Technical Diving International (TDI)

Cave Diving and Technical Diving Courses

Before signing up for a TDI Cave Diving course, divers with no previous technical diving experience should consider enrolling in one of the following:


TDI Intro to Tech Diver Course: 

When you want to learn cave diving using double back mount tanks


TDI Sidemount Diver Course:

If you prefer the comfort of diving with two independent single tanks mounted on the side.

What does it take to become a TDI Full Cave Diver?

What you learn in a TDI Full Cave Divier course:

The TDI Full Cave Diver program consists of three sections:

Cavern Diver

The Cavern Diver course is the first step towards the Full Cave Diver certification and is probably the most challenging of all three courses. It is here where the diver learns all the basic emergency handling protocols for overhead environments diving.


All three courses are divided into different sections:

Briefings and Debriefings

Land Drills

Predive Drills

In Water Drills

Intro to Cave DIver

This course introduces the basic principles of cave diving using a single guide line. This is the second step towards becoming a Full Cave diver and further develops techniques, building directly upon the TDI cavern diver course. The intro to cave objective is to fine tune the skills learnt in the cavern diving course and to introduce the additional techniques and procedures required for simple cave diving.


The course follows the same structure as the Cavern Diver course which includes, briefings and debriefings, land drills, predive drills and in water drills. All the skills of the Cavern course are practiced and perfected and the line recovery and lost diver protocols are introduced as well as line entanglement, line cutting and repair.


This course takes a minimum of 4 days when taken separately if already certified as Cavern Diver and it takes a minimum of 5 days if combined with the TDI Cavern Diver course.

Full Cave Diver

This is the last step to get certified as a TDI Full Cave Diver. At this level, advanced cave diving planning for complex navigation and execution of different types of cave diving scenarios are introduced.  This course expands the previously learnt skills and emphasizes in dive planning and skill perfection through actual cave diving penetration.


During this course the students learn about properly marking their exit lines as they encounter multiple points of navigation and learn to safely plan dives to complete simple and complex circuits and traverses.


The duration of this course when taken on its own and the student is already certified as Intro to Cave diver is a minimum of 5 days. The skills learnt in the Cavern and Intro to Cave course are reviewed before going into the complex navigation portion of the course.


When the course is taken in one shot starting with Cavern all the way to Full Cave, it can be accomplished in a minimum of 8 days.

The Side mount Diver course is recommended before starting with cave diving training and it adds 2 days at the beginning of the full cave course.

Overhead Environments Training Skills

Land Drills:

  1. Selection and preparation of equipment
  2. Gas matching procedures
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with basic hand and light signals
  4. Proper touch contact communication while following a guideline
  5. Adequate pre dive planning
  6. Deployment and retrieval of a guideline
  7. Gas sharing protocols

During all Overhead Environment Dives the students must demonstrate conservation awareness and back referencing techniques


The Cavern Diver course takes a minimum of three days and four cavern dives when taken separately

In Water Drills

  1. Proper anti silting and propulsion techniques
  2. Ability to perform the following exercises while maintaining adequate buoyancy and trim:
  • Use of light and hand signals
  • Proper deployment of a guideline
  • Adequate line following procedures
  • Touch contact communication while following a guideline
  • Gas sharing with and without visibility using touch contact
  • Properly remove and replace mask without losing contact with the guideline
  • Primary light failure simulation and backup light deployment
  • Perform valve shut down drills
  • Safety Drills

Predive Drills

  1. Bubble checks
  2. Gear matching
  3. Dive limits
  4. Dive plan review
  5. S Drills

Camilo Garcia

TDI Cave Diving Instructor at Divers UnderGround


For more information contact us

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