Conducting Practical Skills

Setup of Scooter

Students will setup DPV specific to manufacturer requirements as defined by manual.
In addition:

  • A single ended clip on the front of scooter must be mounted with a band to retain it against nose
  • A connection point to stow tow cord must be on DPV
  • A handle system must be attached to the nose cone of DPV if there not one built in.
  • Tow cord must be attached with a steel single end clip with sliding lock knots to adjust length

Bubble check of scooter

All DPV must be bubble checked at beginning of every dive around sealing o-ring to ensure no leak is present

Team positioning and communication

On all dives students must position themselves to allow ease of communication and contact with any guidelines.
Care must be taken to maintain good light communication.
In response to emergencies the diver with issue must be positioned correctly to move as a team with DPV.

Ditch Scooter to grip and retrieve

  • The DPV is swung to the RIGHT side of diver and grasped by handle or coldwater loop
  • To return the scooter is moved forward by the handle to allow the hand to grasp the trigger

Ditch Scooter emergency and retrieve

In the event of an emergency:

  • The scooter must be moved to the RIGHT side by the trigger handle and pushed backwards to clear both hands to deal with emergency.
  • Recover by tracing tow cord from d-ring and pulling DPV back to the front of diver

Hand Switch of control and light

Moving the light between hands while stationary and under power with scooter must be completed in the following:

  • Thumb loop torch in right hand while on trigger
  • Change to left hand while maintaining trigger

Correct Descents and Ascents

Students must be able to conduct descents and ascents in a controlled manner, staying together so that anybody in the team can give and get attention without a delay. The control of the buoyancy should be so good that students must be able to stop at any moment during the ascent and the descent in order to solve their own problems or assist solving the problems of the other team members. The students should practice descents and ascents with only a line as a visual reference. The students are not allowed to hold on to the descent/ascent line with the exception of diving in severe current. The DPV should be held in the right hand by the handle/ loop when not being used for descending or ascending or at stops.
DPV may be used in stonger current conditions to maintain position.

Correct alignment of scooter and body

The DPV must be weighted to be neutrally buoyant in the water and lie flat (trim). The position of the scooter must be so the propellor is below the line of the diver’s body and in front with the controlling arm bent at between 90 - 120 degrees.
The tow cord is clipped to the divers front crotch d-ring with the top cord being in trim with the diver's body.

Body Trim and Position

The diver’s trim must be flat as with normal diving with the legs straightened out to and angle of no more than 30 degrees and the fins in line with the body.

Use of Fins/ Body for turns

To pass the DPV course students must be able to use their fins and the DPV to make the following turns effectively while underway.

  • Yaw: Gentle banking to both sides with small adjustments from the fins
  • Hard Turn 90: Make a 90 degree turn left and right using fins in a larger motion
  • Full turn 180: Make a full turn in opposite direction using both legs to assist the turn in a tight circle.

Collision avoidance

Students must demonstrate correct awareness of their surroundings and team. They must demonstrate correct response to a potential collision by releasing trigger and banking away from potential collison source.

Low on Gas

Students must respond to a Low on Gas signal communicated by a team mate by:

  • Stopping
  • Ditching the scooter to the right side and finning towards LOG diver
  • Donating their longhose in standard manner (see SD/ EBS)
  • Once the team has established control they should ascend if possible.
  • If return to ascent point is required using DPV then the low on gas diver will drive DPV with donor being towed and communicating using rimbach technique.

Failed scooter (on/ run away)

Students need to respond to a runaway scooter by:

  • Using the emergency shutoff specific for the model
  • Without changing depth or excessive team positioning.

Failed scooter (off) and stowage

Students need to respond to a failed DPV by:

  • Signaling team mate
  • Switching DPV off
  • Removing tow cord and stowing away on nose
  • Clipping nose clip to back crotch D-ring
  • Maintaining depth and buoyancy through whole exercise
  • Aborting dive and exiting using tow with team mate or ascent

Failed Primary Light

Student must respond to a failed primary light by:

  • Stopping and moving scooter to right side
  • Deploy backup light
  • Signal Team of issue
  • Stow primary light
  • Team exits

Team tow

Students must tow (and be towed) another diver a distance of at least 50m by:

  • Diver being towed stows scooter behind
  • Using a tank leash clip onto towing divers back d-ring
  • Hold onto leash and signal towing diver with rimbach communication

Navigation using Scooter

Students must demonstrate awareness of surroundings by returning to a specific point after a period of on trigger driving. This can be achieved with natural features, compass and depth positioning

Staging and retrieve DPV

Students must stage their DPV without changing depth or position by:

  • Stopping and moving DPV to right
  • Unclip tow cord and stow away
  • Clip DPV to line by nose clip
  • Turn off DPV

Students must retrieve a staged scooter by:

  • Identifying correct DPV
  • Unclipping from line and storing tow clip
  • Deploying tow cord and clipping to d-ring
  • Turning on DPV
  • Moving DPV to rest position on right side
  • Before moving team must all communicate agreement


Student must complete a vertical ascent with a reference by:

  • Signalling ascent
  • Moving scooter to stationary position on right side
  • Completing ascent maintaining of all stops

Gas Switch (EBS or above)

Students carrying a stage must make a gas switch by:

  • Signalling switch
  • Moving DPV away from body on RIGHT side
  • Completing switch as standard
  • Retrieving scooter to stationary position on side after

Launch of SMB

  • Signalling launch of SMB
  • Moving DPV away from body on RIGHT side
  • Completing the SMB launch, avoiding any entanglement risk with DPV
  • Retrieving scooter to stationary position on side after
  • Moving DPV away to right side when winding in excess

Post Dive Care

Students must use proper post dive care for DPV including rinsing and breakdown as per manufacturer recommendations.

Specific extra skills
Students at higher levels of training must complete all following skills moving the DPV away on right side to stationary or emergency position.

Technical Diver
Valve Drill
Stage Cycle

Rebreather Diver
Bailout drills
BOOM drills
3H drills (hypoxia, hyperoxia, hypercapnia)