GUE training

Course Outcomes

The GUE Fundamentals course is designed to cultivate the essential skills required by all sound diving practice. Included among its course outcomes are: to provide the recreational diver, who does not desire further diver training, with an opportunity to advance his/her basic diving skills; to train divers in the theory and practice of Nitrox; to provide divers with aspirations for more advanced diver training with the tools that will contribute to a greater likelihood of success; and to provide non-GUE trained divers with a gateway into GUE training.

Prerequisites

Applicants for a Fundamentals 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 16 years of age.
  7. Be a certified GUE Rec 1 diver or be certified as an open water diver from a recognized training agency.

Course Content

The Fundamentals course is normally conducted over four days, requires 6 dives and at least 30 hours instruction, encompassing classroom, land drills and in-water work.

GUE Fundamentals Specific Training Standards

  1. Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 8:1 during land drill or surface exercises; it cannot exceed 4:1 during any in-water training.
  2. Critical skills may only be performed up to a maximum depth of 30 feet/9 meters
  3. Two dives must be at a depth of at least 25 feet/8 meters
  4. Maximum depth 60 feet/18 meters
  5. No overhead diving
  6. No decompression

Required 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. Building a solid skill base - buoyancy, trim, balance and propulsion
  3. Fundamental diving skills
  4. Streamlining and equipment configuration
  5. Situational awareness
  6. Dive planning and gas management
  7. Breathing gas overview
  8. Nitrox
  9. Decompression overview and minimum decompression procedures
  10. Diving safety and accident prevention
  11. The GUE system

Land Drills and Topics

  1. Dive team protocols
  2. Basic Five
  3. S-drill and valve-drill
  4. Equipment fit and functions
  5. Propulsion techniques
  6. Pre-dive drills
  7. Surface marker deployment
  8. Diver rescue techniques (Fundamentals Tech)

Required Dive Skills and Drills for Fundamentals Rating

(A) Required Dive Skills and Drills for a Fundamentals-Recreational Rating

  1. Must be able to swim at least 300 yards/275 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  2. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters on a breath hold while submerged.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving practices; this would include pre-dive preparation, in-water activity, and post-dive assessment.
  4. Demonstrate awareness of team member location and a concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner requirements.
  5. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference is a maximum of 30 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 5 feet/1.5 meters of a target depth.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in lift bag/surface marker buoy deployment while using a spool.
  7. Efficiently and comfortably demonstrate how to donate gas to an out-of-gas diver in multiple gas-sharing scenarios.
  8. Efficiently and comfortably demonstrate how to donate gas to an out-of-gas diver followed by an ascent to the surface, utilizing minimum decompression.
  9. Demonstrate a safe and responsible demeanor throughout all training.
  10. Demonstrate proficiency in underwater communication.
  11. Demonstrate a comfortable demeanor while swimming without a mask, in touch contact.
  12. Demonstrate aptitude in the following open water skills: mask clearing, mask removal and replacement, regulator removal and exchange, long-hose deployment.
  13. Demonstrate safe ascent and descent procedures.
  14. Demonstrate proficiency in executing a valve drill.
  15. Demonstrate basic equipment proficiency and an understanding of the GUE equipment configuration.
  16. Demonstrate three propulsion techniques. Students should demonstrate comprehension of the components necessary for a successful backward kick.

(B) Required Dive Skills and Drills for a Fundamentals-Technical Rating

This rating is required for those trainees seeking entry into GUE’s Cave and Technical courses. Skills 14-19 must be graded as a 3 or higher.

  1. Must be able to swim at least 300 yards/275 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  2. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters on a breath hold while submerged.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving practices; this would include pre-dive preparation, in-water activity, and post-dive assessment.
  4. Demonstrate awareness of team member location and a concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner requirements.
  5. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference is a maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in the ability to deploy a surface marker buoy while using a spool.
  7. Efficiently and comfortably demonstrate how to donate gas to an out-of-gas diver in multiple gas-sharing episodes.
  8. Efficiently and comfortably demonstrate how to donate gas to an out-of-gas diver followed by an ascent to the surface, utilizing minimum decompression.
  9. Demonstrate a safe and responsible demeanor throughout all training.
  10. Demonstrate proficiency in underwater communication.
  11. Demonstrate a comfortable demeanor while swimming without a mask, in touch contact.
  12. Demonstrate aptitude in the following open water skills: mask clearing, mask removal and replacement, regulator removal and exchange, long-hose deployment.
  13. Demonstrate safe ascent and descent procedures.
  14. Demonstrate an efficient valve drill with double tanks.
  15. Demonstrate basic equipment proficiency and an understanding of the GUE equipment configuration.
  16. Demonstrate proficiency in four propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments; students should also demonstrate competence in the backward kick and helicopter turns.
  17. Demonstrate proficiency with a primary light by using it during all skills except SMB deployment.
  18. Demonstrate diver rescue techniques, including effective management of an unconscious diver underwater.

