Quebec recreational scuba diving regulations

In Quebec, the practice of recreational underwater diving is governed by the Regulation respecting qualifications for recreational underwater diving authorized by the Act respecting safety in sports (R.S.Q., c. S-3.1, c. V.2).

Under the Act (c. V.2, ss. 46.17 and 46.18), a person who practices recreational underwater diving other than during a qualifying course or examination, or who teaches it, must hold a certificate attesting to the level of qualification acquired in scuba diving or diving instruction.

The Regulation respecting qualifications for recreational underwater diving (L.R.Q., c. S-3.1, r. 8) specifies the conditions under which the holder of a qualification certificate can dive or teach according to his level of qualification. The levels of qualification for a diver are: Class A, B, C and D and for the instructor - class A, B and C. The diver level - class D allows certain functions of assistance to the instructor. For details of the levels and the associated requirements, consult the Regulation.

For tourists or people certified outside of Quebec, a temporary equivalence certificate can be issued under certain conditions.

Renewal of the qualification certificate

To renew your certificate, you will need to:

For A, B and C divers (every 3 years)
…have done a minimum of (10) ten recreational scuba dives using compressed gas in the last (3) three years OR
…demonstrate that you have participated in a session to update your knowledge and skills during a dive supervised by a qualified instructor OR
…pass the examinations leading to the issuance of the certificate.

For class D divers (every year)
…be a member in good standing as assistant instructor or dive leader of the agencies listed in the appendix to the regulation AND
…demonstrate that you have participated, during the validity period of your certificate, in at least one 4-hour professional development clinic in the past 3 years.

As instructor A, B and C (every year)
…be a member in good standing, as an instructor, of one of the agencies listed in the appendix to the regulation AND
…demonstrate that you have participated, during the validity period of your certificate, in at least one 4-hour professional development clinic in the last year.
To obtain a qualification certificate, please contact an instructor who has been accredited by the Federation. Consult the list to find out the active instructors authorized to teach and issue certificates in Quebec. For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-252-3009 or at the toll-free number 1-866-391-8835 extension 1 or by email at accreditation@fqas.qc.ca

About the regulations

The Act respecting safety in sports was adopted by the National Assembly on December 21, 1979. The Minister in charge of its application is responsible for ensuring that the safety and integrity of persons in sports are assured. The Act to amend the Act respecting safety in Sports (SQ 1997, c. 37) was adopted on June 10, 1997 in order to insert a new chapter dealing with safety in matters of recreational underwater diving. This amendment to the Act follows on the inquiries of coroner Denis Boudrias’s inquest reports into the causes and circumstances of death of victims of scuba diving accidents that occurred during the decade. As of June 1, 1999 (1999, G.O. 2, p. 2532) the Minister authorizes the Federation to adopt by regulation standards concerning, among other things, the qualification of persons who practice and teach underwater diving. On February 5, 2002 (2002, G.O. 2, p. 1830), the Minister approves the Regulation respecting qualifications for recreational underwater diving. The first recreational underwater diving qualification certificates were issued in 2004.