The following are the required forms that must be used previous to any IAFD course or program. The use of these forms provides legal protection to the instructor, facility and the IAFD.

  • Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk: This form is to be reviewed and signed by the student as part of any IAFD course or program regardless of the level of training. If the student is taking multiple-levels of training during the same period of time the form must be signed for each one of the courses being taken.

  • Medical Statement and Medical History Form: This form is to be reviewed and signed by the student as part of any IAFD course or program regardless of the level of training. If any condition is marked as a “yes” in the form, then the form must be approved and signed by a medical doctor prior to any in-water training. The doctor signing the form cannot be the student.

  • IAFD Statement of Understanding and Safe Practice of Free Diving Form: This form is to be reviewed and signed by the student as part of any IAFD course or program regardless of the level of training.  



  • The above documentation must be kept in the student’s file for 7 years or as long as local law establishes, whichever is longer applied. It is the responsibility of the IAFD facility or instructor to keep the documents.

  • In case of an accident, the instructor or facility must submit an Accident Report Form to IAFD any time the member witness an accident even when the accident or incident seems to be insignificant.

  • The required documentation must be completely filled, dated and signed by all the parties involved prior to any in-water activity.  These forms must not show any corrections or amendments. If a mistake was made, a new form must be completed.




Control and supervision are the key for the free diver’s safety in the water. At the IAFD safety is a primary concern. Based on this, the IAFD encourages instructors and facilities to apply common sense and judgment to evaluate conditions before developing any in-water activity. The following standards are intended to provide a minimum safety requirements to maintain safety.

  • The IAFD instructor must be directly controlling and supervising all in-water activities during any IAFD course or program.  The use of assistant provides extra help but not a permit for the instructor to leave the premises. When students are in the water, the instructor must be in the water.

  • The IAFD  instructor must be visually identifiable by the students in an instantaneous and easy manner, and this is crucially important  while in the water. This objective is to be attained by using specially marked snorkels with highly reflective orange tape in the upper half portion (exposed part above water) and wearing distinctibly marked wet suits or specially printed garments. Wearing an orange glove on the right hand permanently while in the water will draw attention to hand signals and indications from the instructor or person in charge.

  • Only the instructor can evaluate the skill performance of the students. Assistant instructors are allowed to supervise additional practice of skills already evaluated by the instructor.

  • The instructor and/or qualified assistant must be in constant supervision of any student while submerged and prepared to submerge immediately if needed.




The following ratios apply for any in-water activity (pool/confined water, open water) and for all levels of training. For classroom sessions the number of students is limited to that which the instructor can control.

  • No more than 10 students can be in the surface of the water at the same time at any given time during any IAFD course or program with 1 instructor. If multiple-level training at the same time is occurring but with only 1 instructor, the combination of all students cannot exceed 10. During actual free dives, no more than 1 student can be submerged under the direct supervision of an instructor or qualified assistant at a ratio of one to one (1:1)

  •  If 2 instructors are running a course or combination of courses, the number of students in the water can be increased by 6 to a maximum of 16 students, regardless of number of assistants or instructors if more than 2.

  • These ratios are the maximums permitted under excellent conditions but instructor discretion is required to determine if ratios need to be reduced for safety and comfort.




The use of qualified assistants can increase the student to instructor ratio by 4 more students to a maximum of 14. In no time an instructor with assistants can have more than 14 students in the water regardless of number of assistants.

The use of assistants in Scuba Gear is not only permitted but highly recommended, specially in the deepest part of the dives (See maximum depths per level) and around 4-6 meters 15-20 feet of water.




The following is a list of the required equipment for IAFD Instructors and students in training. 

For the Student:

  • Low Profile Mask

  • Low Profile Snorkel

  • Free Diving Fins (Minimum blade length of 55 centimeters/22 inches)

  • Appropriate thermal protection

  • Digital (Electronic) Depth Gauge

  •  Weight Belt with Weights

  •  Diving Watch / Chronometer

For the Instructor: In addition to the equipment listed above the following equipment is required for all IAFD Instructors.

  • Descent line with buoy  

  • Specially marked garments, glove, orange blades flippers

  • First Aid Kit

  • Oxygen Kit

  • Spare set of Mask, Snorkel and Fins.




Some skills are to be conducted in a controlled environment first before proceeding to the Open Water. For training a pool is ideal for control and conditions but in occasions a confined water environment can work as well. For the purpose of training:

  • Confined water is any body of water that offers conditions similar to a pool in terms of clarity, calmness and depth to comply with the requirements of the specific course.

  • Access to shallow water must be adequate and close enough for adequate control and safety.

  • Any breath-hold skill must be done in water shallow enough for the student to stand up and clear the head out of the water.




In some areas access to the ocean is remote and involve long trips, in those cases free diving in lakes is a possibility to enjoy the sport but some minimum requirements applies to be considered appropriate for training. For the purpose of training open water is defined as:

  • Any body of water considerably larger in size than a pool.  This body of water must offer conditions similar to the ones the free diver will find in his local environment.

  • Any free diving training must be conducted during day light hours only.

  • Between submersions the student must remain in the surface for at least 3 minutes or longer if needed for the purpose of resting and relaxing.

  •  For Open Water Free Diver course all free diving training dives must be conducted at a distance no longer than 5 meters/15 feet from the buoy-descent line.