The diving industry can be considered as a number of sectors where people need to go underwater to work. With the exception of the recreational sector, diving is primarily a method of getting to a work site that happens to be underwater.


Any person at work who dives has a number of responsibilities under the Diving at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005. These include:

  • registering the company with HSENI
  • holding an approved qualification for diving (as approved by the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI))
  • being competent to work safely
  • holding a valid certificate of medical fitness to dive


Before a company undertakes any diving at work they must register their details, as a diving contractor, with HSENI and satisfy the executive that they meet the requirements put upon them by the Diving at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005.


In order to become a working diver in Northern Ireland you must obtain a qualification approved by HSENI that is relevant to and sufficient for the work to be undertaken.

Unless you already hold one of the approved qualifications, you will need to have your diving competence (if any) assessed by an organisation recognised by HSENI. This may include training.


Before beginning training and or assessment you must pass an initial medical examination carried out by an Approved Medical Examiner of Divers (AMED) to ensure you are medically fit to dive.

The AMED also needs to make you aware of any underlying health problems, which could affect your fitness in the future.

If you pass the medical you will be issued with a certificate of medical fitness to dive, which is valid for up to 12 months. This must be renewed annually and will include a fitness test.


Key legislation