Underwater Search Unit Dive Contractor

Job Family Operational Support
Job Sub Family Specialists Operations
Code OPS-SPOP-TL-Underwater Search Unit Dive Contractor v1.0

Role Purpose

The role of the Dive Contractor is to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that the diving project is planned, managed and conducted in a manner which protects the health and safety of all persons taking part and without risk to themselves, the public or the dive team.

This role is appointed in writing by the Chief Officer of Police to perform the duties of Dive Contractor on his or her behalf in the capacity of Dive Contractor.

Key Accountabilities

  • Ensure that the Diving Operations are carried out in compliance of the NPCC Rules for Police Diving, and that they meet the requirements and obligations of Diving at Work Regulations 1997 to ensure the safety of all involved.
  • Appoint one person to supervise the operation prior to commencement, in line with regulations, confirm the appointment in writing and supply that person with a copy of any part of the diving plan which relates to that operation to ensure that the objectives of the dive operation are met.
  • Ensure that a realistic and achievable diving project plan is prepared prior to commencement of the operation, ensuring that it is suitable and sufficient for each diving project, is based on an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of any person taking part in the project, and is compliant with statutory regulations to ensure that the operation meets its policing and investigative objectives.
  • Review and update the project plan as necessary during the project to ensure an accurate record is kept of the project
  • Ensure that there are sufficient people with suitable competence to carry out the diving operation safely, including provision of first aid and life-saving equipment, to ensure that all foreseeable emergencies connected with the diving project are mitigated and planned for.
  • Ensure that suitable and sufficient plant (equipment) is available and maintained, as part of a maintenance regime including maintenance records, to at least the minimum of manufacturer’s recommendations and regulatory requirements to ensure all diving equipment is in a safe and usable condition.
  • Ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, that any person taking part in the diving project complies with the requirements and prohibitions imposed by or under the relevant statutory provisions and observes the provisions of the diving project plan to ensure the safety of all those involved in the operation.


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

  • Must have undertaken Dive Contractor training at an approved Police Diver Training Centre.
  • Be appointed by a Chief Officer in Force as a Diving Contractor.
  • Be a Licensed Search Officer as per Police National Search Centre criteria.
  • Hold an in date first aid certificate.
  • Have no period of diving project management inactivity greater than 90 days.


  • Able to set out logical arguments clearly, adapting language, form and message to meet the needs of different people / audiences.
  • Able to identify cause and effect and develop a course of action designed to target root causes and mitigate risks.
  • Able to develop and motivate a team and create strong engagement of individuals with their personal and team objectives and with Force values, behaviours and strategic priorities.
  • Able to identify exceptional situations that merit recognition and to take appropriate action.
  • Able to identify situations that require disciplinary action and to respond appropriately.
  • Able to review and assess individual and team performance against expected standards, providing objective and effective feedback and ensuring corrective actions are taken where necessary.
  • Able to plan ahead; to allocate work appropriately within the team and to identify and mitigate risks to delivery.
  • Able to identify key stakeholders, understand potential roles and to take appropriate steps to understand their needs and concerns.
  • Able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of partners and potential opportunities for collaboration.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of Police Regulations and 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, 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.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of performance management and assessment process and ensure they are implemented effectively when leading and managing teams.
  • Keep up to date with guidance and best practice on health, safety and welfare.

Professional Registration/Licenses

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

Links to other Profiles

  • Dive Attendant
  • Police Diver Supervisor
  • Police Diver
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