NAUI Frequently Asked Questions

NAUI Frequently Asked Questions



If you do not find your question in this list or you are not clear about the answer provided, please feel free to contact the NAUI Worldwide Training Department at:

NAUI Worldwide
9030 Camden Field Parkway
Riverview, FL 33578
USA
813-628-6284 Voice
800-553-6284 Toll Free Voice
813-628-8253 Fax



Q: What does NAUI stand for?
A: NAUI is the National Association of Underwater Instructors. For more information about the history of NAUI, click here.

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Q: What is NAUI's position on drinking alcohol before and/or after Scuba Diving?
A: NAUI does not condone drinking alcohol prior to diving. We recommend that you do not drink alcohol before or directly following your dives and that you stay well hydrated at all times. You can find some information about these concerns in NAUI's textbook. Among other things, alcohol "impairs alertness, coordination and judgement, and is associated with an increased risk for accidents." Consumption of alcohol is also associtated with increased risk of DCS, nitrogen narcosis, hypothermia/hyperthermia (depending upon the environment) and dehydration. The effects of nitrogen narcosis and hypothermia can also be magnified by the effects of alcohol. Because of these risks, drinking before diving is obviously unwise. Furthermore, drinking alcohol after diving further increases the risk of dehydration following the dive and may mask the signs & symptoms of Decompression Illnesses. Hangovers are also associated with increased susceptibility of nitrogen narcosis and may be a predisposing factor of DCS. It is the individual diver's responsibility to practice moderation when consuming alcohol.

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Q: How do I replace a lost/stolen/broken certification card?
A: To request a replacement card, completely fill out the Replacement Card form and (if possible) send or fax us a clear photocopy of your training logbook pages and/or temporary certification card/ validation form, or a clear photocopy of your existing card. Include these with the replacement request form. You may download the Replacement Card Form in PDF format. The prices on the form are current. You will need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) from http://www.adobe.com to be able to read and print the form. If this option does not work for you, to obtain a form, please contact a local NAUI Dive Center, NAUI office, or NAUI Worldwide directly. In order to fulfill your request, we also need a copy of a photo ID (Driver's License, Passport, etc.) and payment. If the diver who is requesting the card is under 18, we also need the Parent/Guardian's signature. We accept Checks, Money Orders, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Extra charges may also be incurred if your request requires research into paper records and rush shipment.

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Q: What does NAUI consider a contraindication to scuba diving?
A: The following are excerpts from NAUI materials on the subject of contraindications to scuba diving. The first is from NAUI's Risk Management Handbook, which includes recommendations to Instructors and other NAUI Members on how to evaluate diver training applicants. The second excerpt is from the reverse side of the NAUI Medical Evaluation Form, which may be used by physicians as a guideline to evaluate potential students undergoing a diving physical examination.
--------------- Risk Management Handbook - 1998 Edition ---------------

Contraindications to Diving
...most authorities recognize certain Absolute Contraindications. These include:

  • Disorders that may induce blackout or weakness. An epileptic seizure, insulin reaction, or acute heart dysrhythmia on land is usually merely annoying; under water, it could easily be fatal. Even if epilepsy is well controlled, hyperventilation or stress would favor seizures, and the effect of high pressure itself on epilepsy remains unknown. Even if diabetes is well controlled, exercise lowers the need for insulin; for such a person, any unexpected exertion needed for self or buddy rescue, would make the normal insulin dose excessive, thus favoring a reaction. A person subject to heart dysrhythmias may learn how to avoid them. Yet, an attack could be precipitated by anxiety, exertion, cold, or abnormal gas tensions, conditions not exactly known and not always avoidable in the water.

  • Severely limited ability to cope with stress. Examples are heart failure, advanced chronic lung disease, and feebleness of any cause.

  • History of pneumothorax, since it often repeats, or x-ray evidence of emphysematous blebs (weak areas of the lung), which could rupture and cause pneumothorax.

  • Potential air trapping disorders such as active asthma, bronchial edema and mucus and spasm due to cigarettes or infection (e.g., up to ten days after a chest cold), and certain scars, cysts, or tumors, Any of these can cause lung rupture during ascent.

