Diving in Guernsey - Professional and Recreational
If you have a 12 months certificate of medical fitness to dive that expires on or after 18 January 2021, and you cannot get a medical re-examination with an approved medical examiner of divers (AMED) because of coronavirus, your certificate may be accepted until 1 July 2021.
To qualify for the extension, you must be able to explain why you haven't been able to take a medical examination and demonstrate what steps you've taken to try to get one. You'll need to confirm that you've not been diagnosed with or suffered any illness or injury that could impact on your medical fitness to dive.
Any diver who does not hold a current certificate of medical fitness to dive issued by an AMED on or before 18 January 2021 must undertake a full examination.
- A Code of Practice written in the UK was approved by the previous Department Commerce and Employment, after consultation with the local professional diving industry.
- Several amendments were included but since May 2002, all professional divers must hold an approved qualification.
- Issues dealt with in the Codes include matters such as:
- diving project planning and risk assessment
- dive teams and associated working practices
- diving plant, and
- medical checks.
- A leaflet on commercial shellfish diving is available for download
- The sport of amateur diving is loosely regulated in the islands by two organisations:
- PADI (the Professional Association of Dive Instructors) and
- BSAC (the British Sub-Aqua Club).
- Both organisations operate strict training regimes which include both theory and practical instruction. Whilst this instruction can be on a non-commercial basis, the popularity of the sport has seen BSAC and PADI approved schools being set up to operate on a commercial basis.
- Health and Safety legislation does not extend to the private individual diving for recreational purposes. However, when that individual is being taught by a trained instructor who is charging a fee for monetary gain, the law is applicable.
- The instructor and school have explicit duties to their students in exactly the same way that the Office for Education, Sport and Culture have to school children whilst in their care, or to customers attending a concert in the sports hall at Beau Sejour.
- It was therefore decided that in order to clarify the duties of instructors operating for gain, that the approved Code of Practice made in the UK, under the Diving at Work Regulations 1997, should be approved locally with certain amendments.
- The code of practice, written in co-operation with BSAC and PADI, is therefore very relevant to the local diving scene. However, failure to observe the code is not an offence in itself but it can be taken as proving that the defendant has failed to comply with the Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 1987, unless he can demonstrate that he has complied with the Ordinance in some alternative and equally effective way.
Approved Codes of Practice
- The following ACOP's are available in printed form from the Health hand Safety Executive:
- Recreational Diving
- Inland / inshore Diving
- The Approved Code of Practice in inland/inshore diving requires that a person should not act as a diving contractor without submitting relevant particulars to the Health and Safety Executive. This can be done using the form 'Diving Contractors Notification Form' which is available for download.
Approved Medical Examiners of Divers (AMED)
- the following Medical Practitioners in the Bailiwick of Guernsey are appointed as AMED (list correct as of 01 April 2020):
- Dr Sally Simmons, Island Medical Centre, Sundial Surgery, Le Val, St Anne, Alderney GY9 3UL (GMC number 6154228)
- The Examination and Assessment form is recognised by the UK HSE under a mutual recognition memorandum of understanding.