Becoming an NSS-CDS Instructor

Thank you for you interest in becoming an Instructor with the NSS-CDS. Our organization has a long history in the area of safe cave training and conservation as well as the study and exploration of caves. We are a Section of the National Speleological Society (NSS). The NSS was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization. In 1973, the NSS formed the Cave Diving Section (NSS-CDS). In 1983, the Cave Diving Section (CDS) was independently incorporated and in 1987 was granted official non-profit tax-exempt status as a scientific and educational organization.

The CDS believes that in order to train qualified and truly competent Instructors, those Instructor Interns must study in a mentor capacity, thus allowing the experiences of other CDS Instructors to be passed on. In addition, the CDS believes that student behavior, within the cave zone, is best learned by witness accounts, rather than textbook scenarios.

Our mentor process requires you to obtain Sponsor approval & then co-teach a minimum of three classes at that level. With the approval of your Sponsor you may enroll in an Instructor Institute. Upon admittance to an institute you will be evaluated on your abilities to present CDS materials, field exercises, and student control within the cave. The possible results of attending the institute are PASS, PROVISIONAL, FAIL. A more detailed description of this process and requirements can be located within the 2000 Standards & Procedures Manual.

To begin the process of becoming an Active Instructor with the NSS-CDS you will need to complete the Intern forms. They consist of the current years renewal form, medical statement, NSS-CDS membership form, and the Intern Application form. In addition to the medical statement, as a new member to the CDS Instructor staff, you will be required to have a physician signature on your medical form. You will also need to have your Intern application signed by an Active Sponsoring CDS Instructor ( cross-over requires two Active Sponsors signatures ). All fees as noted on the forms and are to be submitted at the time of application.

I applaud you on your choice to aspire to become an Instructor of the NSS-CDS. Our organization is looked upon around the world as a leader in safe cave training. Our Standards and materials are used by many other agencies as the basis of their programs. Our Instructors, as well as our members, are responsible for the exploration and mapping of most of the cave systems around the world.

To be a member of the NSS-CDS is something to be proud of, to be an Instructor for the CDS is something to be earned.