Choosing a course

Which Technical Agency

When starting to look at tech diving there is a huge choice and a number of training agencies available. So hopefully we can try and explain which to choose and the similarities/ differences between them

However, something that is common is that most technical agencies will assume a certain basic knowledge and diving capabilities first (usually with minimum of deep and nitrox qualification as a prerequisite)

PADI

I think everyone knows PADI but they only produced technical courses fairly recently and their names normally speak for itself. But already each year certify more technical divers than all the other agencies

TEC40 – back gas based on Air/Nitrox, using most suitable mix for the depth. Using a single ‘stage/deco’ cylinder with limited decompression. Max depth for the qualification is 40m.

TEC45 – back gas based on Air/Nitrox, using most suitable mix for the depth. Using a single ‘stage/deco’ cylinder with unlimited decompression. Max depth for the qualification is 45m.

TEC50 – back gas based on Air/Nitrox, using most suitable mix for the depth. Using a one or two ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth is 50m. This is a ‘deep air’ qualification.

TEC65 – back gas based on Normoxic Trimix (oxygen level based on normal breathing levels), using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (Trimix) based gas. Using a one or two ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth for the qualification is 65m

Trimix – Or Full Trimix back gas based on HypoxicTrimix (oxygen level below normal breathing levels), using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (Trimix) based gas. Using two or more ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires. Max depth during course is 90m.

IANTD

The first internationally recognised technical training agency with a solid reputation and created a simple structure for progression and included the use of helium ‘earlier’ in their course structures

Advanced Nitrox- back gas based on Air/Nitrox, using most suitable mix for the depth. Using a single ‘stage/deco’ cylinder with limited decompression. Max depth for the qualification is 42m

Adv Recreational Trimix – back gas based on Air/Nitrox/Trimix, using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (Trimix) based gas. Using a single ‘stage/deco’ cylinder with limited decompression. Max depth for the qualification is 48m

Technical Diver – back gas based on Air/Nitrox, using most suitable mix for the depth. Using a one or two ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth is 51m. This is a ‘deep air’ qualification

Normoxic Trimix – back gas based on Normoxi​​c Trimix (oxygen level based on normal breathing levels), using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (Trimix) based gas. Using a one or two ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth for the qualification is 60m

Trimix – Or Full Trimix back gas based on HypoxicTrimix (oxygen level below normal breathing levels), using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (Trimix) based gas. Using two or more ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth for the qualification is 100m

TDI

Also internationally recognised technical training agency created a few years after IANTD from former members with ‘slightly different’ training philosophy

Advanced Nitrox – back gas based on Air/Nitrox, using most suitable mix for the depth. Using a single ‘stage/deco’ cylinder with limited decompression. Max depth for the qualification is 42m.

Decompression Procedures – building on Advanced Nitrox and is most commonly combined with that course, it will extend your knowledge and decompression limit with a max depth of 45m

Helitrox – back gas based on Air/Nitrox/Trimix, using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (max 20% helium) based gas. Using a single ‘stage/deco’ cylinder with limited decompression. Max depth for the qualification is 45m

Extended Range – back gas based on Air/Nitrox, using most suitable mix for the depth. Using a one or two ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth is 55m. This is a ‘deep air’ qualification

Trimix – back gas based on Normoxic Trimix (oxygen level based on normal breathing levels), using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (Trimix) based gas. Using a one or two ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth for the qualification is 60m

AdvancedTrimix – back gas based on HypoxicTrimix (oxygen level below normal breathing levels), using most suitable mix for the depth with reduced narcosis level using helium (Trimix) based gas. Using two or more ‘stage/deco’ cylinders and with decompression as dive requires (unlimited deco). Max depth for the qualification is 100m.


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