Equipment Requirements

(A) Required Equipment for a Fundamentals-Recreational Rating

GUE base configuration as outlined in Appendix A.

(B) Required Equipment for a Fundamentals-Technical Rating

GUE base Configuration as outlined in Appendix A, plus:

  1. GUE double tank configuration
  2. Primary and back-up lights
  3. Back-up mask

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements. Whether or not a piece of equipment fulfills GUE’s equipment requirement remains at the discretion of GUE and its instructor representatives. Participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure the use of necessary equipment before the start of the course. In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment. However, students should exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring substandard equipment. Please contact a GUE representative prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can be obtained from the equipment considerations section of GUE's Web site.

The GUE base equipment configuration is comprised of:

  1. Tanks/cylinders: students may use a single tank/cylinder with a K-, H-, or Y-valve. Students may also use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual-outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the use of two first-stages. Consult course specific standards and your instructor to verify size requirements.
  2. Regulators:
    -Single tank: one second-stage regulator must supply a 5 to 7 foot/1.5 to 2 meter hose (2 meter long hose is required for all cave classes). The first stage must supply a pressure gauge, inflation for the buoyancy compensator (BC), and a means to inflate a drysuit where applicable.
    -Double tank: one of two required first stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a drysuit where applicable. The other second stage must supply a 5 to 7 foot/1.5 to 2 meter hose and an inflation source for the BC.
  3. Backplate system:
    -Should be held to the diver by one continuous piece of webbing. This webbing should be adjustable and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist.
    -A crotch strap is attached and looped through the waistband so as to prevent the system from riding up a diver’s back.
    -The continuous webbing should support five d-rings;
      -The first placed at the left hip
      -The second placed in line with a diver’s right collarbone
      -The third placed in line with the diver’s left collarbone
      -The fourth and fifth are placed on the front and back of the crotch strap where divers plan to use advanced equipment like DPVs.
    -The harness below the diver’s arms has small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve lights. The webbing and system retains a minimalist approach.
  4. Buoyancy compensation device (BC):
    -A diver’s BC is back-mounted and minimalist in nature.
    -It is free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material.
    -There are no restrictive bands or restrictive elastic affixed to the buoyancy cell.
    -Wing size and shape is appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
  5. At least one time/depth measuring device.
  6. Wrist-mounted compass.
  7. Mask and fins: Mask is be low-volume; fins are rigid, non-split
  8. At least one cutting device.
  9. Wet Notes.
  10. At least one surface marker buoy (SMB) with spool per diver.
  11. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure.

Additional Course-Specific Equipment

  1. Where required, bottom gas, decompression, or stage cylinders are marked in accord with GUE standards and configured in line with GUE protocol. They should be as close to neutral as possible with a relatively small swing from negative to positive during the use of the cylinder.
  2. Where argon bottles are applicable, they should be sized appropriately for the environment; small tanks are placed on the backplate with larger supplies affixed to the diver’s left back gas tank.
  3. Surface marker buoy: where required, the SMB should be appropriate for environmental conditions and deployed using a spool with at least 100 feet/30 meters of line.
  4. One reserve mask is required for some classes.
  5. Underwater lights:
    -Where required, back-up lights should be powered by alkaline batteries (not rechargeable) and stowed on the d-rings at a diver’s chest.
    -Reserve lights should have a minimal amount of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear.
    -The primary light should consist of a rechargeable battery pack and be fitted with a Goodman-style light handle.
    -Where burn time requirements create the need for an external battery pack, it should reside in a canister mounted to the diver’s right hip.
  6. Guideline devices, as required during cave diving activities:
    -A primary reel is required for all cave diving and provides a minimalist form factor with a handle designed to support a Goodman or "hands free" handle operation.
    -The primary reel should contain at least 150 feet/45 meters.
    -A safety spool is required for each diver while cave diving and should contain at least 150 feet/45 meters of line wrapped on a simple spool.
    -A jump or gap spool is required during Cave 2 dives and should contain at least 75 feet/23 meters of line wrapped on a simple spool.

GUE Fundamentals course:

$900 USD  (+$95 USD registration fee)