NSS-CDS Training Program

Underwater Cave Surveying


This course teaches the fundamentals of surveying underwater caves. It’s a course cave divers of all experience levels can enjoy.

This course teaches the fundamentals of surveying underwater caves. Its goals include:

  • Encouraging more divers to survey underwater caves and promote the use of cave maps.
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of cave maps.
  • Promoting standardization among survey projects.

The course reviews early surveys and the development of standards and procedures. It teaches the seven phases of the survey process, from conception to survey completion. Topics covered in detail include:

  • Accuracy standards
  • Survey team composition
  • Use and fabrication of special tools
  • Survey techniques and methodology
  • Safety considerations
  • Data manipulation and mathematical calculations
  • Symbology
  • Cartography
  • Copyright and publication


  • Be at least 18
  • Hold full Cave Diver certification or equivalent from a widely recognized diver training organization


  • Typically two days
  • Typically two or more dives

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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.