Divers medical fitness certification - update

Circular No: NP/076/20


Dear Colleagues

Divers’ medical fitness certification – Update

I am writing to alert members working in the commercial diving sector to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) changes to the renewal of certificates of medical fitness to dive, specifically those that expired on or after 16th March 2020, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The HSE has acknowledged that you may not be able to access Approved Medical Examiners of Divers (AMEDs) for renewal medical examinations during this crisis. If a diver is unable to undertake a medical re-examination with an AMED for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or as a result of complying with related government advice, the HSE will now accept the validity of current certificates up until 1st June 2020 provided that the diver’s current certificate of medical fitness was issued with a full 12 months validity.

Should you need to apply for this extension, you will be asked to provide reasons for any delay in undertaking a medical examination and any steps you have taken to try to obtain a medical examination. You will also be asked to confirm that you have not been diagnosed with or suffered any illness or injury that could impact on your medical fitness to dive.

Any diver who wishes to dive at work and either does not hold or holds a restricted certificate of medical fitness to dive issued by an AMED on or before 16th March 2020 must undertake the full examination as required by the Diving at Work Regulations.

The HSE will be reviewing these arrangements in the coming months and you will be kept updated with any further changes.

I would be grateful if you would share this with members in your branch or region and I will keep you informed of all further developments.

Yours sincerely  


Mick Cash

General Secretary