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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023 / Specific initial training standards are needed to dive for science in Europe, Occupational vs . Citizen Science Diving

Jean-Pierre Féral and Alain Norro (2023)

Specific initial training standards are needed to dive for science in Europe, Occupational vs . Citizen Science Diving

Frontiers in Marine Science, 10(1134494):1-16.

Today, collaboration between scienti fi c research and civil society is growing signi fi cantly. The general public ’ s curiosity drives it to engage with the scienti fi c process and culture and in the search for solutions to complex issues (economic, social, health, environmental, cultural, educational, or ethical). Clari fi cation is needed to differentiate between occupational scienti fi c activity and citizen-based science. They do not require the same scienti fi c and technical skills despite using similar equipment and their legal and administrative frameworks being totally different. The confusion created by the indiscriminate use of the same term “ scienti fi c diving ” to refer to different training courses and activities compromises the quality of existing occupational standards and, ultimately, has a negative impact on the safety of the activity at work. A clear de fi nition of Citizen Scienti fi c Diving and Occupational Scienti fi c Diving makes it possible to differentiate between the objectives and target groups of these two activities and their legal framework. There is a need to establish an accepted and shared standard in the occupational fi eld and to ensure the mobility of scientists. A long process undertaken by a motivated scienti fi c community (late 1980s-2000s) led to the establishment of European initial training standards for Occupational Scienti fi c Diving through the ESDP-European Scienti fi c Diving Panel ( fi rstly under the aegis of the European Marine Board, now of the MARS-European marine stations network). The quality and general acceptance of these standards by a large part of the European scienti fi c community have already adopted them in the occupational health and safety legislation of seven European countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the UK in 2023). Adopting them in other countries ’ health and safety legislation is still desirable. This will increase their recognition, acceptance and use for the bene fi t of scienti fi c work. Building bridges between academic science and non-academic citizen science is possible and this is done by developing coherent projects that produce results that bene fi t both science and society. While distinguishing between the two, as an added value, this approach could better guide the recreational diving training sector in developing a new market.
RBINS Publication(s), Open Access, PDF available
academic science, citizen science, recreational diving, European scientific diving panel-ESDP, initial training competence, natural and cultural underwater heritage