Students must be certified as a NSS-CDS Apprentice Cave Diver or equivalent. Students must possess Advanced Open Water Diver and entry-level Nitrox Diver or equivalent certifications from a widely recognized diver training organization, or equivalent experience.
Students participating in any training program involving planned decompression must possess appropriate certification from a widely recognized diver training organization. This training must cover: Use of pure oxygen or oxygen-rich decompression mixtures and procedures for decompression diving. This training may take place concurrently with NSS-CDS Cave Diver training.
Additionally, instructors must screen and evaluate students to ensure they possess the necessary attitude, knowledge and skills before any further in-water training takes place. Instructors must refer students who cannot pass this screening process to opportunities where they can obtain remedial training. Only when students can pass the screening process may they continue their cavern/cave training. To teach this course, instructors must be authorized to conduct the NSS-CDS Cave Diver course and the NSS-CDS Stage Cave Diver course. In addition to the equipment requirements listed for all NSS-CDS courses, students and instructors are to have and use the specialized equipment listed for the Stage Cave Diver course.