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A diving instructor is a person who trains underwater divers. This includes free-divers, recreational divers including the subcategory technical divers, and professional divers which includes military, commercial, public safety and scientific divers.
Depending on the jurisdiction, there will generally be specific published codes of practice and guidelines for training, competence and registration of diving instructors, as they have a duty of care to their clients, and operate in an environment with intrinsic hazards which may be unfamiliar to the lay person.
Recreational diving instructors are usually registered members of one or more recreational diver certification agencies.
Military diving instructors are generally members of the armed force for which they train personnel.
Commercial diving instructors may be required to register with national government appointed organisations, but there may be other requirements in some parts of the world.
In 1995, a study conducted on Queensland, Australia diving instructors showed that positive job satisfaction correlated with intention to remain in the dive industry and still active in their present job for the next 12 months. The same study also showed that wages were still a primary concern since it was first noted by Kessler in 1976.
In 1953, Jack Atkinson, the first National Diving Officer of the British Sub-Aqua Club, and Colin McLeod started a system of training and accreditation for Third Class, Second Class and First Class Divers, which was based on the three-tier system with which they were familiar, as used for divers in the UK armed forces. This programme was developed over the next six years culminating in the first BSAC Diving Manual, published in 1959. Oscar Gugen, one of BSAC's founders, and George Brookes travelled the UK helping to set up branches of BSAC, all of which used amateur instructors to deliver the BSAC training programme within the club setting.
- Richardson, Drew (1996). "An assessment of risk for recreational dive instructors at work.". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal 26 (2). Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Diving Regulations 2009 of the South African Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993. Government notice R41, Government Gazette #32907 of 29 January 2010, Government Printer, Pretoria
- Wilks, J (1995). "Job satisfaction in Queensland scuba instructors.". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal 25 (1). Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Kessler JR (1976). "How much is a professional scuba instructor worth?". In: Fead L. Ed. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Underwater Education. (NAUI): 163–170.
- Rogerson, Simon (January 2013). "Birth of BSAC". SCUBA The Official Magazine of Britain's Biggest Diving Club (TRMG). Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Staff. "History of YMCA Underwater Programme". Diving History.com. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- Richardson, Drew (1999). "A brief history of recreational diving in the United States.". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal 29 (3). Retrieved 2013-04-05.
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