Scientific diver professional licenses, examnations and training were developed in Finland to meet the demands set by new legislation on professional underwater work The basis of the system is the Scientific Diver examination, which is necessary for all occupational diving connected to construction work The examination can be taken, if the candidate has enough professional experience or training Special courses prepare for the examination. The courses and the examination are developed to meet the proposed standards for the European Scientific Diver and the Advanced European Scientific Diver An Adults' Education Centre has specialised in occupational diver training and has established the necessary infrastructure for it The 10 week course contains both diving techniques and research methods With sufficient diving experience (CMAS P2 or equivalent), the student can skip the first four weeks of the course and start directly with the research methods In the future, the Finnish Scientific Diver training will be developed to host international Scientific Diver training.
Starting from July lst, 1997, a professional license is required for occupational diving connected to construction work in Finland originally, the license requirement was intended to cover all occupational diving, but a political decision was easier to achieve, when it only applied to the field of construction. The field, however, includes environmental impact assessments, which employ diving biologists and archaeologists Following EDTC (European Diving Technology Committee) ideas, the Finnish license system for occupational diving was divided into three categories according to maximum working depth, type of diving equipment and nature of the work done underwater. The three categories were
Light divers, working at 0–30 m depth range and using mainly SCUBA, sometimes surface-air-supplied equipment This category was further divided into 1) Inspection divers (engineers, technicians), 2) Scientific divers (scientists) and 3) Rescue divers (firemen), according to the main occupation of the diver Light divers always have a line of profession, in which having forms only a part.
Professional divers work down to 50 meters, using diving helmets and air supplied from the surface
Mixed gas divers working deeper than 50 meters use gas mixtures for breathing.
All licenses can be obtained through state controlled professional examinations
In principle, anybody can enter a professional examination in Finland The candidate, however is expected to have sufficient professional and diving skills, which are controlled by training and health certificates Also, he or she must pass a theory examination before entering the practical. Therefore, a candidate for a Scientific Diver examination must have a university degree, sufficient amount of studies in his or her branch of science, scientific publications or other references indicating that he or she has been a professional scientific diver prior to July 1st, 1997, or a certificate of an appropriate scientific diving course. After passing the examination, the candidate will not obtain the license automatically, but only after collecting professional experience as a scientific diver