How the Diving Medical Registry (divemedreg.org) is managed?
1) In Europe, we have a great number of countries with different degrees of development towards modern standards, however as well with very different administrative procedures. Therefore, an international databank of doctors with certified competency in diving medicine should assure appropriate proficiency and therefore enable mutual recognition of titles and therefore enhance free exchange of diving certificates and diving doctors.
The first such databank has been set up in South Africa under the lead of Prof. Jack Meintjes (South African Labour Department and South African Underwater Medicine Association SAUHMA). We are very grateful he and his team gave us great support to build up this databank which is fully compatible with the South African one.
Our common efforts go to enable worldwide recognition of certificates and freedom of movement of diving professionals by seeking cooperation with overseas associations pursuing the same goals.
2) Who should use the registry?
- Divers and compressed air workers who need a fitness-to-dive assessment can find their doctor according to the geographical location and according to the doctors’ competence level.
- Employers (diving contractors but also contractors for compressed air tunnelling) that need a diving medical advisor for their safety management, risk assessment or emergency planning and readiness. They can find a diving medicine physician of a Level 2 competence or higher in the area of their worksites.
- Medical doctors with training in diving medicine can register themselves into the databank inserting their informations into a registration form. The registration is then checked by the National Coordinator and the Certifying Board and, if competence is acknowledged, the doctor gets visible on the map showing all diving medicine doctors (with information about their competence level and special experience).
- Registered doctors can (and should) update their personal data themselves using their login identity and password.
- Doctors may also print international fitness-to-dive certificates and may insert names of their certified divers into the registry, when a certification is issued. This enables the employer or a contract doctor of the company to verify fitness certifications of employees at any time and, if needed, to contact the examining doctor or to send any notes/observations of concern to the Certifying Board.
- Registering the certified divers enables the doctor to prove his activity in fitness examinations, needed for his personal continuous professional development (CPD documented in the logbook), which makes the periodical recertification very easy.
3) Who manages the registry?
The databank is hosted at the secured website of the Scuola Universitaria Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa, which assures a careful support by its webmaster.
The IDMEB acts as Certifying Board and thus represents the academic authority for the management of registrations and publications.
New applications of diving doctors are first checked by a National Coordinator, who will check the registration for completeness and correctness. On his advice the IDMEB decides about the registration and competence level.
In cases of a question in dispute, the candidate may appeal to the IDMEB expert board, which will reassess the application by an unbiased team.
4) Levels of competence
The divemedreg.org recognises competence levels as described by the standards of the European Diving Technology Committee (EDTC) together with the European Committee for Hyperbaric Medicine (ECHM) and endorsed by the Diving Medical Advisory Committee (DMAC). These “Educational and Training Standards for Physicians in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine” define the following levels of competence:
- Level 1 “Medical Examiner of Divers” (MED). Competent to perform the fitness-to-dive assessments of working and recreational divers and compressed air workers, except the resume diving assessment after major decompression incidents.
- Level 2D “Diving Medicine Physician (DMP). Competent to perform the initial and all other assessments of working and recreational divers or compressed air workers. Can manage diving accidents and advise diving contractors and others on diving medicine and physiology (with the back-up of a diving medical expert of consultant). Should have knowledge in relevant aspects of occupational health. He or she does not need to be certified specialist in occupational medicine to be in accordance with the standards, but it is recommended also for those of Level 1, who examine commercial divers and compressed air workers. Should have certified skills and basic practical experience in fitness to dive assessment, management of diving accidents, safety planning for professional diving operations, advanced life support and acute trauma care as well as general wound care.
- Level 2D "Diving Medical Advisor" (DMA). As the DMP level certificate only attests that the candidates have successfully passed a level 2D course, a certificate as diving medical advisor for the industry needs to certify that the candidate has achieved additional competence by practical experience, skills training and a defined basic training in occupational medicine. This level of competence is defined by the EDTC "Competence standards for physicians of occupational diving and tunnelling companies".
- Level 2H: “Hyperbaric Medicine Physician (HMP)”. Our board and thus our databank is not including clinical hyperbaric medicine doctors, acknowledging that with HBO-treatment as one of the acknowledged indications these doctors also have a considerable competence in the scientific part of diving medicine including experience with recreational DCI. Such competence levels may be registered by the European College for Baromedicine, the certifying board of the ECHM (www.ecbm.eu).
Equivalence with certificates of other countries worldwide is continuously studied and an according list will be published (under construction).
- South Africa
- Australia and New Zealand
- South East Asia
A competence cannot last forever without a continuous professional development, which means experience and knowledge update. Therefore, according to the standards of EDTC/ECHM a re-certification is due every 3 – 5 years. The IDMEB certified diving doctors are requested to monitor their CPD in a logbook and apply for re-certification after 5 years maximally.