This page is designed to inform potential trainees and scientific hosts on unclear situation related to (A)ESD certification.

  • The (A)ESD are competence levels for scientific diving at work, not certificates. Those standards are a common minimum training standard made with the aims of helping on the mobility of already trained and nationally certified occupational scientific diver. 
  • Those competence levels exist only to make comparable National certifications for occupational scientific diving . As such they are delivered with a nationally recognised certification that can be or not equivalent to (A)ESD.
  • (A)ESD equivalence are not certifications delivered alone.
  • Nevertheless some countries deliver those certifications alone (without National certificate) and they are considered by ESDP as usurped (*).
  • Scientist and institutional bodies should be alerted by the fact that no EU countries are allowed to deliver European certificates for occupational scientific diving (*).
  •  It should be noted that this (A)ESD equivalence system currently works in the case of temporary stays for visiting scientists from statutory countries with a valid National certificate who travel to other EU member states. The quality must be monitored to ensure its ultimate evolution towards a “European” legal document.

Reminder: what are ESDP’s purposes and why try to circumvent ESDP’s standards?

(*) To be European in the legal sense of the term, a text is needed (directive or regulation). Things are complicated for several reasons:
– Community law is said to be subsidiary: it exists only for the fields recognized by the treaties, and
– There is no common European education policy, which is the business of each Member State. The EU only intervenes through cooperation programs (cf. Erasmus, …). Diving, even scientific diving, is not a priority…
– Each University is free (apart from the national diplomas recognized nationally and in equivalence by the 27 Member States) to propose University diplomas according to their specialities.
– The problem comes mainly from private teaching which is often very fanciful. The “European” designation of one of their “diplomas” has of course
no legal value. As education is not a common policy of the EU, it is up to the States to hunt down usurped titles.

According to the Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 / Recognition of professional qualifications, it is up to the States to clean up their own acts. The Ministry in charge could intervene on this legal basis.

updated April 2023