Underwater Search Unit Police Diver

Job Family Operational Support
Job Sub Family Specialists Operations
Code OPS-SPOP-SD-Underwater Search Unit Police Diver v1.0

Role Purpose

To enter water, or other environment as determined by the Diving at Work Regulations, and act as underwater investigators, searching for and recovering evidence, including dead bodies.


Key Accountabilities

  • Recover evidence in line with approved forensic practices to maximise the potential to exploit all evidence opportunities relating to the matter being investigated, not just recovered from the water.
  • Carry out pre-dive checks of all equipment to ensure own safety and undertake the operation in compliance with statutory regulations and national / force policies.
  • Operate all specialist equipment in accordance with force policies and initiate appropriate actions in the event of an emergency to ensure own safety and that of others involved in the operation.
  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of diving related illnesses in themselves and others and initiate appropriate treatment.
  • Undertake underwater defensive search operations for major events or searching of ship’s hulls to combat illegal smuggling activities.
  • Inform the police Dive Supervisor immediately, of any medical condition or any other health issue or effect which prevents them from diving safely or rendering assistance to another member of the diving team before deployment on a diving operation.
  • Assist in establishing facts and exploiting forensic opportunities to support taking investigations or enquiries forward.
  • Assist investigators, pathologists, bereaved families, prosecutors and jurors, by providing information to allow them to understand the scene or describe the circumstances of where a body or evidence was discovered.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior Education and Experience:

  • Have completed an HSE Approved Basic Air Course.
  • Be a Licensed Search Officer as per Police National Search Centre criteria.
  • Hold an in date first aid certificate.
  • Have an up to date and signed diving hours log book.
  • Have no period of police diving inactivity greater than 90 days.
  • Undertaken refresher training or formal assessment of diving competence in the last 5 years.


  • Good communication skills with the ability to listen to others.
  • Able to break down a straightforward problem into component parts and determine appropriate action.
  • Able to interpret and apply guidance to a specific activity.
  • Able to work effectively in a team to achieve shared objectives, demonstrating awareness of individual differences and providing support as required.
  • Able to review own performance objectively and to take steps to maintain and enhance competence and professional standards appropriate to the role.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Maintain currency of College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context and leading and managing teams.
  • Maintain and update key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to legislation policy and practice across all functional policing areas of operational responsibility.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research and problem solving and team working and synthesise these into working practice.
  • Maintain a working knowledge and understanding of new and evolving crime threats and priorities; and current best practice to tackle these in order to enable a pro-active and preventative approach.
  • Complete all annual and mandatory training including for example, fitness tests, personal safety training, first aid, and protecting information.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Be a Licensed Search Officer as per Police National Search Centre criteria.

Links to other Profiles

  • Police Dive Attendant.
  • Police Dive Supervisor.
  • Police Dive Contractor.
Leave Feedback