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PSAI Apprentice Cave Diver

Required Prerequisite Certifications

Open Water Diver


Suggested Certifications

PSAI Advanced Open Water Diver

PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control (ABC)

Additional Required Prerequisite Certifications

PSAI Advanced Open Water Diver

PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control (ABC)

PSAI Deep Sport Diver

PSAI Basic Underwater Navigation



Suggested Certifications

PSAI Narcosis Management - Level 2

PSAI Twin Set Diver

Equipment Requirements
Equipment Requirements for PSAI Cave Diver Programs


  • Twin tank configuration

  • Two regulators, one with a long hose minimum length 1.5 meters (5 feet) connected to primary second stage, SPG

  • LP hoses for BCD inflation and dry suit if used

  • BCD with sufficient lift to adequately support the required dive equipment and tow a fellow diver in an emergency

  • A redundant inflation device in the form of a double bladder wing

  • Back plate and harness or other type BCD

  • Thermal protection suitable for dive environment

  • Three dive lights:
    1. One primary light.
    2. Two backup lights

  • Dive computer plus redundant timing and depth device(s). Computer must be suitable for course i.e. multi gas, and if a computer is not used then backup slates and tables must be carried.

  • Mask plus redundant mask

  • Three reels
    - Primary reel
    - Safety reel
    - Jump / gap reel

  • Two Cutting Devices

  • Fins

  • 2 Slates and pencils

  • Three (3) line arrows

  • Non-directional line markers

Apprentice Cave Diver Course

The PSAI Apprentice Cave Diver certification is a temporary certification with a time limit of one (1) year from the date of issuance. The certified PSAI Apprentice Cave Diver is expected to complete training by taking the PSAI Full Cave Diver course.


If the diver does not complete the Full Cave training within the one (1) year effective period, the diver will be certified to the PSAI Intro to Cave Diver level and be required to abide by the constraints of that level. In order for the diver whose Apprentice Cave Diver certification has expired to progress in cave diving, the Apprentice Cave Diver course must be repeated.


Course Objectives


This course provides the necessary information for a diver to know the proper procedures to:


  • Determine appropriate gas for planned dives.

  • Determine appropriate diving equipment for planned cave environment or cave dives.

  • Plan dives based in established limits and cautions for gas supply, type of gas and penetration objectives.

  • Analyze and verify gases for diving.

  • Properly establish guideline(s) in the cave environment.

  • Understand and explain the hazards associated with the cave environment.




A diver that successfully completes the PSAI Apprentice Cave Diver program will be qualified to:


  • Plan and conduct cave dives in environments and conditions similar to their training with the gases they are previously qualified to use.

  • Determine the risks and hazards of a proposed cave environment.


  • Minimum age 18

  • Certification: PSAI Intro to Cave or similar internationally recognized course
    PSAI Narcosis Management® Level II recommended

  • minimum of 50 logged dives


Course Contents
  • Classroom: As needed to cover all curriculum requirements listed in Section IX and Section X if the student is entering as a currently certified PSAI Intro Cave Diver.

  • A confined water session

  • A minimum of four (4) cave cives with a combined minimum bottom time of 160 minutes
    - Environmental conditions allowing, a minimum of three different caves
    - Cave diver students will do a traverse, gap and circuit dive




PSAI Cave Diver Manual.

Apprentice Cave Diver course is designed for divers who are planning to continue their training to Full Cave Diver certification. It is a temporary certification.

Link to Yunnan cave diviig expedition

We are actively finding new cave systems in China and arrange cave diving expeditions every now and then. Once you have progressed far enough in your cave diver training, you are very welcome to join our expeditions. Click the photo to see pictures from one to Yunnan, China.

Equipment Requirements


Please see Equipment Requirements for PSAI Cave Diver Programs.


How long does it take?


If you have done your pre-course work, your dive skills are up to it and the logistics work out, you may be able to complete the full PSAI Overhead Program (Cavern, Intro to Cave, Apprentice Cave and Full Cave) in 7-8 days. In most cases, though, divers complete the course requirements in stages spanning over a much longer time.

The Apprentice Cave Diver and Full Cave Diver certifications require dives in at least three different cave systems, so logistics play a major role on how long it takes to complete the required dives.


There are no caves suitable for diving in Hong Kong. All cave dives are conducted abroad. Cave diving trips for training you can join are arranged to caves in China, Philippines, Florida and Mexico several times a year.


How much does it all cost?


Cave diving is fairly expensive. There is no way around that. You need full technical gear set-up with other cave diving equipment: dive lights suitable for overhead environment, reels, etc. Cave diving locations are often difficult to reach so there will be travelling costs.


We quote the courses as 'Tuition Only', you will then pay for the dives and travel as you go.

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