Requirements for candidates (May 2014)

In order for the Diploma of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine to be awarded by the Society, the candidate must comply with the following conditions: They must

  1. be medically qualified, and remain a current financial member of the Society at least until they have completed all requirements of the Diploma;
  2. supply evidence of satisfactory completion of an examined two-week full-time course in diving and hyperbaric medicine at an approved facility. The list of such approved facilities may be found on the SPUMS website;
  3. have completed the equivalent (as determined by the Education Officer) of at least six months’ full-time clinical training in an approved Hyperbaric Medicine Unit;
  4. submit a written proposal for research in a relevant area of underwater or hyperbaric medicine, in a standard format, for approval before commencing the research project;
  5. produce, to the satisfaction of the Academic Board, a written report on the approved research project, in the form of a scientific paper suitable for publication. Accompanying this report should be a request to be considered for the SPUMS Diploma and supporting documentation for 1–4 above.

In the absence of other documentation, it will be assumed that the paper is to be submitted for publication in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. As such, the structure of the paper needs to broadly comply with the ‘Instructions for authors’ available on the this website or at

The paper may be submitted to journals other than Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine; however, even if published in another journal, the completed paper must be submitted to the Education Officer (EO) for assessment as a diploma paper. If the paper has been accepted for publication or published in another journal, then evidence of this should be provided.

The diploma paper will be assessed, and changes may be requested, before it is regarded to be of the standard required for award of the Diploma. Once completed to the reviewers’ satisfaction, papers not already submitted to, or accepted by, other journals should be forwarded to the Editor of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine for consideration. At this point the Diploma will be awarded, provided all other requirements are satisfied. Diploma projects submitted to Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine for consideration of publication will be subject to the Journal’s own peer review process.

Additional information – prospective approval of projects is required

The candidate must contact the EO in writing (or email) to advise of their intended candidacy and to discuss the proposed topic of their research. A written research proposal must be submitted before commencement of the research project.

All research reports must clearly test a hypothesis. Original basic and clinical research are acceptable. Case series reports may be acceptable if thoroughly documented, subject to quantitative analysis and if the subject is extensively researched in detail. Reports of a single case are insufficient. Review articles may be acceptable if the world literature is thoroughly analysed and discussed and the subject has not recently been similarly reviewed. Previously published material will not be considered. It is expected that the research project and the written report will be primarily the work of the candidate, and that the candidate is the first author where there are more than one.

It is expected that all research will be conducted in accordance with the joint NHMRC/AVCC statement and guidelines on research practice, available at: publications/australian-code-responsible-conduct-research-2018, or the equivalent requirement of the country in which the research is conducted. All research involving humans, including case series, or animals must be accompanied by documentary evidence of approval by an appropriate research ethics committee. Human studies must comply with the Declaration of Helsinki (1975, revised 2013). Clinical trials commenced after 2011 must have been registered at a recognised trial registry site such as the Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry and details of the registration provided in the accompanying letter. Studies using animals must comply with National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines or their equivalent in the country in which the work was conducted.

The SPUMS Diploma will not be awarded until all requirements are completed. The individual components do not necessarily need to be completed in the order outlined above. However, it is mandatory that the research proposal is approved prior to commencing research.

Projects will be deemed to have lapsed if:

  • the project is inactive for a period of three years, or
  • the candidate fails to renew SPUMS Membership in any year after their Diploma project is registered (but not completed).

For unforeseen delays where the project will exceed three years, candidates must explain to the EO by email why they wish their diploma project to remain active, and a three-year extension may be approved. If there are extenuating circumstances why a candidate is unable to maintain financial membership, then these must be advised by email to the EO for consideration by the SPUMS Executive. If a project has lapsed, and the candidate wishes to continue with their DipDHM, then they must submit a new application as per these guidelines.

The Academic Board reserves the right to modify any of these requirements from time to time. As of October 2020, the SPUMS Academic Board consists of:

Associate Professor David Cooper, Education Officer, Hobart
Professor Simon Mitchell, Auckland

All enquiries and applications should be addressed to:
Associate Professor David Cooper
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Key words
Qualifications; Underwater medicine; Hyperbaric oxygen; Research; Medical society

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