Technical Diver Level 3

Course Outcomes

GUE’s Technical Diver 3 course is designed as a mastery level course with an emphasis on aggressive diving profiles. Among its course outcomes are: knowledge of advanced decompression theory, knowledge of advanced gas mixture/management, control over extreme exposures to oxygen, and proficiency in the use of a DPV for propulsion at depth.


Applicants for a Tech 3 course must:

  1. Submit a completed registration form, a medical history, and a liability release to GUE Headquarters.
  2. Be physically and mentally fit.
  3. Hold insurance that will cover diving emergencies such as hyperbaric treatment, e.g. DAN Master-level insurance or equivalent.
  4. Be a nonsmoker.
  5. Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for the use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any prior medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
  6. Be a minimum of 21 years of age.
  7. Must have earned GUE Tech Level 2, GUE Cave Level 1, Documentation Diver and DPV certifications.
  8. Must have at least 75 dives beyond Tech 2 certification.

Course Content

The Tech 3 course is normally conducted over seven days; it requires eight dives and a minimum of 30 hours of instruction, encompassing classroom, land drills, and in-water work.

Tech 3 Specific Training Standards

  1. Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 6:1 during land drill or surface exercises; ratios cannot exceed 3:1 during any in-water training.

Training Materials

GUE training materials and recommended reading as determined by the course study packet received via online download after GUE course registration.

Academic Topics

  1. Introduction: GUE organization and course overview (objectives, limits, expectations)
  2. Conservation
  3. Logistical planning, project support, and operational planning
  4. Advanced diving techniques, including: scooter diving, use of multiple stage and decompression cylinders, navigation, advanced gas management, and advanced decompression strategy
  5. Spool, reel, and guideline use
  6. Dive team order and protocols
  7. DPV protocols
  8. Touch contact
  9. Advanced navigation skills

Required Dive Skills and Drills

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving techniques; this would include pre-dive preparations, inwater activity, and post-dive assessment.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of team member location and concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner needs.
  3. Demonstrate a safe and responsible demeanor throughout all training.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in underwater communication.
  5. Demonstrate basic proficiency managing a GUE equipment configuration.
  6. Demonstrate safe ascent and descent procedures.
  7. Must be able to swim at least 500 yards/450 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  8. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold while submerged.
  9. Recognize, assess, and review diving limitations.
  10. Skillfully demonstrate gas failure procedures, including valve manipulation, gas sharing, and regulator switching, as appropriate.
  11. Demonstrate the ability to deploy a lift bag/surface marker buoy in less than 2 minutes while hovering stationary. Participants should not vary in depth more than 3 feet/1 meter.
  12. Demonstrate good touch-contact skills for limited and simulated zero visibility situations.
  13. Demonstrate excellent reel and guideline use.
  14. Demonstrate proficiency in gas sharing while managing multiple stages.
  15. Demonstrate safe and efficient operation of a DPV.
  16. Demonstrate proficiency in gas sharing while piloting a DPV.
  17. Demonstrate the ability to run/retrieve a guideline while using a DPV.
  18. Demonstrate the ability to tow a diver with a failed DPV.
  19. Demonstrate proficiency in DPV power management.
  20. Demonstrate the effective deployment of a reserve light in less than 30 seconds.
  21. Demonstrate excellent buoyancy control skills.
  22. Demonstrate clean and efficient removal/attachment of multiple stage and/or decompression cylinders while hovering horizontal.
  23. Demonstrate an understanding of advanced decompression techniques by: 1) explaining trends in decompression tables, and 2) explaining how to manage decompression in the event of a lost decompression gas.
  24. Be able to explain how to safely carry out all decompression obligations, assuming the loss of all back gas.
  25. Demonstrate proficiency in navigation, using both a compass and natural navigation.
  26. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth.

Equipment Requirements

GUE base configuration as outlined in Appendix A, plus:

  1. GUE double tank configuration
  2. Three decompression cylinders
  3. Two bottom gas cylinders
  4. Approved DPV
  5. Small argon regulator and bottle where appropriate
  6. One primary reel per team

Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements and appropriateness of any selected equipment.