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What you will learn

Are you a serious adventure seeker wishing to explore overhead environments? Sign up for the Full Cave Diver Course! This course is the third stage of overhead environment training in the series of the Cave Diver Development Program.

Advanced cave dive planning, practical execution of different types of cave systems and scenarios divers encounter are presented. This cave diving course is not intended to prepare divers for evaluating all facets of cave diving. The objective of this course is to expand and critique previous skills accomplished in the Cavern Diver and Intro to Cave Diver courses. Emphasis is placed upon dive planning and skill perfection through actual cave penetration.


Before your full cave course starts

Eligibility & eLearning

Prerequisites – The following requirements must be met prior to commencing your Full Cave Diver training;

  • Minimum age 18

  • Minimum certification of Intro to Cave Diver, or equivalent

  • If decompression dives are to be conducted in training, the student must be Decompression Procedures certified or equivalent, or this training may be conducted concurrently. If courses are taught concurrently, ALL requirements for both courses must be met and registrations processed upon completion.

eLearning – After your eligibility prerequisites have been confirmed, we can send your eLearning course code(s).

This will be generated by ourselves and sent to you in advance of starting your course.


Practical diver training

Full Cave Diver Course

Avg. Duration – The Full Cave Diver course takes anywhere between four and six days to complete.

Course Combinations – It is possible to combine the Full Cave Diver course with the Stage Cave Diver speciality. This combination takes approx. five to seven days to complete.

Other Considerations – You must take the course utilising appropriate equipment configuration, redundant regulators and air supplies. In addition you must be able to demonstrate training proficiency from the previous level, see course prerequisites.


Where to go from here

What next?

On Completion – You are able to conduct full cave dives within your training and certification limits, without the supervision of an instructor

The Next Level – You now have the skill set of a full cave diver. Its time to build your experience and maybe consider some of the Cave Diver Specialities.

Intro to Cave Diver Course Skills & Learning

Course Content

What you can expect to learn

  • The TDI Full Cave Diver Course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more:

  • Standard cave diving policies

  • Gas management procedures and management to include dissimilar volumes

  • Psychological considerations of cave diving

  • Equipment considerations including:; Cylinder options, Regulator options, Buoyancy compensator/harness options, Proper weighting, Reel options, Equipment configurations

  • Communication (light and hand signals)

  • Swimming techniques; Body posture/trim, Buoyancy control, Line following, Propulsion (finning) techniques

  • Physiology; Breathing techniques, Stress management, Decompression theory and its application to cave diving

  • Cave environment

  • Conservation

  • Problem solving; Emergency procedures, Equipment failure, Silting conditions

  • Accident analysis

  • Cave diving etiquette

Required Skills

Skills you will demonstrate

  • During your training you will have to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Properly deploy a guideline

  • Properly use directional and non-directional line markers
  • Properly follow a guideline with eyes open and closed (simulating loss of visibility)

  • Air share with a buddy with eyes open, following a guideline

  • Air share with a buddy with lights off and eyes closed, using touch contact while following the guideline

  • Remove and replace mask while in contact with the guideline

  • Demonstrate conservation, awareness, and back referencing techniques

  • Demonstrate light/hand signals and touch contact

  • Demonstrate anti-silting techniques

  • Simulate a primary light failure and use back up light to exit

  • Demonstrate lost line and lost diver drills
  • Demonstrate use of reels to perform jumps and gaps required in circuits and traverses to maintain a continuous guideline to open water

  • Demonstrate buoyancy control, proper trim, and propulsion techniques

  • Demonstrate proper stress analysis (detection and management)

  • Demonstrate specialised propulsion techniques in varying types of flow

  • Equipment check and matching

  • Demonstrate adequate pre-dive planning

When Certified

What’s in it for you?

  • Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may engage in cave diving activities without direct supervision so long as the following limits are adhered to:
  • The diving activities approximate those of training
  • Planned dives do not exceed diver’s current certification level

  • Penetration is limited to the “rule of thirds,” OR 1/6th if using doubles to a maximum depth of 40 metres/130 feet, or the divers certification level.

  • Maintain a continuous guideline

  • Proper cave diving equipment must be used

  • Safety and decompression stops as appropriate or necessary (if trained as Decompression Diver or equivalent)

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