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Scientific diving

Since 2009 a working group on scientific diving has been set up at the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO). The working group is composed of representatives of the different universities and scientific institutions concerned by scientific diving activities as well as the managers of the Belgian research vessels Belgica and Simon Stevin.

The objective of the working group is to support and facilitate the scientific diving activity by Belgian scientists. The group will focus amongst others on the operating procedures for a safe practice of scientific diving from the Belgian research vessels.

The working group also focus on the development and management of a course for scientific diving for the Belgian scientific diving community, based on the guidelines of the European Marine Board Panel on scientific diving (ESDP). The course is yearly organised in summer. A call for participation is sent out to all potential interested parties around May.

Participants who fulfil all requirements and have successfully followed the course will obtain the certificate of Belgian Scientific Diver (BSD) or Advanced Belgian Scientific Diver (ABSD). These certificates are fully equivalent to the European standards (ESD or AESD).

Since 2013 the course and the certifications are also recognised by the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue to be in concordance with the Royal Decree of 23 December 2003 with regard to labour in hyperbaric environments (replaced by the Code Well-being of Workers Book V title 4, Royal Decree of 28 April 2017).

For any information please contact the working group.


Training course on scientific diving techniques 2017:

  • The call for the 2018 training course for BSD and ABSD is open. The training will be held from 9 to 21 September 2018 in Stareso, Corsica.
    Interested candidates should send the application form, duly completed, to "" by the 18nd May 2018 at 17:00 at the latest.


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