Diving and hyperbaric medicine



The ANZCA Certificate in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine (DHM) is currently under review and new trainee registrations have not been accepted since August 1, 2013.
The South Pacific Underwater Society (SPUMS) Diploma in DHM is not included in the review.
Trainees registered for the ANZCA Certificate in DHM must meet the following eligibility criteria for the September 2016 examinations.

  • Registered prior to the August 1, 2013 and paid all relevant fees.
  • Successfully completed a Fellowship with a specialist medical college recognised by ANZCA Council (e.g. FANZCA, FACEM, FCICM).
  • Completed the SPUMS Diploma in DHM, Auckland Dip Med (DHM), or equivalent.
  • Completed a training workbook and/or formal project.
Documentation of the above requirements must be received by ANZCA on or before the closing date of the examination to allow verification by a DPA Assessor.
Closing date for exam registration Friday September 9, 2016
SAQ examination date Tuesday November 22, 2016
Oral viva examination date Friday December 2, 2016


In April 2016, Council supported the DHM Working Party recommendations to undertake a limited restructure of the ANZCA Certificate of DHM, which includes the following points.
  • Establishment of a Diploma of Advanced DHM Project Group from June 2016 to July2017 reporting to the Education, Training and Assessment Development Committee.
  • Change in the qualification to a 12-month, full-time equivalent (FTE) ANZCA Diploma of Advanced DHM.
  • Launch of the ANZCA Diploma of Advanced DHM in July 2017.

Hyperbaric Chamber

Training for the ANZCA Certificate in DHM contains three main elements: course work, research and practical experience designed to attain the major objectives of training.

Attainment of the Diploma in DHM, as conducted under the auspices of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS), is a prerequisite for certification (for further information go to www.spums.org.au).


The SPUMS diploma is the only local qualification relevant to the field and is well established. The SPUMS organisation maintains a sophisticated system of research evaluation and review under the auspices of an education officer elected by the members, and a reviewed publication standard project is a requirement for this diploma.


Formal course requirements

Two periods of formal instruction, composed of the two distinct sub-disciplines of diving medicine and hyperbaric medicine, must be successfully undertaken to satisfy the requirements of the certification. Each of these must be of a minimum duration of two weeks. One course focuses on diving medicine (for example, Royal Adelaide Hospital, HMAS Penguin), while the other is primarily hyperbaric medicine orientated (for example, the special interest group/Australian and New Zealand Hyperbaric Medicine Group course). Courses must meet a minimum standard as required by the SPUMS diploma.


One of these courses should be undertaken early in training, as required by the ANZCA Certificate in DHM, while the other may be completed at any time up to the end of training. This gives a total of four weeks formal, didactic training from a wide range of specialists in the field.

Hyperbaric Chamber


Practical experience

The ANZCA Certificate in DHM requires six months of formal, full-time hyperbaric facility work experience and a further one year FTE of facility training at a location accredited by a particular ANZCA special interest group. This gives a total of 18 months of practical experience. You may choose to satisfy this requirement over a longer period of time rather than at full-time as long as you achieve 18 months FTE. 


In addition to a time commitment, you must keep a workbook, documenting a minimum number of essential practical tasks be completed. Each entry requires counter-signature by a qualified supervisor.  Here is ANZCA's suggested range of experience and repetitions for your workbook:


Broad category Detailed experience Minimum required
1.  Patient assessment Assessment of routine patient for therapy 30 patients
  Assessment of emergency patient Five patients
  Transcutaneous oxygen mapping Five patients
  Tympanometry 20 patients
2.  Hyperbaric therapy Supervision of routine treatment 50 chamber cycles
  Supervision of emergency treatment 15 chamber cycles
  Supervision of emergency  treatment for necrotising infection Four treatments
  In-chamber attendance 20 chamber cycles
  Planning of dressing regime for chronic wound management 10 patients
3.  Diving medicine Assessment of fitness for recreational diving (novice) or hyperbaric attendance 10 candidates
  Supervision of diver retrieval and assessment for treatment 10 patients
  Supervision of initial diver recompression 10 recompressions
  Counselling following treatment for DCI/CAGE 10 patients
4.  Complications Assessment and treatment of barotrauma 10 patients
  Assessment of hyperbaric myopia 10 patients
  Treatment of hyperoxic seizure* One patient
  Emergency chamber access for resuscitation* One patient

 *Indicates item that may be simulated.



Processes for certification:

  • Attainment of the SPUMS Diploma in DHM (research and formal training component).
  • Satisfactory completion of the workbook.
  • Successful negotiation of an examination to be sat at or near the end of the training period. This examination covers knowledge in the areas identified in the curriculum.



Successful completion of the certification process will require the candidate to demonstrate a number of achieved competencies:

  1. Satisfactory level of understanding of the hyperbaric physical environment.
  2. Ability to develop a rational approach to the assessment, diagnosis, selection, treatment and outcome assessment of patients presenting for consideration of hyperbaric therapy.
  3. Ability to diagnose and manage the complications of hyperbaric therapy.
  4. Practical ability to perform investigations and treatment relevant to hyperbaric patients, including insertion of chest drains, performance and interpretation of transcutaneous oxygen mapping studies and conduct of assessments of fitness to dive.
  5. Satisfactory level of understanding of the diving environment and the safe conduct of underwater diving.
  6. Physical fitness to enter the hyperbaric environment.
  7. Understanding of the administrative and quality management commitments required for the safe and effective conduct of hyperbaric therapy.
  8. Understanding of the research process as it relates to diving and hyperbaric medicine.

The ANZCA diving and hyperbaric program:




Accreditation of DHM units

Units wishing to be accredited to offer training towards the ANZCA Certificate in DHM should complete the Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Data Sheet and email it in word format to   tac@anzca.edu.au


For all enquiries regarding registration and examinations, please contact dhm@anzca.edu.au.





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