Frequently Asked Questions
- What will be the annual fee for AAUS Instructors? For 2023, AAUS Instructors annual fee will be $195.
- Will there be any differences in requirements for students through the AAUS certification program? Yes, for AAUS to recognize your certifications, divers in training and AAUS instructors MUST utilize the e-learning SDC course and final exam. If the instructor chooses not to have students complete every module, at a minimum the student must take the final exam and the instructor must complete the Additional Requirements Checklist and final certification information within the e-learning platform.
- What is the fee for student certifications? For 2023, initial certifications will be $50/diver and include a certification card, a one-year full membership in AAUS and a listing on the National Registry of Scientific divers (to be renewed annually by the diver).
- Are AAUS Instructor credentials recognized in the diving industry? AAUS has always accepted certifications at all levels from the internationally recognized recreational certification agencies as evidence of formal prior scuba training. We have spoken with the President of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) and he has indicated that they will recognize our Instructors as well as the Scientific Diving certifications issued by our Instructors.
- What about insurance? Do AAUS Instructors/Professional Members have liability protections? Do I need to keep my current personal professional liability insurance? Like your current recreational Instructor professional membership, there is no inherent liability protection from the certification agency (AAUS in this case). AAUS will not require proof of organizational or individual professional liability insurance as part of your application or renewal. However, we strongly urge all of our Instructors to ensure their organization has these protections in place for the entire program as well as for all their instructional staff. If you or your organization are in need of these policies, please contact us.
- Can I keep my ITI or other Recreational Instructor rating and also transition my Scientific Diver Instructor rating to AAUS? Yes, you can and should maintain your recreational instructor rating with ITI or other agencies and only transfer your Science Diving Instructor rating to AAUS.
- What courses will AAUS Instructors be able to teach? Can I train/certify entry-level divers? Currently, AAUS instructors will have access to the AAUS Scientific Diving and AAUS Nitrox courses. As new courses are propagated by AAUS, instructors will be given priority access.
ASDI Program Certification Process
Step One: Must submit an AAUS Scientific Diving Instructor (ASDI) application
- Individual and OM Profile Updated
- Application submitted and approved
- Professional dues paid for calendar year
Step Two: Instructor must review/complete AAUS Scientific Diver course on e-learning platform (elearning.aaaus.org)
- AAUS office to add Applicant as a “Student”
- Modules and Quizzes completed
- Final Exam with passing grade recorded
- Note: E-learning system will not register each module as “complete” when you are in instructor mode. You must follow instructions to access the platform as a student.
Training and Registering Students
Step One: Instructor must register students for e-learning
- Instructions and template attached. Template must be used for all classes, even if there is only one student. Please follow instructions carefully.
Step Two: Students complete AAUS Science Diver Course
Instructor can utilize the e-learning materials however fits best in their course (primary lectures, homework assignments, supplemental support/review, etc.). However:
- Students MUST complete, at a minimum, the final exam on the e-learning platform.
- Instructor must complete the ‘Additional Training Requirements’ checklist (instructions attached)
Once a student completes the SDC e-learning course, all additional training requirements and all in-water activities, the DSO/Instructor may authorize them as an AAUS Scientific Diver.
Step Three: Credentialing
There are several options for providing AAUS SDC credentials and associated diver benefits. The instructor needs to complete the section ‘Final Completion and Credentialing’ under the Additional Training Requirements module.
- AAUS ASDI Program (OM Sponsored)- the instructor participates in the AAUS Instructor Program and the student's certification credentialing will be paid by the Organizational Member ($50/diver). The diver will be provided with a certification card, a 1-year full membership in AAUS, and initial listing on the AAUS National Registry of Scientific Divers. Subsequent annual renewal of membership and registry listing will be billed directly to the diver.
- AAUS ASDI Program (Unsponsored)- the instructor participates in the AAUS Instructor Program; however, the student's certification credentialing will not be paid by the Organizational Member. AAUS will contact the student directly about purchasing AAUS credentials, membership, and enrolling in the National Registry.
- Non-Participating Instructor- the certifying instructor does not participate in any AAUS instructor program. The student may contact AAUS directly about purchasing AAUS membership and enrolling in the National Registry. NOTE: AAUS certification cards are not available to divers trained by non-participating instructors.
Step Four: AAUS office processes certifications
The office will process certifications based on the selections made from the above options once or twice a month (depending on volume). If the OM is paying for the certifications, the invoices and cards will be sent directly to the instructor. All membership information will be sent to the diver.
- If the diver wishes to have a photo on their card, the photo MUST be on their eLearning profile before the diver’s certification is sent for processing
- The contact information (name, email) listed on the eLearning profile will be used for the AAUS membership profile