GUE Tech 1

Course Outcomes

GUE’s Technical Diver Level 1 course is designed to prepare divers for the rigors of technical diving and to familiarize them with the use of different breathing and decompression mixtures. Additional course outcomes include: cultivating, integrating, and expanding the essential skills required for safe technical diving; problem identification and resolution; the use of double tanks/cylinders and the potential failure problems associated with them; the use of Nitrox for accelerated and general decompression strategies; the use of Helium to minimize narcosis; and the applications of single decompression stage diving, with respect to decompression procedures.


Applicants for a Tech 1 course must:

  1. Submit a completed registration form, a medical history, and a liability release to GUE Headquarters.
  2. Be physically and mentally fit.
  3. Hold insurance that will cover diving emergencies such as hyperbaric treatment, e.g. DAN Master-level insurance or equivalent.
  4. Be a nonsmoker.
  5. Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for the use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any prior medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
  6. Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  7. Have earned a GUE Fundamentals “Technical” pass.
  8. Have a minimum of 100 logged dives beyond open water certification.


Course Content


The Tech 1 course is normally conducted over a six days, requires nine dives and a minimum 40 hours of instruction, encompassing classroom, land drills and in-water work.

Tech 1 Specific Training Standards

  1. Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 6:1 during land drill or surface exercises; ratios cannot exceed 3:1 during any in-water training.
  2. Maximum depth of 170 feet/51 meters.
  3. Dives should not be planned to incur more than 30 minutes of decompression time as established by GUE’s DecoPlanner.
  4. No overhead diving except by active GUE Cave 2 Level instructors while teaching in the cave environment.
  5. Students participating in a Tech 1 course conducted in a cave must be at least GUE Cave 2 divers.


Training Materials

GUE training materials and recommended reading as determined by the course study packet received via online download after GUE course registration.


Academic Topics

  1. Introduction: GUE organization and course overview (objectives, limits, expectations)
  2. History of technical diving
  3. Situational awareness
  4. Dive planning and gas management
  5. Building a solid dive plan
  6. Gas requirements
  7. Gas strategies
  8. Breathing gas dynamics
  9. Physics review
  10. Oxygen toxicity
  11. Narcosis and CO2
  12. Gas density
  13. GUE standard gasses
  14. Decompression
  15. Physics and physiology
  16. Dissolved gas theories
  17. Bubble control models
  18. Decompression illness
  19. Practical decompression
  20. Using decompression gasses
  21. Decompression strategies
  22. Contingency managements


Land Drills

  1. Reel and guideline use
  2. Dive team formation, communication and protocols
  3. Manifold operation and failures
  4. Decompression bottle and switching procedures
  5. Decompression cylinder failure protocols


Required Dive Skills and Drills

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in safe diving techniques; this would include pre-dive preparations, inwater activity, and post-dive assessment.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of team member location and concern for safety, responding quickly to visual indications and dive partner needs.
  3. Demonstrate a safe and responsible demeanor throughout all training.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in underwater communication.
  5. Demonstrate basic proficiency managing a GUE equipment configuration.
  6. Demonstrate safe ascent and descent procedures.
  7. Must be able to swim at least 400 yards/375 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping. This test should be conducted in a swimsuit and, where necessary, appropriate thermal protection.
  8. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 60 feet/18 meters on a breath hold while submerged.
  9. Demonstrate proficiency in gas failure procedures, including valve manipulation, gas sharing, and regulator switching as appropriate.
  10. Demonstrate proficiency in surface marker buoy deployment.
  11. Demonstrate proficiency in switching to a backup mask.
  12. Demonstrate familiarity with required course equipment.
  13. Demonstrate proficiency in managing gas sharing scenarios, to include a prolonged gas sharing event.
  14. Comfortably demonstrate at least three propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments; one of these kicks must be the backward kick.
  15. Demonstrate reasonable proficiency with a single decompression cylinder.
  16. Demonstrate proficiency with effective decompression techniques, including depth and time management.
  17. Demonstrate dive rescue techniques, including effective management of an unconscious diver.
  18. Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim, i.e. approximate reference is a maximum of 20 degrees off horizontal while remaining within 3 feet/1 meter of a target depth.
  19. Demonstrate the ability to manage a failed decompression cylinder using available team resources.


Equipment Requirements


GUE base configuration as outlined in Appendix A, plus:

  1. GUE double tank configuration
  2. Primary and backup lights
  3. One decompression cylinder
  4. Small argon regulator and bottle where appropriate
  5. One primary reel per team


Explore GUE Standards


Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with a GUE representative to verify equipment requirements and appropriateness of any selected equipment.