IMCA warns of falsified diver qualifications

The IMCA warns that diving certificates should be checked against photo ID. Falsified qualifications are on the increase.

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has expressed concern over an increasing number of cases where divers have used, or attempted to use, falsified qualifications to gain employment or as a prerequisite for further training.

'This has obvious safety implications and as a result we urge the following practice for diving contractors to reduce their chances of employing a diver who does not hold an appropriate qualification, said the IMCA’s technical director, Jane Bugler.

'We advise that when employing a diver for the first time, contractors should look carefully at certificates and logbooks as forgeries have often been found to be of poor quality. References should be followed up or contact made with previous employers. Certificates should be checked against other photo ID such as a passport. Contractors should run a check against lists of invalidated certificates. And, if they are in any doubt, contractors should contact the issuing body (information note IMCA D 06/05 sets out contact details for HSE and all IMCA-recognised bodies).'

The IMCA is also aware of a number of falsified experienced diver competence assessment certificates in circulation. These fraudulent certificates have been based upon those accepted under IMCA’s information note D 26/01. Checks on certificates issued by national authorities can be made as described in IMCA’s information note D 16/07 and checks on experienced diver competence assessment can be made through the issuing organisation.

The IMCA can help members identify the appropriate body for verifying diving certificates and fraudulent certification should be reported. Members can call +44 (0)20 7824 5520; fax an enquiry to +44 (0)20 7824 5521 or email an enquiry to The IMCA warns that divers using falsified qualifications are not only a danger to themselves, but to all around them.

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