risk activity and in recognition of this, no on-the-job training in uncontrolled dive sites is undertaken during ADAS courses. Skills-based training is, however, delivered in realistic environments using equipment and procedures similar to those used in the workplace.
Training materials are provided by the ATEs or are available in hard copy from ADAS on a cost recovery-basis.
All ADAS competence assessment is undertaken by qualified assessors who are skilled in the competencies they assess. Evidence of competence is collected using a variety of assessment tools. To accommodate the needs of individuals, ADAS offers various assessment methods including skills recognition, simulations, and written and verbal assessments. All assessments are conducted using an open, supportive process, which ensures participants are aware of the precise requirements of their assessment.
Occupational diving is a potentially high risk activity. All practical assessments are undertaken in a controlled environment providing realistic scenarios for participants to demonstrate their skills. Participants are deemed ‘competent’ when they can consistently demonstrate their skills and knowledge against all performance criteria to the standards required in the workplace.
All final assessment outcomes are recorded electronically. All training and assessment records are held in the strictest confidence ensuring confidentiality and privacy of individuals.
ADAS provides feedback to applicants about the outcomes of assessments and guidance on future options.
ADAS has a formal complaints/grievance procedure (see below). Appellants will be provided with the opportunity to be reassessed in an appeal situation.
ADAS ensures that all assessment conducted within the organisation is valid, reliable, fair and flexible.
ADAS offers clients a number of assessment pathways appropriate to the qualification outcome. Assessment conducted for the purposes of national recognition will lead to a part or a full qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework. The main assessment pathways to a qualification utilised by ADAS can be listed as follows:
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the acknowledgment of competencies obtained through formal training, work experience and life experience. RPL processes are available to all potential applicants and will be conducted in a manner fair to all parties involved. Through these processes we will determine whether a person has already developed any of the skills and knowledge which would normally be acquired in a program of training. This allows for the opportunity to gain credentials without the duplication of learning effort.
Applicants for ADAS diver training who can demonstrate comprehensive relevant theoretical knowledge and occupational diving experience gained in on-the-job situations and who have formal logbook evidence of such experience may claim up to a maximum of two weeks’ credit towards the normal at-level training programs.
This maximum period of credit is based on the assessment by ADAS that divers who have not undertaken formal diving training will not have been exposed to the required standard of training in safety-critical activities. Such activities include diver and surface emergency procedures, diver rescues and risk assessment, and to the professional standard of teamwork expected of ADAS certified divers. The latter competency in particular cannot be adequately assessed in the limited time and opportunity afforded by an assessment-only procedure.
Applicants for ADAS non-diver courses who consider they already possess the competencies identified in all or part of any course/qualification offered by ADAS can seek formal Recognition.
Recognition therefore determines the consequent advanced standing to which the client is entitled in relation to a course/qualification. The main focus of Recognition is what has been learned rather than how, where or when it was learned. Recognition focuses on both the demonstration of competence and the currency of that competence to industry standards.
If any client has gained competencies at work or elsewhere which are relevant to the course/qualification in which he/she is participating, then, circumstances permitting, he/she may not have to study module(s)/unit(s) of competence covering that content. Clients seeking Recognition must establish the currency of their competence.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to gather sufficient evidence to support his/her application for Recognition. This evidence may include:
Occupational diving is all about divers undertaking potentially arduous and skilled work as a member of a dive team, and the course training is structured around this concept. Participants must therefore be capable of functioning during training as a working member of a dive team and contributing to the achievement of the diving and work task(s) allocated to the team, although every effort will be made to provide individuals with assistance to accommodate special needs where it is possible in the overall context of the training.
Within the limits imposed by recognition that occupational diving is a high risk occupational that demands appropriate high standards of medical and physical fitness and ability, ADAS will ensure that all participants have equitable access to the benefits of training and assessment, irrespective of their gender, age, race, religion, culture, linguistic background, marital status, location, socio-economic background, disability, sexual preference, family responsibility or political conviction.
Nominations and enrollments into training courses and programs will be conducted at all times in an ethical and responsible manner, ensuring fairness and compliance with equal opportunity legislation.