  • Ruptured eardrums, or inability to equalize pressure. Pacific islanders sometimes break their eardrums on purpose to rid themselves of squeeze problems, but their diving isn't for sport.

  • Tendency to dizziness or disorientation, if more than mild.

  • Acute illness or intoxication. These greatly increase the risk of narcosis, bends, and other deep trouble.

  • Severe emotional instability. The danger to self and others is obvious.

  • Definite fear of diving, or of a particular dive. Surgeons don't do elective surgery under those conditions (extreme fear), for experience has shown they increase the patient's risk of dying. The same should apply to elective sports.

Possible Contraindications
There are also conditions which reduce one's fitness for diving, but not enough to absolutely forbid it. These are the relative contraindications. They include:
  • Reduced exercise tolerance from any cause. Old? weak? or just out of shape?

  • Difficulty equalizing pressure in middle ears or sinuses.

  • Certain temporary states like fatigue, hunger, and dehydration.

  • Low intelligence or poor judgment.

  • Neurosis and adverse mood states.

  • Any other disorder or disability that would reduce one's capacity to recognize or cope with problems. This huge category includes deficits in sensory function (hearing, seeing), and in neuromuscular and skeletal integrity, such as cerebral palsy, amputations, and polio residuals.


---------------- NAUI Medical Evaluation Form (reverse side) -----------------

CONTRAINDICATIONS TO DIVING
This list of relative and absolute contraindications is not all inclusive. Contraindications that are absolute, permanently place the diver and his diving partners at increased risk for injury or death. Relative contraindications to scuba may be resolved with time and proper medical intervention or may be intermittent. A bibliography is included to aid in clarifying issues that arise.

OTOLARYNGOLOGICAL
Relative Contraindications:
  • History of...

    • -significant cold injury to pinna
      -TM perforation
      -tympanoplasty
      -mastoidectomy
      -mid-face fracture
      -head and/or neck therapeutic radiation
      -temporomandibular joint dysfunction

  • Recurrent otitis externa

  • Significant obstruction of the external auditory canal

  • Eustachian tube dysfunction

  • Recurrent otitis media or sinusitis

  • Significant conductive or sensorineural hearing impairment

  • Facial nerve paralysis not associated with barotrauma

  • Full prosthodontic devices

  • Unhealed oral surgery sites


Absolute Contraindications:
  • History of...

    • -stapedectomy
      -ossicular chain surgery
      -inner ear surgery
      -round window rupture
      -vestibular decompression sickness

  • Monomeric TM

  • Open TM perforation

  • Tube myringotomy

  • Facial nerve paralysis secondary to barotrauma

  • Inner ear disease other than presbycusis

  • Uncorrected upper airway obstruction

  • Laryngectomy or status post partial laryngectomy

  • Tracheostomy

  • Uncorrected laryngocele


NEUROLOGICAL
Relative Contraindications:
  • History of...

    • -head injury with sequelae other than seizure
      -spinal cord or brain injury without residual neurologic deficit
      -cerebral gas embolism without residual, pulmonary air trapping has been excluded

  • Migraine headaches whose symptoms or severity impair motor or cognitive function

  • Herniated nucleus pulposus

  • Peripheral neuropathy

  • Trigeminal neuralgia

  • Cerebral palsy in the absence of seizure activity


Absolute Contraindications:
  • History of...

    • -seizures other than childhood febrile seizures
      -TIA or CVA
      -spinal cord injury, disease or surgery with residual sequelae
      -Type II (serious and/or central nervous system) decompression sickness with permanent neurologic deficit

  • Intracranial tumor or aneurysm

CARDIOVASCULAR
Relative Contraindications:
The suggested minimum criteria for stress testing is 13 METS.
  • History of...

    • -CABG or PCTA for CAD
      -myocardial infarction
      -dysrhythmia requiring medication for suppression

  • Hypertension
  • Valvular regurgitation
  • Asymptomatic mitral valve prolapse
  • Pacemakers-Note: Pacemakers must be depth certified by the manufacturer to at least 130 feet (40 meters) of sea water.


Absolute Contraindications:
  • Asymmetric sepal hypertrophy and valvular stenosis

  • Congestive heart failure


PULMONARY
Asthma (reactive airway disease), COPD cystic or cavitating lung diseases all may lead to air trapping.

