NSS-CDS Training Program

CCR Cave Diver/CCR Upgrade


This course is the closed-circuit equivalent of the Apprentice and full Cave Diver courses combined. It covers largely the same knowledge and skills.

  • The chief difference is the fact students learn using closed-circuit rebreathers rather than open-circuit sidemount or backmount.
  • The other difference is most students take this program all at once, as opposed to doing so in two separate segments as you generally do with open circuit.

Many students who become CCR Cave Divers complete the first part of the course on open circuit. This is essentially doing the open-circuit Apprentice Cave Diver course. Doing so accomplishes three things:

  • It puts you in a better position to answer one of the most important questions any CCR Cave Diver can ask. This is, how much open-circuit bailout gas do I really need to get the Hell out of the cave?
  • If your travels take you to places where bringing a CCR is impractical, you will at least know how to dive open circuit.
  • You will gain an even greater appreciation for what your CCR does for you.

CCR Cave Diver Upgrade

This course qualifies students who already possess open-circuit Cave Diver certification to cave dive using closed-circuit rebreathers.


  • Be at least 18
  • Possess a minimum of Advanced Open Water Diver certifications, or equivalent, from one or more widely recognized diver training organizations
  • Hold Rebreather Diver certification from a widely recognized training organization
  • Have logged at least 50 dives in any configuration
  • Have logged at least 25 dives and 35 hours of bottom time using the same rebreather as you will use during the course


  • Typically six or more days
  • At least 600 minutes of bottom time

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Course Standards

Form These are the standards instructors must follow when teaching this course. It includes information on student and instructor prerequisites, course content, skill requirements and limits of training.