University students and volunteer divers undertaking research or education in marine sciences

The exemption was granted under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.

Exemption Order No. 015/17 commenced 1 January 2018 and has effect until 31 December 2022.

Nature of exemption

The applicant for the exemption order is the University of New South Wales.

The exemption order applies to diving activities undertaken by students and volunteer divers, who are authorised to undertake those diving activities by the institutions listed below as part of honours or post graduate research or education in marine sciences.

  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Technology, Sydney
  • Sydney Institute of Marine Science
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Wollongong
  • Macquarie University
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Southern Cross University
  • Australian Catholic University

Those persons are exempt from clause 171 of the Regulation, subject to the conditions in the schedule to the exemption order.


For the purposes of the exemption:

  • General diving work means general diving work as defined in clause 5 of the Regulation.
  • Volunteer diver means a person who is acting on a voluntary basis and undertakes diving activities in order to assist students, workers or others in the conduct of their research or education.
  • Student means an enrolled honours or post graduate university student undertaking research or education in marine sciences.


The exemption is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) being the institutions listed above, must only apply the exemption to students who undertake diving work in pursuit of formal honours or post graduate research and education coursework and volunteer divers involved in volunteer dive support with the institution.
  2. All persons described in (1) must comply with AS/NZS 2299.2:2002 Occupational Diving Operations Part 2: Scientific Diving and in particular, the qualifications and practices prescribed in Appendix A4 generally and A4.3 Restrictions (Restricted Scientific Diver) at all times.
  3. Persons described in (1) as volunteer divers must not be responsible for the management or supervision of students, workers or others on behalf of the persons conducting a business or undertaking at any time.
  4. Nothing in the exemption affects any other applicable requirement imposed by law in relation to the matters relating to the exemption.


Published in Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales, number 138, Friday 22 December 2017.

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