Joining the CDG

||Joining the CDG

The Group is always pleased to accept new members. The very specialised nature of cave diving, especially in British sump conditions means that prospective members of the group are few and many should question whether the CDG is an appropriate organisation with which to further their goals. That said, for those whom cave exploration is the primary driver, joining the CDG offers unparalleled resources, support and opportunity.

To help you make that decision for yourself please read “Technical Divers since 1946“, “Cave Diving British Style” and “Why solo diving is appropriate in UK sumps“. Having read these articles it will be clear that amateur cave diving contains an element of risk as detailed by our Risk Assessment. Before joining the CDG you must first understand and accept these hazards. Still think UK style cave diving is for you? Then please read on…

There are five classes of CDG membership: Diving (Trainee & Qualified), Non-diving, Honorary & Temporary. Non-diving members receive publications and may attend meetings but pay a reduced subscription and are not insured for cave diving. The 15-day Temporary Membership is only available to cave divers visiting from overseas.

Regional Sections are responsible for the administration of membership including the acceptance of new members and matters of expulsion. If you wish to apply for membership of the CDG you must first decide which Section is the best fit for you. Putting aside the obvious geographic considerations please be aware that each Section has its own personality and its own viewpoint on what makes a suitable aspirant member. The best way of finding out is to contact the Section informally, get to know them and let them get to know you before putting in a formal application for membership. Membership is administered at regional Section meetings details of which can be found on each Section’s page.

For the avoidance of doubt, you can only join the CDG by joining a regional section. The first step to doing that is to contact a section using the contact form for each of the sections on this website.

What involved in joining the CDG?

To join a Section you must over 18 years of age, be physically fit and not suffer from epilepsy. You must hold a SCUBA certification equivalent to CMAS one star OR be able to demonstrate equivalent skills to the satisfaction of a Section Examiner. You will also need to gain endorsement from two Qualified Divers from that Section, complete Membership and Waiver forms and send them to the Section Secretary prior to the meeting when you wish your application to be considered. You are then required to attend that meeting to discuss your motivation, experience and aspirations. The Section reviews your application and Qualified Divers vote to approve it. If your application is successful you will be required to pay the correct membership fee and will be welcomed into the Section. If your application is unsuccessful, guidance will be given on the reasons for this and upon how to rectify them.

After successfully joining the CDG, all diving must be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and Safety Code . Trainees joining the group are given 5 years to obtain Qualified Diver Status. If they fail to reach Qualified Diver status within this period they will be transferred to Non-Diver status. Any member wishing to maintain Trainee Diver status past the five year limit must re-apply annually. Continued Trainee Diver status will be awarded at the discretion of the Section’s Qualified Divers. Qualified Divers seeking re-admission to the group after a period of lapsed membership of 5 or more years must rejoin the group at Trainee status.

All members must pay the appropriate membership fee at the start of each calendar year. If the membership fee is not paid by the 30th November, then the membership will be deemed to have lapsed. Lapsed members may rejoin the Group by paying the appropriate annual membership fee and any additional re-joining fee.

Membership Fees for joining the CDG

An individual’s total membership subscription fee is determined by the combination or their membership type, newsletter subscription, and any BCS caving insurance they have taken outwith the group for the year in question. Add together the individual components relevant to your membership category to give your subscription.

Annual subscriptions for the coming year are due by 1st December.

DescriptionFirst yearSubsequent years
Diving membership subscription£5£2
Non-diving membership subscription£4£2
Regional Section subscription£10£7
BCA Insurance contribution (Divers)2£20£20
BCA Insurance contribution (Non-divers)2£6£6
Newsletter subscription3£15 plus postage supplement£9 plus postage supplement
Joining, re-joining & late payment fee£10£10

Commonly paid subscriptions are as follows:

  • £18 old members with insurance via BCA club
  • £38 old members with insurance via CDG
  • £40 new members with insurance via BCA club
  • £57 new members with insurance via CDG
  1. Temporary membership for overseas divers only is £5. Temporary membership grants the status of Trainee Diver for a maximum period of 15 days and are covered by the BCA insurance scheme for cave diving but do not receive any further benefits.
  2. Public liability for caving insurance through the British Caving Association insurance scheme is required by all CDG members. Non-BCA schemes cannot be accepted as a substitute even if the cover is broadly similar. If a member already has current caving PL insurance through the BCA scheme, they must provide the details of their pre-existing BCA insurance arrangements to their Section Secretary.
  3. Postage supplements: UK = £0, EU including Rep of Ireland = £10, World Zone 1 = £15, World Zone 2 = £17.
  4. Additional section membership in addition to primary section membership is allowed at £10 first year, £7 subsequent years payable per additional section.
A British cave diver preparing to dive in a tight, muddy sump

It will be clear that amateur cave diving contains an element of risk as detailed by our Risk Assessment. Before joining the CDG you must first understand and accept these hazards.

Suggested Reading

Membership documents

Section Contacts

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