The DSAT TecRec range was initially designed in 2000 and was soon recognised as setting a new high standard for instructional design and quality support materials. Instructors who teach the system know that a Tec Deep Diver or Tec Trimix Diver are superbly trained for technical diving. But now it’s time for a change.
Why change something that works? Well, we are not changing the best parts. The competencies at these two levels will stay the same, in other words pretty much exactly the same total set of skills and experience. However, nine years is a long time in technical diving, and the range was due for a review.
The way the review was conducted was to speak to the experts — you. We have spent a lot of time conducting forums around the world and talking to the people who teach this stuff on a day to day basis. You know what works and what doesn’t. You said you love the end product of those two courses, but that you wanted more incremental steps for divers to reach them, so that it was more practical for divers and instructors to schedule training. You also said that there should be a definite increase in a diver’s capabilities at each stage.
As no one wanted to change the overall level of information provided to the students, we have not revised the diver manuals. However, we are producing new instructor guides, knowledge reviews and exams to cover the new levels.
So here is a first look at the new TecRec range. As a general rule, each of the diver courses has four dives; in some cases the initial dives may be conducted in confined or limited open water.
The entry point into the technical range, it provides a transition from recreational to tech. Although the use of full tech gear (doubles and wings) is preferred, it does allow modified use of recreational gear in some situations, provided the diver has two separate regulators, with one of the first stages fitted with a long hose. The intended working limit for a diver of this grade is 40 metres/130 feet with up to 10 minutes of non-accelerated decompression while breathing up to EANx50.
The diver now must wear the full ‘standardised’ tech rig, including wings and doubles, plus an additional deco cylinder. (Note that side mounted cylinders are an acceptable alternative to back mounted doubles throughout the TecRec range). The course will allow the diver to go to 45 metres/145 feet and make accelerated decompression dives using any mix of EANx or oxygen.
At the end of this course the diver will have the same set of skills and knowledge as the present Tec Deep Diver. As such it represents a high level of competency for a technical diver. Although the option exists to make the last dive of the course using trimix, it is intended as an air/nitrox rating and by the end the diver can dive to a maximum of 50 metres/165 feet and make extended, accelerated decompression dives.
Tec Trimix 65
This course opens up the advantages of trimix to the diver, and divers are qualified to make multi-stop decompression dives that employ EANx and oxygen for accelerated decompression, and any trimix with an oxygen content of 18% or more. They can dive to a maximum depth of 65 metres/210 feet.
This level is essentially the same as the existing course of this name. Therefore there is no numbered suffix after the course title — there are no limits are placed on how deep the diver can go after training, providing they build their experience gradually.
This is a new level of instructor in the TecRec range. The Tec Instructor will be able to teach the Tec 40 course.
Tec Deep Instructor
All existing Tec Deep Instructors keep the same credential, and will be able to offer the Tec 40, Tec 45 and Tec 50 courses.
Tec Trimix Instructor
Again, existing instructors of this level retain this credential and can offer any of the diver level courses in the range.
All these courses will be released in the next couple of months, so look for more news soon.