Dive leader is the title of an internationally recognised recreational diving certification. The training standard describes the minimum requirements for dive leader training and certification for recreational scuba divers in international standard ISO 24801-3[1] and the equivalent European Standard EN 14153-3.[2] Various organizations offer training that meets the requirements of the dive leader standard. Some agencies use the title "Dive Leader" for their equivalent certification, but several other titles are also used, "Divemaster" may be the most widespread, but "Dive Supervisor" is also used, and should not be confused with the very different status and responsibilities of a professional diving supervisor. CMAS affiliates certifications which meet the requirements of CMAS 3-star diver should meet the standard by default. The occupation of a dive leader is also known as "dive guide", and is a specialist application of a "tour guide".

Scuba dive leaders are considered competent to plan, organise and conduct dives and to lead other recreational divers on open water dives, and for specialised recreational scuba diving activities for which they have been trained. They are also considered competent to conduct emergency procedures associated with these activities and the relevant diving environment. They may require orientation for unfamiliar local environmental conditions. Additional specialised training and experience is required to lead divers on more demanding dives.[2]

The term is also used by BSAC for a specific certification.[3]

Scope of the standard

International standard ISO 24801-3 includes:[1]

Equivalent certification to ISO 24801-3

Lowest recreational diver qualifications from various agencies which comply with ISO 24801-3 Diver level 3, Autonomous Dive Leader. The standards for these certifications may exceed Diver level 3 by a variable and unspecified amount - the equivalency is not reciprocal.[5][6]

Medical fitness to dive

Main article: Fitness to dive

Before initial diver training and thereafter at regular intervals, a diver should undergo a fitness to dive examination by a diving doctor. This may be considered more important for a dive leader who has a duty of care to their clients. In some countries, such an examination is required by law and it is a prerequisite for any training in many diving schools.


  1. ^ a b Staff. "Recreational diving services — Requirements for the training of recreational scuba divers — Part 3: Level 3 — Dive leader (ISO 24801-3:2014)". ISO. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  2. ^ a b Staff. "Competencies and qualifications of recreational scuba divers Level 1-3". EUF Certification. European Underwater Federation (EUF). Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b BSAC HQ (21 May 2018). "BSAC retains EUF accreditations for scuba diver and instructor qualifications". www.bsac.com. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Dienstleistungen des Freizeittauchens - Anforderungen an die Ausbildung von Freizeit Gerätetauchen - Teil 3: Ausbildungsstufe 3 - Tauchgruppenleiter (ISO/DIS 24801-3:2012) Deutsche Fassung prEN ISO 24801-3:2012 (in German). DIN. 22 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Equivalent Diving Qualifications from different Agencies". www.scubatravel.co.uk. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Agencies Equivalences, ISO standards, CMAS and the WRSTC". allthingsdiving.com. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  7. ^ "The PADI Difference". www.padi.com. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  8. ^ "SSI Training Standards". www.divessi.com. Retrieved 7 February 2020.