11.CMAS Cave Diver 3 / CD3 (Full Cave Diver)
11.1 Diver's profile / skills and competences
This is very experienced open water and cave diver on the highest competence
level with the knowledge and the skills for the correct use of all required materials
and equipment in order to plan, prepare and organize cave dives in zone 3 and
to safely execute such dives in the company of other certified cave divers of the
He has the competence to act as a divemaster and to guide other certified cave divers of equal or
lesser level into their appropriate zones.
In the presence of a designated back-up team, he is able to carry out temporary single-diver explora-
He has the knowledge and the competence for mastering the specific techniques and procedures for
planning and organizing tank deposits and usage of stage tanks, execution of long-distance penetra-
tion, mastering squeezes and post-sump diving, for the usage of Nitrox-mixtures and for O2-
The use of Nitrox mixtures and of pure oxygen for decompression is acceptable within the framework
of the corresponding Nitrox certification (for the course itself, an Advanced Nitrox Diver certification is
a prerequisite: O2 up to 100%)
He masters all techniques to correctly lay a temporary or permanent cave line, to handling jumps, to
repair gaps, to orient himself even under total loss of light or during a silt-out and to safely find back to
All dives have to be planned and executed in a way that any impairment of the flora and fauna of the
cave is reduced to a bare minimum and the former state will be retained.
11.2 Course prerequisites & requirements
11.2.1 Requirements at start of course (admission)
• minimum 18 years old
• 3* Diver CMAS or equivalent
• 100 logged open water dives
• 20 logged open water night dives
• CMAS Cave Diver 2 or equivalent or successfully passed entry-assessment
• Rescue Diver CMAS or equivalent (if not included in the 3* diver program!)
• Stage Tank Handling Specialty Course or Prep-Course to CD3
• Advanced Nitrox Diver CMAS or equivalent certificate of recognized organisation
• valid medical attest for diving fitness according to the concerning requirements of the national fed-
eration (<= 1 year)
• ev. successfully passed entry assessment
11.2.2 Additional requirements to be fulfilled until end of course
• 8 cave dives since Cave Diver 2 certification in zone 2 in at least 4 different caves
11.2.3 Other recommended Specialty Certificates
• all recommended specialties from Cave Diver 2 level
• valid 1 Aid and CPR certification from a nationally recognized organisation
11.2.4 Entry assessment (only if needed)
An entry assessment can be utilized to verify that candidates fulfill all prerequisites with regard to theo-
retical knowledge, practical skills and physical performance. Candidate must successfully pass all as-
sessment requirements before being accepted to course.
11.3 Minimum course duration
CMAS Cave Diving
Standards & Training System
11.4 Minimum course content
8 classroom lectures (8 hours/ 1 full day)
complete training standards & course scheme
definitions of zones 1 to 3
CMAS training standards and safety rules for the safe exploration of zones 2 and 3
objective, function and correct handling of all required special equipment for safe cave diving in
zone 3 (incl. line work)
special cave diving techniques in zones 2 an 3, incl. detailed procedures for planning, organisation,
preparation, briefing and debriefing
special aspects of underwater orientation in caves
specific techniques and procedures such as organizing tank deposits, requirements for long-
distance penetration, usage of stage tanks, mastering squeezes and post-sump diving
fundamentals for the usage of DPVs and rebreather for cave diving
fundamentals of usage of Nitrox- and Trimix mixtures
causes, symptoms and effects of nitrogen narcosis, oxygen toxicity and being short of breath
the governing parameters of decompression and the applied techniques with special focus on de-
compression with 100 % oxygen
calculation of gas consumption and of required gas supply, application of the rule of thirds, as well
as additional deviating rules and the reasons for this
execution of rescue activities in the cave and complete accident management
analysis and assessment of a diving accident
adequate 1st aid procedures and on-site care of a victim
organisation of further support actions and alarming of rescue squad
cave mapping (cross-sections, distances, topology)
the CMAS Cave Diver’s Etiquette (ref. to Appendix
cave conservation and preservation
8 practical lessons (distributed over min. 4.5 days)
• min. 8 dives in 4 different caves in zone 3; latest after 5 dives, a pause of ½ day has to be made!
• training dives: refer to chapter “applications rules and procedures for use”
11.5 Academic reference & documentation
A nationally accepted manual such as „Cave Diving“ from CMAS.CH or an equivalent substitute
11.6 Course leadership / assistance
At least two (2) CMAS Cave Diving Instructors 2 in active teaching status. In exceptional cases one (1)
of these two (2) instructors may have a certificate of another recognized cave diving organisation (e.g.
NACD, NSS). However, the responsible course director must always be a CMAS instructor.
CMAS Cave Diving Instructors 1 can be used as assistants, but max. two (2) Cave Diving Instructors 1
per one (1) Cave Diving Instructor 2.
11.7 Student : Instructor ratios
• in open water, confined area: max. 4 students per 1 instructor/assistant
• in zone 1 : max. 3 students per 1 instructor/assistant
• in zone 2 : max. 2 students per 1 instructor/assistant under normal (average) conditions)
or max. 3 students per 1 instructor/assistant under very good conditions with regard to vi--
sibility, current, percolation, temperature, simplicity of cave profile etc. AND when
using air only as breathing medium (O2-decompression does not count for)
• in zone 3 : max. 2 students per 1 instructor/assistant under normal conditions
should be reduced to 1:1 if situation is considerably worse
Theoretical knowledge will be evaluated with one single, written test, consisting of 40 questions (30
MC and 10 open, free text) on the following topics: course structures and -schemes / standards / plan-
CMAS Cave Diving
Standards & Training System
ning & organisation / emergencies / karst phenomena and cave development / underwater orientation
/ cave diving techniques / uw-orientation / hand signals / equipment / physics / physiology / decom-
pression / gases / legal aspects.
In order to pass, the student must have a scoring of at least 80% (correct answers).
b) practical skills
The standard exercises/drills for Cave Diver 3 have been added in Appendix 6c.
The skills evaluation is done within the framework of a continuous evaluation system. All required qua-
lifications will be repeatedly assessed and evaluated during the training course. The certificate will on-
ly be given at a point when the candidate has finally passed all requirements.
• CMAS double-sided card
• wall certificate in A4 format
11.10 International Comparison
This certification level corresponds with the Full Cave Diver level (incl. stage diving) from NACD, NSS
and Advanced Cave / Penetration from CDAA (incl. Sinkhole Class 3).
11.11 Activities and guiding/training competences
• may act as a divemaster (guidance) with already certified cave divers on level 1-3 in the appropri-
• may act as an assistant during Cave Diver 1 (cavern courses) under direct supervision and control
of a CMAS Cave Diving Instructor (any level) in active teaching status.
Attention: for acting as an assistant during training, the diver in question must have a valid certi-
fication in * 1 Aid and CPR from a nationally recognized organisation
• as a Cave Instructor 1 Candidate, he may also act as an assistant during Cave Diver 2 courses
under direct supervision and control of a CMAS Cave Diving Instructor 2 in active teaching status.