Relative Contraindications:
  • History of...

    • -prior asthma or reactive airway disease (RAD)*
      -exercise/cold induced bronchospasm (EIB)
      -solid, cystic or cavitating lesion

  • Pneumothorax secondary to: thoracic surgery *, trauma or pleural penetration*, previous over inflation injury*
  • Restrictive Disease**

(*Air Trapping must be excluded)
(**Exercise Testing necessary)

Absolute Contraindications:
  • History of spontaneous pneumothorax

  • Active RAD (asthma), EIB, COPD or history of the same with abnormal PFS or positive challenge

  • Restrictive diseases with exercise impairment

GASTROINTESTINAL
Relative Contraindications:
  • Peptic ulcer disease

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Malabsorption states

  • Functional bowel disorders

  • Post gastrectomy dumping syndrome

  • Paraesophageal or hiatal hernia



Absolute Contraindications:
  • High grade gastric outlet obstruction

  • Chronic or recurrent small bowel obstruction

  • Entrocutaneous fistulae that do not drain freely

  • Esophageal diverticula

  • Severe gastroesophageal reflux

  • Achalasia

  • Unrepaired hernias of the abdominal wall potentially containing bowel


METABOLIC AND ENDOCRINOLOGICAL
Relative Contraindications:
  • Hormonal excess or deficiency

  • Obesity

  • Renal insufficiency


Absolute Contraindications:
  • Diabetics on Insulin therapy or oral anti-hypoglycemia medication


PREGNANCY
Absolute Contraindications:
Venous gas emboli formed during decompression may result in fetal malformations. Diving is absolutely contraindicated during any state of pregnancy.

HEMATOLOGICAL
Relative Contraindications:
  • Sickle cell trait

  • Acute anemia


Absolute Contraindications:
  • Sickle cell disease

  • Polycythemia

  • Leukemia


ORTHOPEDIC
Relative Contraindications:
Chronic Back Pain
Amputation
Scoliosis - assess impact on pulmonary function
Aseptic osteonecrosis

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Relative Contraindications:
  • History of

    • -drug or alcohol abuse
      -previous psychotic episodes

  • Developmental delay


Absolute Contraindications:
  • History of panic disorder

  • Inappropriate motivation for scuba training

  • Claustrophobia and agoraphobia

  • Active psychosis or while receiving psychotropic medications

  • Drug or alcohol abuse


BIBLIOGRAPHY
Medical Examination of Sport Scuba Divers, 2nd Ed., Davis, Medical Seminars Inc., 1986
Diving Medicine, 3rd Ed., Bove, Davis, W. B. Saunders Co, 1990
Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers, 2nd Ed., Edmonds, McKenzie, Thomas, JL Publications, 1997 TM

Some additional contacts for diving medical questions include:

Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS)
301-942-2980 Voice
301-942-7804 Fax
10531 Metropolitan Ave
Kensington, MD
20895 USA
uhms@uhms.org
http://www.uhms.org/


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Q: What are NAUI's policies regarding Scuba Diving and the disabled?
A: The answer to this question may be found in the following excerpt from our Second Quarter, 1997 issue of Sources.


NAUI Guidelines for Evaluating Individuals with Disabilities
NAUI seeks to be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The screening of applicants for diver training is explained in detail in the NAUI Risk Management Handbook. The following statement only applies to individuals with disability(ies) seeking diver training or diving supervision.


Prerequisites for Admission to Training/Supervision
In addition to regular screening for medical contraindications, NAUI Instructors and Divemasters must complete a risk assessment considering the individual nature of the disability(ies) as it pertains to a probable direct threat to others. If there is none and reasonable accommodations can be made for the individual, then the disability cannot be a basis for not admitting the person for training/supervision. All possible reasonable accommodations should be made to train those individuals with disabilities.


Certification
Only those individuals who meet the NAUI Standards requirements for a particular certification shall be certified. These requirements are in place for reasonable and necessary means and are not to be altered.


Adaptive Scuba Diver Program
If an individual's disabilities preclude that person from successfully completing any skill required for certification, he/she may be credentialed under NAUI's "Adaptive Scuba Diver Program."
The following contacts are provided for more information.

