World Recreational Scuba Training Council

World Recreational Scuba Training Council
Abbreviation WRSTC
Formation 1999
Purpose Development of worldwide minimum training standards
Headquarters PO Box 11083, Jacksonville, FL 32239-1083 USA
Region served
Regional & National RSTCs

The World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) was founded in 1999 and is dedicated to creating minimum recreational diving training standards for the various scuba diving certification agencies across the world. The WRSTC restricts its membership to national or regional councils. These councils consist of individual training organizations who collectively represent at least 50% of the annual diver certifications in the member council's country or region.[1] A national council is referred to as a RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council).

The most significant training organisations which are not associated with WRSTC via membership of its regional RSTCs are Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS), National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), and International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD).

Member Councils

United States RSTC

On the basis of the experience of past attempts within the United States (US) to control various aspects of recreational diving activity by legislation, the US RSTC was created in 1986 as a permanent body to sustain a relationship between various recreational diving training organisations. In 1991, it replaced the Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association (DEMA) (renamed as the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association in 1998) as the secretariat for the then American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committee for Underwater Safety (also known as the Z86 Committee). The Z86 committee was subsequently replaced by the committee for Diving Instructional Standards and Safety (also known as the Z375 committee).[2] In 2007 it retained its appointment as the ANSI Accredited Standards Developer (ASD) for the Z375 committee.[3]

The US RSTC has been responsible for the development of a standard medical statement (in conjunction with the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society) and minimum training standards for diving hand signals and the following recreational diver grades - Introductory Scuba Experience, Supervised Diver, Open Water Diver, Enriched Air Nitrox Certification, Entry level Rescue Diver, Dive Supervisor, Assistant Instructor, Scuba Instructor and Scuba Instructor Trainer.[4][5]

Membership of a US RSTC council member is one of the recognition criteria used by Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for the selection of recreational scuba diving instructors for the training of its members in order to receive the BSA Scuba Diving merit badge.[6]

As of 2016, the following agencies are members:[7]

RSTC Canada

The following agencies are currently members:[8]

RSTC Europe

RSTC Europe currently is a member of the European Underwater Federation. The following agencies are currently members:[9]

C-Card Council (Japan)

The following agencies are currently members:[10]

Criticism of the WRSTC

The WRSTC and its member councils are subject to some criticism.

NAUI's current Vice-President, Jed Livingstone, has explained that NAUI hasn't rejoined the United States RSTC because they believe it would not be worthwhile unless the RSTC agrees that non-RSTC organizations would not be recognized as legitimate certifying organizations.[11]


  1. "Mission Statement". World Recreational Scuba Training Council. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  2. Brylske, Alex. "Training Standards: Understanding the "Why" Behind What Divers are Taught". Dive Training magazine. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  3. "ANSI Accredited Standards Developers listing" (pdf). American National Standards Institute. p. 150. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  4. Richardson, Drew (2000). "THE RSTC MEDICAL STATEMENT AND CANDIDATE SCREENING MODEL". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS) Journal. South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society. pp. 210–213. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  5. "Dive Standards & Medical Statement". World Recreational Scuba Training Council. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  6. "Scuba diving, Note to the (Merit Badge) Counselor". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  7. "United States Council". World Recreational Scuba Training Council. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  8. "Canadian Agencies". World Recreational Scuba Training Council. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  9. "European Agencies". World Recreational Scuba Training Council. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  10. "Japan Agencies". World Recreational Scuba Training Council. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  11. Livingston, Jed (November–December 2001). "What is an ANSI or an RSTC Anyway?". Sources - The Journal of Underwater Education. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
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