ADAS is committed to ensuring that all training and assessment policies and procedures incorporate access and equity principles. Members of ADAS and ATE staff are committed to acting in an ethical and responsible manner, ensuring fairness and compliance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation.
ADAS is committed to meeting all legislative requirements of State and Federal Government. In particular, Occupational Health and Safety, Industrial Relations and Vocational Placement Standards will be met at all times.
> Also see Legislation
The purpose of this policy to provide current and prospective students who have a grievance in relation to academic and non-academic matters with a clear process for making their grievance and receiving fair treatment in doing so. The procedures related to this policy may be used by students regardless of which ADAS-accredited training establishment study has taken place, the mode of study or the student’s place of residence.
Non-academic matters may include (but are not limited to) operational, administrative, discrimination and harassment issues. Examples of these include sexual harassment, racial or sexual discrimination, physical or verbal abuse. Academic grievances relate to training or assessment issues.
This policy does not replace or modify policies or any other responsibilities which may arise under other vocational education provider policies or under statute or any other law. Also the dispute resolution procedures outlined below do not reduce, replace or limit an individual’s right to pursue other legal remedies. A student who has ceased their enrolment in their studies at ADAS or at an ADAS-accredited training establishment will be considered under this policy for a period of up to 12 months after their enrolment has ceased.
Students are encouraged to initially resolve the grievance informally (informal grievance) by:
If the grievance is not resolved through informal procedures, students may access the ADAS Non-academic Grievance procedure. There is no cost for utilising this grievance process.
The formal grievance procedure begins when a current or prospective student submits to the Executive Director ADAS a Formal Non-academic Grievance form.
A written notice from the Executive Director ADAS will be sent to the complainant within 5 working days informing them of receipt of their grievance.
The notice will:
The grievance resolution process will commence within 10 working days and all reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the process as soon as practicable. The Executive Director ADAS (or delegated nominee) will investigate the complaint to gain a full understanding of the issues in order to make a considered decision. Both the complainant and/or respondent(s) may be accompanied by a third a party if so desired during these interviews.
The Executive Director ADAS (or delegated nominee) will provide a written decision to the complainant within 15 working days, outlining the reasons for the decision and the complainant’s right to appeal the decision and the name and contact details of the person they can appeal to, if they are not satisfied with the decision.
During all stages of the Grievance Procedure, ADAS will take all steps to ensure that the complainant and respondent will not be victimised or discriminated against. An explanation in writing for decisions and actions taken at any stage of the process will be provided if so requested by the complainant or respondent.
Feedback from students about ADAS courses, trainers, staff and services is encouraged and would not be viewed as a grievance unless specific action is requested. In some cases, however, students/staff may feel that they have experienced unreasonable treatment, disadvantage or distress which they wish to complain about.
Commencement of a formal complaints procedure requires the ED to investigate the complaint to determine whether or not it has substance. This involves:
Following the investigation, the Executive Director should determine whether there is any substance to the complaint and make a decision about what action, if any, should be taken. In addition to the information listed in Step 1, this assessment should take into consideration:
In making a decision, the ED should consider all available information. The ED should be satisfied so far as is possible, of the facts of the situation and make a decision based on this assessment. Where there are no independent witnesses to provide evidence, the ED may make a decision based on the credibility of the parties involved. Each case should be assessed on its own particular circumstances.
Any decision concerning appropriate action should have regard to factors such as:
In determining the appropriate course of action, the options available to the principal or manager are to:
The Executive Director may determine that a complaint is not substantiated and dismiss it. In this case the Executive Director should clarify any misunderstandings and deal with the issues. This may involve:
If the ED determines that there is substance to the complaint, the ADAS Board should be contacted for further advice. In determining appropriate action, the ED may consider one or more of the following:
If the complainant wishes to appeal the original decision they must do so in writing within 20 working days of being informed of the decision and addressed to the Complaints and Appeals Sub-Committee of the ADAS Board, detailing the reasons for the appeal.
If the student chooses to appeal the original decision, the ATE will maintain the student’s enrolment while the appeal process is ongoing.