Handicapped Scuba Association
1104 El Prado
San Clemente, CA 92672
USA
(714) 498-6128 Voice/Fax
hsablowh2o@aol.com

Alpha One
127 Main Street
Portland, ME 04106
USA
(207) 767-2189 Voice/TT
(800) 640-7200 Voice/TT
(207) 799-8346 Fax
owscuba@aol.com
http://www.alpha-one.org/

Additional links relating to Diving with Disabilities may be found in the article A Real Diving Challenge by Ernest S Campbell, MD, FACS and Diving Medicine Online.



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Q: How do I upgrade my Junior Scuba Diver card to a Scuba Diver?
A: To obtain a Junior upgrade card, mail or fax us a clear photocopy of the junior certification card, and a clear photocopy of a photo ID, indicating age. Include these with a replacement request form. You may download the Replacement Card Form in PDF format. The prices on the form are current. You will need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) from http://www.adobe.com to be able to read and print the form. If this option does not work for you, to obtain a form, please contact a local NAUI Dive Center, NAUI office, or NAUI Worldwide directly. In order to fulfill your request, if the diver who is upgrading is under 18, we also need the Parent/Guardian's signature. When you submit all the paperwork, please do not forget to include payment. We accept Money Orders, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Extra charges may also be incurred if your request requires research into paper records or rush shipment.



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Q: How do I request a new card after my name has changed?
A: To request a replacement card with your new name, send or fax us a clear photocopy of a photo ID, your legal name change documentation (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.) and a clear photocopy of your existing card. Include these with a replacement request form. You may download the Replacement Card Form in PDF format. The prices on the form are current. You will need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) from http://www.adobe.com to be able to read and print the form. If this option does not work for you, to obtain a form, please contact a local NAUI Dive Center, NAUI office, or NAUI Worldwide directly. In order to fulfill your request, if the diver who is requesting the card is under 18, we also need the Parent/Guardian's signature. When you submit all the paperwork, please do not forget to include payment. We accept Checks, Money Orders, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Extra charges may also be incurred if your request requires research into paper records or rush shipment.



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Q: What is the difference between NAUI and "Brand X"?
A: NAUI Instructors are qualified, professional educators who are granted academic freedom to teach diving in any reasonable manner as long as NAUI standards and policies are met. NAUI does not have a rigid approach to teaching diving. NAUI training support materials are designed for flexibility in teaching. NAUI Instructors may exceed NAUI standards in ways that do not jeopardize student safety. Examples include exceeding the number of required open water dives or increasing the academic content. One of the things the NAUI Credo states is that it is more important to train a few students well than to certify many marginally trained divers. We further believe that educational quality must never be sacrificed for economic reasons. Also, that divers should not be totally dependent upon their equipment for their safety. NAUI members emphasize the skills of diving, and anyone certified as a diver should be able to perform the basics of a rescue of a buddy diver.

There are some important differences between "Brand X" and NAUI. NAUI is a Not-For-Profit Worldwide Education Association, incorporated under the laws of the State of California. NAUI's purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world's underwater environments. To accomplish this, NAUI trains, qualifies, and certifies leaders and instructors, establishes minimum standards for various levels of diver training, and provides various programs, products, and support materials to assist NAUI leaders and instructors with their diving supervising and teaching. NAUI's primary purpose is also reflected in the association's motto, "Dive Safety Through Education". The NAUI organization also provides publicity and support for dive stores, dive resorts and accredited institutions that offer diving education. This professional assistance is in keeping with the primary purpose of NAUI is training the general public to dive. The quality of training provided by NAUI Instructors is of great importance to the Association, so NAUI employs various methods of evaluation to ensure that NAUI standards are met when NAUI instruction is conducted. As a pioneer in diving education, NAUI has developed many of the programs and concepts accepted throughout the diving industry. NAUI constantly strives to increase the safety of diving by upgrading the Association's standards and programs.

If you would like further information about NAUI, or about attending a NAUI Course in your area, please contact us with your location, or the location you would like to attend the course.



