ADAS understands that there are many competent divers out in the workforce who are not ADAS certified and functioning quite happily. Those divers, for whatever reason (e.g. to comply with the law regarding construction diving, to improve their employment chances, etc) may at some point decide that they want an ADAS certificate. These divers may have been diving for years and have hundreds of dives under their belt and maybe thousands of hours in the water. For these reasons, ADAS has developed a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) system which takes a divers previous training and experience into consideration.
Divers in these circumstances are not able to automatically receive an ADAS certification without going through the RPL process because:
ALL divers applying for ADAS certification MUST undertake a full practical and theory assessment of their skills and knowledge against the nominated ADAS Diver Competency Standards for that ADAS qualification. The only exception to this rule is for those divers crossing-over from an organisation with whom ADAS has a formal reciprocal recognition agreement (e.g. the UK Health and Safety Executive, the Diver Certification Board of Canada, etc). More information about crossing-over can be found on the International and Military Equivalents page of the website.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the acknowledgement 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 ADAS 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 gives applicants the opportunity to gain credentials without the duplication of learning effort.
Divers who can show formal logbook evidence of comprehensive relevant theoretical knowledge and workplace experience may claim up to a maximum of two weeks credit towards the normal training times specified for each level of training for which they are applying.
The maximum amount 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 as emergency procedures, rescues and risk assessment.
While the diver will be awarded credit (reduced training time) during the relevant period they must still undergo all assessments for the competencies relevant to the training.
A comprehensive desktop assessment is to be undertaken of each candidate’s current theory and practical competencies against the ADAS diver Competency Standards to gauge the applicants level of theory knowledge and practical ability.
The ATE is to establish that candidates possess a strong claim to any of the practical diving competencies as identified in the ADAS Diver Competency Standards. The ATE is to identify those competencies that can be justifiably claimed and those for which the diver is deficient.
The candidate is then to:
The theory assessment is to cover the full scope of ADAS theory competencies, including physics, physiology, anatomy, diving medicine, OHS legislation, standards, regulations, ADAS diver requirements, knots, CPR, resuscitation/O2 management, search patterns, equipment theory including compressors and chambers, records, logbooks, communications, tool safety, DCIEM tables, risk assessment, and those competencies specific to the relevant level.
A pass mark of 75% must be achieved with all ‘no fail’ theory areas passed in full.
The practical assessment dives are to include all those required in a full Part 1, 2 and 3 course.
More information about how to apply for RPL can be gained by contacting an ADAS ATE.
To ensure consistency with the ADAS training establishments, ATEs are required to comply with strict procedures in regard to the conditions and the standards under which RPL may be administered. Before accepting trainees for training and assessment, the ATE is responsible for ensuring that the candidates:
Trainees who have achieved recreational instructor qualifications from either PADI, NASDS, SSI or NAUI or from an ADAS-approved equivalent may be exempted from the first week of the Part 1 course. Where the trainee can demonstrate exceptional experience and qualifications as a recreational instructor, up to 2 weeks credit can be sought – subject to prior approval being gained from the Executive Director ADAS.
The following table details the number of dives and bottom time (in minutes) required at the relevant levels to qualify for an RPL. It is important to note that the times listed for the Part 3 RPL must have been undertaken in an offshore environment.
|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3|
|Plus Part 1||–||–||42||1320||42||1320|
|Plus Part 2||–||–||–||–||48||1920|
Experience submitted in support of RPL claims must be in the form of logged dives, with original logbooks submitted. Each entry must have been signed by the candidate, countersigned by the dive supervisor and verified with a contractors stamp. If it is difficult for original logbooks to be sent, candidates may send photocopies, but the originals must be produced to the ATE before the RPL takes place.
The experience must be occupational employment.
To expedite the assessment and monitoring processes, candidates are to compile a summary of their dives for submission with their logbooks.
In cases where a candidate has not kept a logbook, they cannot be considered for assessment using letters of reference from past employers alone. If they are able, candidates can produce records of dives from:
The alternative evidence is to be approved by the Executive Director ADAS before they are accepted for the assessment.
In all cases, the RPL candidate must complete and sign the relevant ADAS statutory declaration which certifies their claim to this experience (at the level of qualification for which they are applying) before the assessment begins.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to gather sufficient evidence to support his/her application for recognition. This evidence may include:
Applicants applying for an ADAS Part 4 certification must supply evidence of sufficient experience as a Closed Bell diver including:
Ineligible experience includes:
ATEs may apply to the Executive Director ADAS to bypass the RPL training requirement and undertake a full competency assessment of a diver who has:
Once approved by the Executive Director ADAS, every applicant is to undertake a comprehensive theory competency assessment at the beginning of the assessment process to gauge the level of theory knowledge.
This theory assessment is to cover the full scope of ADAS theory competencies, including physics, physiology, anatomy, diving medicine, OH&S legislation, standards, regulations, ADAS diver requirements, knots, CPR, resuscitation/O2 management, search patterns, equipment theory including compressors and chambers, records, logbooks, communications, tool safety, DCIEM tables, hazard analysis, and those competencies specific to the relevant level.
If a pass mark of 75% is achieved with ‘no fail’ areas passed in full, the applicant can be allowed to complete the practical competency assessment.
The practical competency assessment is completed by undertaking each of the assessment dives for a full Part 1, 2 and 3 course.
Full records must be retained.
ATEs may apply to the Executive Director ADAS to gain ADAS qualifications on behalf of candidates with exceptional professional credentials not formally recognised by ADAS, but with proven quality formal training and with documented high standards of experience gained over many years within the international diving industry.
Before making application to the Executive Director ADAS, ATEs are to ensure that the candidate has:
RPL-EC applicants who have not been approved by the ADAS Executive Director will not be issued with an ADAS certification but may be eligible to undertake either the RPL or RFT process.