The Complaints and Appeals Sub-Committee of the ADAS Board, which is senior to and independent from the original decision maker, will acknowledge receipt of the request in writing within 5 days of receiving the complaint. The complainant will be advised of any likely delays.
The Complaints and Appeals Sub-Committee will convene as soon as possible to review the original decision and interview any persons related to the grievance. Both the complainant and/or respondent(s) may be accompanied and assisted by a third party if so desired during these interviews.
The appeal decision may uphold or overturn the original decision. If the original decision is overturned, then the grievance is taken to be proved true and further actions required to address the issues will be identified and implemented.
If the appeal is rejected by the Complaints and Appeals Sub-Committee the complainant will be advised of referral options. These may include external agencies such as the Anti-discrimination Board, the Office of Fair Trading, and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Students enrolled in an ADAS accredited course may decide to refer to the matter to the Australian Skills Quality Authority.
A dive team has to be closely knit as every member knows that he or she is relying on others as well as being relied upon in return. Assessment of competence as an occupational diver includes consideration of a trainee’s ability to function effectively as part of the dive team. Competence includes the trainee’s ability to interact positively, with the other members of the team and to behave responsibly, appropriately and considerately during all facets of training.
Trainees will be counselled whenever their performance is unsatisfactory or when their behaviour is considered inappropriate. This includes behaviour which impacts adversely on the safety, performance or functioning of the team.
Counselling may be informal or formal. All formal counselling will be recorded. The outcome of initial counselling may include a caution. Continued behavioural problems after formal counselling may lead to more severe forms of disciplinary action.
Probation indicates a previous caution has been given and if the trainee’s performance or behaviour continues to be unsatisfactory would normally lead to suspension from the course.
Prohibition is appropriate is the event of alcohol or substance abuse or a health problem and may be used with probation. The trainee will not be permitted to enter the water during this prohibition period.
Suspension is appropriate for a serious offence such as ignoring a safety directive, aggressive or abusive behaviour, continued alcohol or substance abuse or wilfully damaging equipment. The trainee will be suspended from all course activities at the discretion of the ATAM, but will however be given the opportunity to complete the course at a later date at the student’s own expense.
Dismissal is appropriate in the event of theft, violent behaviours, cheating, plagiarism, collusion or interference with other participant’s work and when all other disciplinary action has failed. The trainee may be dismissed from the course and will not be given a refund or an opportunity to attend further training without a demonstration of a substantial change in behaviour.
ADAS has policies and management strategies to ensure sound financial and administrative practices. Management guarantees the organisation’s sound financial position and safeguards the fees paid by trainees. ADAS has (and requires ATEs to have) a refund policy which is fair and equitable. Trainee records are managed securely and confidentially. ADAS has adequate insurance policies.
ADAS has a strong commitment to providing a quality service with a focus on continuous improvement. The organisation values feedback from students, tutors, and industry representatives.
Under the provisions of the Australian Quality Training Framework, ADAS is required to develop and use quality assurance mechanisms to ensure the assessment of units of competency and qualifications against approved Training Packages are in line with their registration requirements.
ADAS is committed to:
The Executive Director of ADAS is responsible for the overall implementation of the policy detailed in this document, monitoring compliance with the policy and addressing any complaints or suggested improvements. The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored through self-assessment and internal audit. Should a breach of any policy be identified, an improvement initiative will be instigated for immediate action.
ADAS seeks formal and informal feedback for quality assurance, performance and standard measures from all staff and students. This will enhance the quality of services provided, by promoting and establishing a comprehensive team approach between all departments, employees and students of ADAS.
ADAS complies with the VET Quality Training Framework standards.
As per its RTO mutual recognition obligations, ADAS recognises the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued by other RTO’s for all non-diving activities.
ADAS diver certification is a legislative requirement under Australian State and Territory laws for occupational diving. In view of the high risk of occupational diving, ADAS does not authorise occupational diver training under the ADAS accredited courses by other RTOs except those who are Accredited Training Establishments.