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Q: I want to become a NAUI Diver. How much will it cost, how long will it take, and where can I find a NAUI Instructor or Facility to teach me?
A: Course location, duration and price vary. This variation is due in part to location, instructor, facility, benefits and level of training. You will find information about NAUI diver courses in our NAUI Training Progression section. Contact your local NAUI Dive Center. or NAUI Worldwide for more information about diver courses.



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Q: I want to become a NAUI Instructor. How much will it cost, how long will it take, and where can I find a NAUI Course Director for an Instructor Training Course (ITC)?
A: NAUI Instructor Courses are held throughout the world on an ongoing basis. These courses vary in cost and duration, depending on the Course Director, location, etc. For information regarding the next ITC in your area, please contact the NAUI office or representative nearest you. You may also check the NAUI Upcoming Events listing under ITC's.

The NAUI Instructor Training Course (ITC) is designed to train and qualify NAUI Instructor candidates for application to become instructor members. During the course, candidates learn effective methods to teach skin and scuba diving in compliance with NAUI Diving Course Standards. The course assures the NAUI membership that candidates who receive certification as NAUI Instructors have the knowledge, skills, fitness and proper attitude to do so.

The ITC may be presented in two phases. If done so, phase one, called an Instructor Training Program (ITP), contains all developmental training except for the final evaluations. During an ITP, candidate practice performances must be evaluated by at least two qualified evaluators, one of whom may be a Staff Training Workshop (STW) graduate and the other an Instructor Trainer (IT) or Course Director (CD). The ITP can be conducted in many formats, ranging in length from one week to an internship over an extended period. The second or final phase of an ITC so organized is called the IQP, during which a Course Director must be in residence and all final evaluations will be made.

Other agency instructors may receive Recognition Of Prior Learning (RPL) for training and experience they have accumulated. This recognition is based upon evidence of prior learning and experience provided by a candidate and becomes a part of a candidates training record. It is used to develop an individualized training plan so that standards and requirements of the ITC are met, and usually results in an accelerated program that leads to graduation and qualifying an applicant for membership. RPL may also be used for qualifying leadership candidates, i.e., assistant instructor and divemaster.



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Q: The NAUI Certification I have is not listed in your courses, why?
A: NAUI certification courses underwent a name-change in 1994. The current names are as follows:

Old Name New Name
Openwater 1 Scuba Diver
Openwater 2 Advanced Scuba Diver
Advanced Master Scuba Diver
Master Gold Master Diver
Rescue Scuba Rescue Diver
D.A.R.T. Advanced Scuba Rescue Diver


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Q: Can I use the NAUI Logo or the acronym "NAUI" or "naui" in my website URL or email address?
A: Questions regarding the use of NAUI's name, trademark or logos arise from time to time. The Logo Policy, is also printed on the reverse of the NAUI membership renewal form and is thereby part of the annual membership agreement signed by each member.

Questions from members concerning their using the name NAUI in a web site URL and e-mail addresses are common. Usage such as NAUInstructor.com, nauiitc.com, nauicareer.com, naui.net, naui.com or other variations that use the acronym NAUI or naui is not approved and is determined to be misuse for the purpose of clarifying the Trademark and Logo policy. As stated in the Trademark and Logo policy such misuse is a violation of the NAUI Code of Ethics and will be handled accordingly.

Use of the NAUI Trademarks, National Association Of Underwater Instructors, NAUI and NAUI Worldwide by NAUI Members is subject to the following conditions:

  • The word Member must appear under the trademark(s).

  • The NAUI trademark(s) shall be reproduced as received from NAUI without alteration except for overall sizing. It may not be used within or as a part of any other symbol or mark.

  • The NAUI trademark(s) shall be used by members only on correspondence or other printed materials or electronic media used to market or promote NAUI courses or programs.

  • NAUI trademark(s) shall not be used as part of the sale or manufacture of goods without written authorization from NAUI.

  • Use of the trademarks on the World Wide Web or other electronic service requires linking to the NAUI Website and such use shall contain written acknowledgment of sole and exclusive ownership by NAUI.

  • NAUI may withdraw trademark use permission at any time.

  • Misuse of the NAUI trademark(s) violates the NAUI Code of Ethics.
Note: Official logos and special policies for use online are available on the Logo Policy page.

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