The NSS-CDS board of directors in conjunction with the NSS-CDS training committee is developing a list qualified cave divers who we feel are properly trained to act as guides and/or mentors for cave divers who want to dive with a guide or mentor.
This program was approved and added to the NSS-CDS Standards & procedures in July 2013. We will begin populating this list as soon as mentors are trained and certified.
Also please realize that all NSS-CDS instructors listed on the instructor listing are, by defintion qualified mentors/guides.
When you choose a mentor from this list we are representing that the mentor is properly trained not only in cave diving but also in supervising cave divers in the overhead environment.
Mentors are directed to abide by all the rules and guidelines that make cave diving a safe activity. You will no longer have to resort to cave diving forums to seek out dive buddies who may or may not be safe cave diving buddies/team-mates.
No mentor will conduct visual jumps while diving with you, no mentor will violate prudent/established gas management rules while diving with you. Mentors will pay strict attention to cave conservation and landowner relations at all times when cave diving.
No mentor may guide or mentor you above your current level of certification. This means if you are certified at the Basic Cave level you still may not use the 1/3 rule for gas management and you still may not conduct jumps off of the mainline.
Mentors shall not train you in the use of a DPV. Mentors shall not train you in the use of a sidemount gear configuration. These activities are left to the sole discretion of certified cave instructors.
What does it take to qualify as a mentor/guide?
The NSS-CDS Cave Diver Supervisor program is an all encompassing program designed to ensure cave divers have access to qualified/certified mentors/guides. Below are some of the requirements, skills and partial syllabus for the class. This class is a free service provided to you by all NSS-CDS cave instructors.
This program is designed to provide training in dive leadership to competent, certified cave divers who will lead or guide other certified cave divers on cave dives. A Cave Diver Supervisor is a leadership or instructor-in-training rating.
Certified cave diver supervisors are placed in a role to continue developing the proficiency of certified cavern and cave divers in the overhead environment. < This program is designed to provide training in dive leadership to competent, certified cave divers who will lead or guide other certified cave divers on cave dives. A Cave Diver Supervisor is a leadership or instructor-in-training rating.Certified cave diver supervisors are placed in a role to continue developing the proficiency of certified cavern and cave divers in the overhead environment.
Cave Diver Supervisors may supervise dives with any level of certified cavern and cave divers from a recognized cave diver training agency where the cave diver supervisor also possesses that qualification or rating.
The program is designed to develop a formal mentoring program for cave divers so as to ensure consistency in regards to cave diving skills and techniques.
Prerequisites to enroll in the course
- Must be a minimum of 21 years of age on the date of certification.
- Must be qualified and current as a dive master or instructor through an internationally recognized training agency.
- Must be certified and current in First Aid, CPR, and Oxygen Administration.
- Supervisors who are supervising CCR cave divers must hold an NSS-CDS CCR Cave diver certification or equivalent through another recognized CCR cave diver training agency.
- Supervisors must hold equivalent specialty certifications if supervising a cave dive during the execution of a specialty dive. i.e. DPV, Sidemount, Deep, Stage.
- The candidate must assist a current NSS-CDS full cave instructor in at least one complete full cave class. The candidate must spend a minimum of 200 minutes bottom time in direct supervision of Full cave divers or Full cave diver students under the guidance of an NSS-CDS Full cave instructor.
- The program must include at least three evaluation dives before certification can be issued.
- Pass a written exam with a score of at least 85%.
- It is solely at the discretion of the teaching instructor to certify cave diver supervisor candidates.
- All participants, whether they are candidates for this program or divers being supervised must be required to sign an NSS-CDS Liability Release Form.
- All participants, whether they are candidates for this program or divers being supervised must be required to fill out and sign a Medical Questionnaire. Divers answering YES to any items must seek the clearance of a physician prior to cave diving activities. If the diver is a physician s/he may not grant him/herself clearance.
- Graduates of this program are not allowed to supervise dives with anyone beyond their current level of supervision or the participants being supervised current level of certification.
Equipment Requirements & Program materials
- NSS-CDS Student Workbook.
- Basic Cave Diving: A BluePrint for Survival (recommended)
- All equipment required for any cave dive planned in accordance with NSS-CDS Standards.
- DAN, or equivalent Emergency Oxygen Kit
- Cellular Phone
- Emergency action plan
Water Skills Development
- Participate and assist on all dives and classroom topics with a full cave course.
- Demonstrate, set up and conduct at least two drills taught in the program. Included but not limited to: Lost Line, Lost Buddy, Gas Sharing, lights off/zero visibility exit drills.
- Demonstrate overall cave diving technique, proper student in-water control and supervisory skills to the satisfaction of the instructor.
- Demonstration quality techniques are expected from all candidates.
- Demonstrate the ability to smoothly and properly install a primary reel into a cave.
- Demonstrate the ability to properly carry and secure stage and/or oxygen bottles.
- Demonstrate the ability to supervise cave divers properly executing circuits and/or traverses.
- Demonstrate and explain proper cave conservation, cave etiquette and landowner relations to the satisfaction of the instructor.
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