Types of Medicals

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Types of Medicals

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Appointments may be available:

Monday - 9am - 8pm

Tuesday -  noon - 8pm

Wednesday - nil

Thursday - 8am - 8pm

Friday - 1pm - 6pm

Saturday - 10am - 1pm


Planned holidays (so no availability):
13th - 21st June 2019

21st July to 1st August 2019

7th to 14th September 2019


Sport Diver Medicals


Otherwise known as 'fitness to dive' medicals. 


PADI learner divers are required to complete a self-certificate medical questionnaire. However if they indicate a positive answer to any medical condition, or if they are over the age of 45 and smoke, then they must have a doctor sign that they are 'fit to dive'. Technically any doctor can sign this, but in practice most GP doctors do not have the training or experience to feel comfortable in making this assessment. Their GP is likely to charge for this examination and assessment as it is not covered by their NHS contract.



BSAC learner divers, likewise, have to complete a self-certificate medical questionnaire. However there is a network of BSAC approved medical referees who will decide if the learner is fit to dive. Sometimes this is based on a telephone call to the referee, sometimes a report from the learner's GP is required and sometimes a medical examination with the referee is required.



Depending on what the problem is the doctor may decline to sign the form, recommend an examinations and assessment , or countersign the form without needing to see the patient. Some, but not all, GPs, will do these assessments. 

The required medical assessment will depend on the problem.


PADI Medical Questionnaire click here...


Both BSAC and SAA use the UK Sport Diving Medical Committee (I am not a medical referee for the UKSDMC) click here....




HSE Commercial Diving Medicals


Any diver that is 'at-work' is covered by the Diving At Work Regulations 1997. This adds several legal issues to the responsibilities of these divers. One of them is that they must satisfactorily pass a medical examination with an approved medical examiner of divers (AMED) each year.

Doug - the man who taught me to dive!

To become an AMED the doctor must complete a satisfactory training course and be approved by the Health & Safety Executive. They are audited after their first year and every 5 years thereafter. They must continue to attend approved education courses every 2 years. They are issued with a PIN number that must be recorded on approved medical certificates for each diver.


Who needs a HSE medical?

If you dive in any commercial environment in the UK then you must comply with the 'Diving At Work Regulations 1997'.

One of the requirements specified in this legislation is that you must have an annual medical examination approved by the Health & Safety Executive.

"But I am not being paid to be a Divemaster!" - this often causes confusion about the need to have an annual medical. Are you being 'paid in kind'? Dive site entrance fees, petrol money, free air refills all count as payment in kind, making you a professional diver. A simple guide might be that if there is a paying customer then you are likely to be classified as diving at work and covered by the 'Diving At Work Regulations 1997', and you will need an annual medical certificate.

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That's me on the left!

© Mark Atwell

Medical Requirements for Fitness to Dive

All professional divers must pass an annual medical examination and receive a Fitness to Dive Certificate. The HSE Diving Directorate has produced medical standards in conjunction with diving organisations and medical specialists.


Full details are available from the HSE website in document MA1 - 


or click here MA1 Document

This is currently the April 2008 version.


The initial examination also includes a blood test. X-rays may be required depending on the medical history (eg Chest x-ray for lung problems, Long bone x-rays for saturation divers.)

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Can my GP do the medical?

Probably not. Only HSE approved doctors can do these medicals. Approval is only granted by the HSE following proof of adequate training in Underwater Medicine and Fitness to Dive. These doctors are regularly audited and must have continuing education in the medical aspects of fitness to dive.


Click here for criteria for being a HSE approved doctor


A list of approved doctors is available from the HSE or online at:

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How much does it cost?

There is no fixed tariff and the doctor can charge whatever is considered appropriate. This may vary depending on the complexities of the diver's medical problems and any tests that are needed. Therefore you would be sensible to discuss this prior to having the examination.

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Do I need to provide proof of my medical history?

Yes. If this is your first HSE medical then you need to complete a self declaration form, which is then countersigned by your GP. A template for this is in Annex A of the MA1. Your GP may charge for this as it is not considered part of their NHS duties.

Click here for Diver factsheet and medical questionnaire

If you have had a previous HSE approved medical then you must bring this along to your next medical.

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What are the commonest problems in the medical?

The commonest problems that I see are being overweight and unfit. We currently use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to calculate appropriate weight for your height. Generally a BMI over 35 suggests being obese. This has an increased risk when diving and may impair your ability to perform your diving tasks. However sometimes a high BMI is seen in very muscular individuals. A high BMI may lead to a 'fail' or a 'restriction' with a limited duration for the certificate eg 3 or 6 months only.




Offshore: Oil & Gas UK Medicals


Previously known as UKOOA medicals.

People who work offshore in UK waters eg on oil rigs need to have a medical examination prior to commencing work offshore.

These medicals can only be done by approved doctors. 



For more information consult the Oil and Gas UK website  - click here


I am approved to perform these medicals.