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Utility Navigation

Diving Program

NOAA Diver Modules 1-3

Objective: To train NOAA employees to be competent, safe divers capable of supporting the underwater activities required of their organizational unit.

Students practice line tending on the low pier at the NOAA Diving Center

Students taking the NOAA Diver course practice their newly acquired line tending skills at the NOAA Diving Center (NDC).

Module 1: Fundamentals of NOAA Diving

Module 1 is a two-week course designed for the beginner or inexperienced diver. It starts with diving basics and works through underwater tasks, rescue techniques, and NOAA policies and procedures. The intent is for the diver to finish Module 1 with the diving experience and knowledge needed to conduct underwater tasks as a dive buddy or standby diver and authorized to conduct workup and proficiency dives with their unit. Successful completion of this module certifies the candidate as a NOAA Diver.

Module 2: NOAA Diver

This one week course is designed for the experienced diver and requires UDS approval. The candidate must meet the prerequisites of basic recreational certification and 50 dives, or advanced recreational certification and 25 dives. With the prior knowledge of diving principles, divers focus on rescue techniques, underwater tasks, and NOAA policies and procedures. Successful completion of this module certifies the candidate as a NOAA Diver.

Module 3: Practical Applications for Scientific and Working Dives

Module 3 can be taken in conjunction with Module 1 or 2, or as a stand-alone course for current NOAA Divers. It is a one week course designed to train individuals in the various facets of diving and underwater work techniques resulting in Special Task Endorsements (STE). Core STEs include: Lift Bags & Rigging, Reels & Surface Marker Buoys, Reduced Visibility, and Search & Recovery Techniques. Optional STEs include: Dry suit, Scientific Survey, Long Distance Navigation, Ship Husbandry, Anchoring Devices, Pneumatic Tools, Disentanglement, and Full Face Mask.

Duration and Schedule

  • Module 1: two weeks
  • Module 2: one week (begins on the second week of module 1)
  • Module 3: one week (begins at the conclusion of modules 1 and 2)
  • Download a sample schedule (pdf)


Students must successfully complete all water work and pass written examinations in order to receive certification.

  • NOAA Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Diver
  • NAUI Nitrox Diver (optional)


All modules

  • NOAA diving physical exam
  • CPR, AED and first aid training (current during the entire class: certificates that expire during class are not acceptable)

Modules 1 and 2 only

  • Successful completion of the NOAA Diver initial swimming test prior to the start of class (please submit NF 57-03-39, Swim Test Evaluation before deadline) and again at the start of your module. 
  • Completion of the online portion of the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Emergency Oxygen for SCUBA Diving Injuries class prior to the start of your module. Once you have received confirmation of registration from the NOAA Diving Center, a separate link with the DAN materials and instructions will be e-mailed to you by the NOAA Diving Medical Officer. 

Module 2 only

  • UDS approval and:
    • basic recreational diving certification and 50 dives
    • OR advanced recreational certification and 25 dives

Modules 2 and 3 only

  • Review the NOAA Diver Check Out Skills video in its entirety. You will be required to perfom these skills on your first day of class exactly as shown on the video.

Module 3 only

  • Must be enrolled in modules 1 or 2, or be currently certified as a NOAA Diver

Equipment Requirements

  • SCUBA diving mask
  • Drysuit undergarments
  • Laptop or tablet to access student materials and exams online
  • All other diving equipment will be provided by the NOAA Diving Center to NOAA students
  • Non-NOAA students must provide all their diving equipment (download a list of gear for non-NOAA students)

Application Materials

All training request forms and SEP measurement forms must be RECEIVED by the NOAA Diving Center at least 60 days prior to the course start date. All other materials must be RECEIVED 30 days prior to the course start date. They can be e-mailed to the Diving Center at

All Modules

Please send the following required medical forms via fax at 206-529-2759 or use an encrypted file transfer method (such as Accellion) to send to (answers to these forms contain sensitive Personally Identifiable Information):

NOAA Diver Modules 2 and 3

Registered NOAA Diver Students


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Reviewed: January 19, 2018. Contact us with page issues.

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