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Human Factors & Non-Technical Skills in Diving - Ten Week Webinar Series - Starts 1 June 2020

"I was always told as a trainee how important it was to be a 'thinking' diver. In hindsight no-one explained what that actually meant though. I went around thinking "yeah I'm a thinking diver. I'm cautious, I think about things, I plan carefully. I check my kit".  But no-one broke it down into elements. That's a real benefit of this this course by giving subsets and categories to break things down, to identify aspects to isolate and work and improve on, both for myself and in helping others."

What is this about?

Following the success of the first webinar series, another 10-week webinar-based class will start on 1 June 2020. The class focuses on the human factors skills aspects within higher risk diving such as Cave, CCR and Technical and instructional diving. The course material is there to help you:

  • improve your diving to be safer and to achieve more
  • become a more effective instructor (if you are one) thereby increase students' learning and repeat business 
  • understand why divers make the mistakes they do and what we can do to reduce the likelihood of an accident or adverse event happening

All by developing knowledge and skills which can be applied in all areas of diving from recreational, to technical, to instruction.

However, this course does not focus on the technical aspects of diving like gas planning, buoyancy/propulsion or equipment use, but rather decision making, situational awareness, communications and cooperation skills, and crucially, their interdependence. Case studies are discussed, highlighting the contributory factors to incidents which are rarely technical in nature.

What's the difference between this and the other HF courses you teach?

There are 3 sets of classes.

  • Online micro-class (3 hrs) provides a brief introduction to the subject of human factors skills/non-technical skills in the context of diving in general.
  • Webinar-based class (10-15 hrs) focusing on human factors/non-technical skills for higher risk divers (CCR, Cave, Tech, Instructors and Instructor trainers).
  • Face-to-face core topics class (2 days) and advanced class (3 days) are very much experiential-learning based with a small mount of theory covered. The webinar-based or online classes are pre-learning for these classes.

What does the course look like?

This webinar-based course will consist of 10 weekly webinars each lasting 60-90 minutes.

Within each session there will be 45-60 minutes of theory with 15-30 minutes of discussion and questions.

The first module will take place on 1 June 2020 and the last one on 3 August 2020. They will run at 19:00 (7pm) UK time. You will get a reminder email a couple of days before and on the day itself to remind you of the webinar that evening. 

The course will be hosted on Zoom which allows for breakout rooms and interaction between participants and is supported on PC/Mac/iOS/Android. This won't be a passive course!! There will also be assignments for specific modules with homework and prizes given for the best submission.

All webinars are recorded so you can catch up, watch when you've time, or come back and watch again, and again!

You will be able to submit questions or issues you'd like answered/discussed in the webinar. Details of how to do this will be given in the first webinar.

What do I need to complete the class?

The only thing you need is a web-browser, the Zoom app (which you'll be prompted to install - like Skype but much better!!) and an internet connection.

Zoom has clients for PC, Mac, iOS and Android and the webinars will be recorded and then hosted on The Human Diver for participants to watch if they can't make the live webinar. The recordings can also be used for reference too.

More detail about the class

This 10-week webinar-based course equips participants with the knowledge and understanding about how to improve their diving; to have more fun and allow them to take more informed risks because they know where failure is likely to occur and can mitigate it accordingly.

The course provides more detail and engagement (10-15 hrs) than the online-micro class (3 hrs). There are assignments which need to be completed as part of the 10-week programme to maximise consolation of the learning. To encourage the cohort to complete these, prizes will be awarded for the best submissions.

When is it and what is covered?

1 Jun - Introduction to HF, Non-Technical Skills and Human Error in Diving and Case Study introduction.
8 Jun - Psychological Safety and Just Culture
15 Jun - Situational Awareness
22 Jun - Decision Making
29 Jun - Communications
6 Jul - Leadership & Followership in Diving
13 Jul - Teamwork
20 Jul - Performance Shaping Factors (Stress & Fatigue)
27 Jul - Incident Reporting 
3 Aug - Goals and Accountability

Do I get a Certificate or C-card?

The courses are not underwritten by any of the diver training agencies so you won't get a bit of plastic. However, you will get a certificate on completion of the class.

You'll also get to keep access to the class once you've finished and so have plenty of reference material to come back to or use in your own teaching.

Some organisations allow you to claim Continued Professional Development (CPD) hours. The certificate shows 15 hours of work.

What Next?

If this subject really interests you and you want to take your learning to the next level, visit this page which will tell you all about the two-day human factors skills in diving class which uses a computer-based simulation (GemaSim) to create stressful situations where your non-technical skills will be challenged and then reviewed using reflective debriefs. Another globally unique opportunity to develop yourself further. Testimonials for this class can be found dotted around the website.