Diving regulations are the stipulations of the delegated legislation regarding the practice of underwater diving. They apply within the national territory and territorial waters of a country. In most cases they apply to occupational diving, but in a few cases also to recreational diving. There are exemptions for recreational diving in some cases where it is recognised as a self-regulated industry. Offshore diving (outside of territorial waters) is generally outside the scope of diving regulations, and tends to be self-regulated through voluntary membership of industry organisations.
The scope of diving regulations is generally defined in each specific set of regulations and the statutory law which empowers them, which can vary considerably across jurisdictions. Diving regulations apply within the national territorial waters of the country, and may also apply to diving operations conducted from a vessel registered in the country outside the national territorial waters.
Diving regulations apply within the national territorial waters of the country. In general they do not apply in international waters, but the commercial diving industry operates in international waters, in what is generally known as the offshore diving industry. In these waters the industry is largely self-regulated through voluntary membership of organisations such as the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). Members of these organisations are required as a condition of membership to comply with their Codes of Practice.
In some jurisdictions specific exemptions and exceptions may be stipulated. For example:
In a few cases statutory law exists specifically covering diving activities.
Argentina – The regulation of professional diving can be found in ordinance No. 4-08 (dpsn) Volume 5 Regime of Merchant Marine Personnel, July 1, 2008. The regulation of recreational diving can be found in ordinance No. 1-01 (dpsn) Volume 4 - Regime of nautical sports activities, 2001.
Queensland: – Safety in Recreational Water Activities Regulation 2011 (the Regulation) issued in terms of the Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 (the SRWA Act).
South Africa – Diving regulations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, authorised by the Minister of Labour. The South African diving regulations regulate professional diving using breathing apparatus, and specifically exclude instruction of recreational divers and recreational dive leadership. They apply only where the Occupational Health and Safety Act applies, so do not cover diving in minerals and energy industries, which have different safety legislation.
There have been two versions of the Diving Regulations, dated 2001 and 2009 (sometimes referred to as Diving Regulations 2010 at they were published in January 2010. New regulations are drawn up with input from the Diving Advisory Board, a body appointed in terms of the existing regulations.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies to instruction of recreational divers and recreational dive leadership in general terms where these activities take place in a situation of employment.
Switzerland – Hyperbaric Worker Safety Ordinance, 15 April 2015 (German: Verordnung über die Sicherheit der Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer bei Arbeiten im Überdruck, French: Ordonnance sur la sécurité des travailleurs lors de travaux en milieu hyperbare, Italian: Ordinanza sulla sicurezza dei lavoratori nei lavori in condizioni di sovrappressione)
United Kingdom – The diving at Work Regulations 1997, Statutory Instruments 1997 No. 2776 Health and Safety 
Federal regulations: – Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR), Part Number: 1910, Occupational Safety and Health Standards, Subpart: T - Commercial Diving Operations. Standard Number: 1910.424 - SCUBA diving. Federal regulations have exemptions for scientific diving and for search and rescue in some states, when there is a reasonable expectation of rescuing a survivor.