In addition to meeting the normal prerequisites for NSS-CDS Apprentice Cave Diver training, students must hold Rebreather Diver certification from a widely recognized training organization and have logged at least 25 dives and 35 hours of bottom time using the same rebreather as they will use during this course. Instructors must be authorized to teach the NSS-CDS CCR Cave Diver course. Additionally, instructors wishing to issue dual qualification for both open-circuit and closed-circuit cave diving must be authorized to teach the open-circuit NSS-CDS Cave Diver program.
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. This training may take place concurrently with the CDS Basics orientation or Apprentice Cave.
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.