Field Dive Officer- Rothera

Job reference:
BAS 22/23
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
20 months comprised of 3 months UK pre-deployment training (Aug - Oct 2022) and 17 months Antarctic deployment (Nov 2022 – Mar 2024).
£25,179 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a 10% bonus.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
UK (training courses) and Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.
Closing date:
31 March, 2022 11:59 pm


We are looking to appoint a Field Dive Officer (FDO) to support scientific SCUBA diving operations at our Rothera research station. The FDO is responsible for the supervision and organisation of all diving activities at Rothera. Requests for diving are made through the FDO and the FDO must be present on site whenever a dive takes place.

This role is ideally suited to experienced research divers, providing a fantastic opportunity to support ground-breaking science. Typical projects involve marine wildlife surveys, deployment of data-loggers, collection of sediment samples and surveys of seabed iceberg scour. Scientific diving operations continue year-round, predominantly deployed from small boats (RIBs) and occasionally (when conditions allow) through sea ice.

Contributing to communal station duties on a rota basis forms a key part of the role. This includes cleaning, cooking and night-watch rounds (training will be provided).

RYA Level 2 Powerboat qualification and dive coxswain experience are desirable, but not essential.

Who we are

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Our skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica, and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through our extensive logistic capability and know-how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world-leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation

We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science and keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams, and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in one of the most unique places in the world, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.

COVID-19 update

  • We have a responsibility to do everything that we can to ensure that BAS Ships and Stations remain COVID-free and that staff are deployed safely and responsibly. Our medical screening for this season will therefore take account of the recognised factors that increase your risk of an adverse reaction to the coronavirus. The assessment is done confidentially by our Medical Unit and the criteria might be subject to change.
  •  You will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, more details will be confirmed closer to your appointment date using the most recent guidance from the government and our medical unit.
  •  You might be required to quarantine two weeks before your deployment, and you might sail to Antarctica on our polar ship.

All applications will be checked and those without the right to work in the UK or without a realistic prospect of being able to acquire the right to work in the UK will not progress.

Please read the Applicants guide here before submitting your application.


To manage SCUBA diving operations in support of science. Reporting to the Institute Diving Officer (IDO), the Field Diving Officer (FDO) is responsible for the supervision and organisation of all diving activities at and out of Rothera Station. All requests for diving are made through the FDO and the FDO must be present on site whenever a dive takes place.


HSE SCUBA (or HSE approved equivalent qualification)


  • Ensure diving activities are undertaken in a safe and efficient manner and that all diving operations follow the BAS relevant Standing Operating Procedures.
  • Maintain all diving equipment and support the maintenance of dive store fixed plant. Keep equipment and fixed plant maintenance records.
  • Maintain accurate dive records including completion of the Dive Log database, signing of all diver logbooks and maintain the Diver Record form for each diver.
  • Produce monthly and an annual report for the Institute Diving Officer/Line Manager.
  • Be responsible for all on-site training / familiarisation related to diving activities.
  • Be responsible for assessing the competency of divers and dive supervisors and has authority to withdraw permission to dive/supervise should the FDO judge a person not fit to dive.
  • Liaise with relevant stakeholders and produce timely dive schedules in line with the science diving requirements. Scheduling dives includes coordinating with other support facilities and resources such as boats or other transport, field or sea ice support staff and communications personnel. Ensuring the schedule is produced in good time and circulated to relevant parties on site.
  • Be fully compliant with the BAS Health & Safety Policy and promptly report any accidents, incidents or near misses.
  • Assist the IDO/Station Leader, as required, in developing working practices and written procedures for the BAS diving operation.
  • Communal station duties including cooking, cleaning and night watch rounds (on a rota basis) as required by the Station Leader.
  • Other duties as directed by the Station Leader, Winter Station Leader or Deputy Station Operations Manager to ensure that BAS meets its objectives.

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 22/23
Publication date: 1 January 2022
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2022
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: w/c 9 May 2022

At BAS, our vision is to be a world-leading centre for polar science and operations. Making our vision a reality depends on the excellence and diversity of our staff. We are committed to creating a workplace where all our staff can flourish and succeed. BAS is a Disability Confident employer, we are proud to hold a bronze Athena Swan award and we are a member of enei, the EmployersNetwork for Equality & Inclusion.

We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
  • Ability to liaise with scientists and support dive project planning - Desirable [1]
  • Report writing - Desirable [3]

Computer / IT skills

  • Basic word processing for dive logs and reports etc - Essential
  • Familiarisation with spread sheets and databases (for dive log) - Desirable [3]

Decision Making

  • Sound Judgement - Essential
  • Ability to take responsibility - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Sense of proportion and appropriate behaviour within a small community - Desirable [2]
  • Able to work and live in a remote and isolated community, including involvement in communal tasks such as cleaning and cooking - Essential
  • Must be a good team worker and considerate to others - Essential
  • Ability to work remote from UK manager - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Ability to lead and motivate a small team (in diving operations) - Essential
  • Able to self-manage and motivate in order to achieve deliverables - Essential
  • Experience of training other staff - Desirable [3]

Numerical ability

  • Numerical ability for calculation of dive tables, air consumption etc. - Essential

Other Factors

  • Ability to learn and reason - Essential
  • Flexibility in approach to work and people - Essential
  • Current Dive Medical - Essential
  • Knowledge of Dive tables - Essential
  • Boat handling experience - Desirable [2]
  • Knowledge of HSE Science and Archaeology ACOP - Desirable [3]
  • Polar or cold water experience - Desirable [3]
  • Must have current (or be able to pass) HSE Dive Medical - Essential


  • HSE SCUBA (or HSE approved equivalent) - Essential
  • Compressor operation experience - Desirable [3]
  • Chamber operator qualification - Desirable [3]
  • Diver First Aid Qualification - Desirable [3]
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 (or above - Desirable [2]

Resource Management ability

  • Report writing - Desirable [3]
  • Ability to resourcefully manage a dive facility, equipment and spares - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • General dive equipment maintenance - Essential
  • Familiarity with risk assessments - Essential
  • Hyperbaric chamber operations - Desirable [4]
  • Experience of scientific diving - Desirable [4]
  • Highly competent and experienced SCUBA diver, with extensive cold water (less than 12oC) and drysuit experience - Essential
  • Use of full face masks and comms - Essential
  • Experience of dive planning and organisation - Essential
  • Experience of managing diving operations from small boats (RIBs) - Desirable [2]
  • Knowledge of HSE Science and Archaeology ACOP - Desirable [2]
  • Knowledge of DCIEM dive tables - Desirable [3]

In order to apply, please complete and upload all the application forms listed below. If you experience any issues in uploading your Application Form, please email us your complete application, making reference to the job reference and title.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, please visit this website before applying.

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.