Thinking Globally: New Zealand School of Commercial Diver Training

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The New Zealand School of Commercial Diver Training (NZSCDT) began over a decade ago in 2002 and currently pumps out up to 150 trained commercial divers a year.

The school started due to an urgent need to raise the level of New Zealand diving industry standards within the diving industry to include formal training and certification. Since then, it has grown to become an international training institute certifying almost half of all ADAS commercial divers globally. The NZSCDT focuses on ensuring that all graduates are entering the work force as safe, industry ready commercial divers.

Quality Training & Accreditation

The NZSCDT operates under the Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme (ADAS) accreditation, and all of its courses are recognized through the International Maritime Contractors Association (IMCA).

These qualifications are important for divers in training because it opens up global opportunities. Each course offering serves as a building block to the next level of skill and qualification as a commercial diver.

  1. Occupational SCUBA Diving to 30m (ADAS Part 1): This course is really the first step and is ideally suited to guys and girls looking to become research or media divers. It teaches you how to use small hand tools underwater and the basics of completing underwater inspections.
  2. Certificate in SSBA Construction Diving to 30m (ADAS Part 2): The second stage allows divers to train in construction diving and includes a few different elements like underwater maintenance, construction projects and using advanced tools underwater.
  3. Certificate in SSBA Construction Diving to 50m (ADAS Part 3): If you can get ADAS part 1 and 2 under your belt, then this stage focuses on offshore occupational diving skills including operation of wet bells, hot water suits, fitting flanges and hot taps to pipelines and surface.
  4. Certificate in Construction Dive Management: This qualification gets you to the level where you can provide specialist first aid care in dive situations and also manage dive operations. You do need to have ADAS Part 2 or equivalent.

Before Diving in: Prerequisites

It is important to get clued up on prerequisites before thinking about joining up with any of the courses offered. Make sure you do your research, as prerequisites can vary depending on what stage you are at in your training. Here is an indication on what to expect before getting started:

  • Demonstrated ability to swim competently
  • Commercial Diving Medical as per AS/NZ 2299.1
  • First Aid & Oxygen administration course
  • Recreational Diving Qualification (SSI, PADI etc)
  • 10 recreational dives in the last six months (verified by a log book)
  • The ability to complete the ADAS LLN online test (this is a language literacy and numeracy test)
  • You must be 18 years or older

Programs Taking it to the Next Level

Photo Property of New Zealand School of Commercial Diver Training

The NZSCDT’s program offerings raise the bar in training in several ways. First off, it’s the only commercial diving school in New Zealand that reaches offshore level. The school contains two construction barges with lars systems, wet bells, stages and chambers.

The facilities contain modern equipment, and the basic accommodation is actually supplied as part of the course. Weather is rarely an issue because the training is conducted in a lake, meaning we can operate all year round. Because of the NZSCDT’s modern facilities, equipment and instruction, the school exemplifies real life training.

Students: Commitment from the Beginning

What does a dive student need to prepare for? Extreme discipline tops the list, along with a willingness and commitment to stick with strict safety procedures. Students also really need to prepare themselves for the reality of diving in zero visibility conditions. However, with a high level of commitment reaps rewards through job opportunities.

NZSCDT Graduates Across the Planet

Graduates of the NZSCDT work all over the world in the maritime industry – an exciting work environment that’s constantly changing. Sam Carmen studied at NZSCDT in the past few years. He has secured a job in Bahrain working on US navy ships replacing propeller blades, hull cleaning and even lifting sunk barges.

Luke works domestically in Taranaki, and after completing his ADAS 3, he rakes in over $1000 a day. Commercial diving presents a whole heap of opportunities for those willing to put in the hard yards.


The New Zealand School of Commercial Diving Training is located in Huntly, NZ and partners with the ADAS and IMCA to provide quality training and accreditation for commercial diving.