We hear about it here and there all around the world during our diving holidays well maybe mostly in Europe.
Divemaster, 4 * diver, dive guide, level 4 diver, …
But who are really these divers with special privileges?
The Divemaster is found in American training agencies around the world.
Even if there are Divemasters who volunteer in associative fields, the Divemaster follows trainings that allows him/her to obtain a certification that allows him/her to do the job for money.
However, the Divemaster is not meant to teach.
Therefore, the Divemaster level should be considered as a level of diving leadership . This level allows the Divemaster to organize daily dives and support divers to give them unforgettable diving experiences.
The Divemaster can also assist an instructor but without the ability to train or certify scuba diver levels.
The level of Divemaster can be an end or a step to gain experience before eventually evolving to the instructor levels.
The training path of the major American agenciess such as PADI, SSI, NAUI, IANTD etc. are very similar in terms of both training and privileges, as they all follow the requirements of the RSTC, which are the same throughout the world.
Although the method is sometimes disputed, many divers offer their services free of charge to centers in exchange for Divemaster training. This exchange of good practices allows young candidates to get trained at low cost.
4 * diver
The 4 * diver is mostly found in European regions, and basically is strongly influenced by CMAS.
The diving classes are for level P1 * to level P3 *. The P4 * level with reference to CMAS does not require specific training. This is a 3 * diver who has demonstrated an experience and involvement beyond the average and able to support a group of divers to make exploration dives with special attention to safety and emergency procedures . He may work for paid or unpaid work in commercial or non profit structures, except in France (see below). The 4 * diver is not intended to teach or certify. However, he may in certain cases assist an instructor
The skills and privileges of a Divemaster and a 4 * diver are very similar.
In the practical organization of the dives both the Divemaster and the 4 * diver often have the function or the role of Dive Guide as they guide the divers during the underwater exploration … but what is a diving guide?
If the term dive guide is mainly used in Europe, it represents a level only in France (see further).
Elsewhere in the world, the term “dive guide” exists but is only used as a function during a diving exploration. This is not a diving level.
The dive guide is the diver who, during a dive, will guide other divers during their aquatic exploration. He is designated during the briefing
The particular case of France
In France, the level 4 diver is a level 3 * diver with the skills of a guide for underwater explorations
In addition to this, the level 4 has no teaching privileges.
Note also that the sport code is applicable in France and must be considered as a law to be respected when one is on the French territory. You must know that to be paid for any scuba diving activity on the French territory, you must have a state certification (BE or now DE), which can cause problems within the territory as mentioned in the article on the situation of diving instructors in Polynesia and the one on the reform of the profession of instructor in this part of the world.
This level 4, dive guide, has in practice privileges and tasks similar to those of a Divemaster or a diver CMAS 4 *
Did you follow everything?
Congratulations, you now master jargon that will allow you to understand with who you are going to dive.
And now let’s go diving !
And above all … stay happy 🤗
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