The procedure for applying for mutual recognition will be:
ADAS trainees will be recruited responsibly and ethically at all times and recruitment will be consistent with any training package/product requirements. ADAS is committed to non-discrimination in any form when recruiting and selecting and at all times comply with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation. There may be prerequisites before commencing a program due to health requirements or the nature of the program.
Recruitment decisions will rest on assessment of the extent to which the stated competency standards and outcomes are likely to be achieved by the applicant given their qualifications, abilities and aspirations, guided by the relevant selection criteria.
Recruitment decision will address the principles of equity and access and the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
The ADAS ATE will provide learners with information regarding:
The marketing of ADAS courses will always be carried out with integrity and professionalism and will remain within the guidelines set down by industry and government bodies. ADAS will take every care to avoid vague and/or ambiguous statements. In the provision of information, no false or misleading comparisons are drawn with any other training organisation or training product.
The organisation markets training products with integrity, accuracy and professionalism, avoiding vague and ambiguous statements. In the provision of information, no false or misleading comparisons are drawn with any other Training Providers. The organisation’s marketing strategies will not contravene legislation.
Care will be taken to ensure that ADAS will market its services consistently with the education, cultural and regulatory systems of countries in which it seeks to market and will not detract from the reputation and interests of other Australian institutions. Written permission will be sought from any Facilitators, trainees, clients or other organisation referred to in ADAS marketing or advertising material.
All advertising copy for ADAS courses, whether delivered by ADAS or Accredited Training Establishments, must first be authorised by the Executive Director, ADAS.
The fees payable for each ADAS nationally accredited course are shown in the relevant information package. These fees, unless otherwise specified, are a once-only payment and no further fees will be charged in respect of that course or training program for the issue of qualifications. Unless otherwise specified, all training and assessment materials are included in the cost.
Please note that ATEs set their own charges for occupational diving training.
In general, fees are to be paid one month before the commencement of the course. If for any reason any monies are owed or outstanding at the end of the course, certification will not be issued until accounts are settled.
ADAS policy requires that all ATEs ensure that fees paid by candidates in advance of the commencement of training are duly protected. Details of such fees (including the name of the candidate, the amount paid and for what purposes and the date of the payment) are to be recorded in an appropriate file under the name of that candidate, that receipts are issued, and the monies are banked in accordance with normal ADAS financial practices. ADAS itself implements this practice within its own training programs.
Note that ADAS is NOT responsible for refunds for arrangements between students and ATEs. ATEs are required to have similar refund policies to those detailed below.
ADAS realises that cancellation or deferment of a course registration is sometimes unavoidable and therefore has established the following guidelines.
Students will be entitled to a refund of fees paid in non-government funded courses as follows:
In relation to government funded courses, refunds will be made in accordance with the requirements and conditions imposed by the government body funding the course. Any administration fee paid is generally not refundable if a participant withdraws from the course or training program.
ADAS will consider applications for refunds outside of the parameters of this policy.
ADAS ATEs are required to have in place a Fees Refund policy that is broadly consistent with the principles above.
ADAS will issue certificates to all trainees who satisfactorily complete the requirements of the accredited diving courses on the ADAS scope of registration. As occupational diving is a high risk activity and ADAS certificates of competency are licences to undertake occupational diving, ADAS does not issue Statements of Attainment for incomplete diver training programs. ADAS does issue Statements of Attainment for the successful completion of individual units of competency for ADAS non-diving courses.
Certificates, records of results and statements of attainment will include the ADAS name and RTO code, the name of the person receiving the certificate, the name and code of the accredited course, the date issued and the signature of the Executive Director of ADAS.
Individual competencies completed will be identified by an individually numbered code.
ADAS aims to have certificates, records of results and statements of attainment issued to trainees at graduation or within 10 working days after receiving evidence of the assessment. This will be monitored as part of the audit process.
A fee will be charged by ADAS in the event that a candidate requires a copy (either duplicate or replacement) of their Certificate/Statement of Attainment. This fee is to cover the costs of reproducing the document and associated handling and administration.
To arrange for the replacement of your AQF Certificate click here