About the Job
Clearance Divers (CD) are the Australian Defence Force specialist divers and form part of the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Group (MCDGRP). CD tasks include complex diving missions to depths of 60 metres, surface and underwater demolitions, and the rendering safe and disposal of conventional explosive ordnance and improvised explosive devices.
During their careers, CDs will be rotated through the following sea and shore positions:
Huon Class Mine Hunter Coastal (MHC) Vessels
CDs are posted to these ships to provide specialist diving capability involving the use of self-contained mixed gas equipment for mine counter-measures tasks. Mine counter-measures missions focus on the prosecution and disposal of sea mines. Additional duties include upper deck Seaman part-of-ship duties during sea service within Australia and overseas. These ships are based at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney.
Australian Clearance Diving Teams (AUSCDTs)
Located in Sydney and Perth, AUSCDTs provide Navy with scalable and deployable tactical capability across the key range of tasks. CDs can be employed in the following operational AUSCDT elements:
- Expeditionary Reconnaissance and Clearance (ERC). Conducting reconnaissance and mine countermeasures in littoral environments in support of amphibious operations
- Underwater Damage Repair (UDR). UDR missions include diving on surface-supplied and self-contained air equipment, primarily for the maintenance and repair of ships' underwater fittings. These missions can involve the use of underwater electric, explosive-power, hydraulic and pneumatic tools for major repairs and salvage operations
- Maritime Explosive Ordnance Disposal (MEOD). MEOD missions include the rendering safe and disposal of Improvised (home made) devices, Military Ordnance and obstructions both on land and underwater. These missions can involve the use of Remote Positioning Vehicles (ROV), Portable X-Ray devices and high powered disruptors
HMAS Cairns also supports a small team of Clearance Divers who provide specialist diving and MEOD capability to Far North Queensland
2nd Commando Regiment
CDs are selected to conduct Maritime Counter Terrorism (MCT) duties within 2nd Commando Regiment in support of Tactical Assault Group-East (TAG-E). TAG-East provides Government with options to employ Special Forces capability at short notice in support of Joint ADF Operations. CDs specialise in the planning and conduct of MCT missions utilising a range of insertion methods and employ niche skill-sets and specialist equipment that include the extensive use of small arms.
Major Fleet Units (MFUs)
CDs are often posted to Major Fleet Units to provide specialist knowledge and advice to Command and supervise ships diving and demolitions teams. CDs will also conduct upper deck Seaman part-of-ship duties during sea service within Australia and overseas. Specialist diving duties involve the use of self-contained mixed gas equipment for mine-counter measures tasks. Mine counter-measures missions focus on the prosecution and disposal of sea mines. These ships are based in Sydney and Perth.
CDs are posted to the ADF Diving School and Defence Explosive Ordnance Training School (DEOTS), both located in Sydney, for instructional duties. The ADF Diving School conducts CD selection and the majority of CD career training courses and general fleet diving and demolition courses. Instructors at DEOTS conduct Joint Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance and Disposal training for career advancement. A small number of CDs also support instruction of submariners at the Submarine Escape and Rescue Centre in Perth.
Operational and Support Roles
CDs are regularly posted to: positions in support of ADF Operations, a formed Task Group, international exchange positions or capability support positions providing administrative support within the MCDGRP. These positions are in various locations and are usually highly sought after, often working with a variety of military and civilian agencies.
1. CD candidates must successfully complete the following phases of initial training to qualify as Clearance Divers:
Phase 1: RAN Recruit Training - (61 Days)
Phase 2: Preliminary introductory dive and fitness test of suitability - (1 Day)
Phase 3: Clearance Divers Selection Test - (2 Weeks)
Phase 4: Clearance Divers Initial Employment Training (IET) - (50 Weeks)
2. The CD workgroup has no gender restrictions..
3. The four phases of initial CD training are very physically demanding, therefore it is essential that candidates posses a high degree of physical fitness before joining the Navy. CD applicants are tested to increasingly higher fitness standards at every phase of training to ensure they are pre-conditioned for the physical requirements throughout their career.
Other Ranks - Non Technical
Join the ADF with appropriate high school passes
This entry method is currently not recruiting
Salary & Allowances
In the Navy you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.
In addition to base pay you'll receive a variety of allowances - which are detailed below - plus superannuation at a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.
Clearance Diving positions you can expect to be posted are primarily located in the following locations:
- MCD Group, AUSCDT ONE and the Mine Hunter Coastal fleet - HMAS Waterhen in Waverton
- ADF Diving School - HMAS Penguin at Balmoral Beach
- Defence Explosive Ordnance Training School - Orchard Hills
- MCD Task Group and Major Fleet Units - Garden Island Naval Base in Woolloomooloo and
- 2nd Commando Regiment - Holsworthy
- AUSCDT FOUR, Major Fleet Units and the Submarine Escape Rescue Centre is located at HMAS Stirling in Rockingham
Should be aged between 17 and 53 years inclusive on day of entry.
Applicants will not normally be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age, depending upon the capacity of their local recruiting centre.
Education & Experience
The minimum educational standard to be eligible to apply for entry is successful completion of Year 10, which must include passes in English and Mathematics.
Medical & Fitness
To be appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry into the ADF. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.
You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.
Service as a Clearance Diver is physically and mentally demanding and requires a high level of individual robustness, strength and endurance. Training can extend over 18-hour days and seven-day weeks, and involve very heavy physical activity. Therefore, you must be medically and physically fit to undertake Clearance Diver training.
Medical. Your medical fitness will be assessed by a doctor, prior to enlistment. This assessment will require you to complete an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history and it will be followed by a comprehensive physical examination.
For more details on medical and physical standards refer to 'Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF' and 'Medical Process for Entry into the ADF'.
Applicants must pass a diving medical before being able to join the CD workgroup. Certain illnesses and disabilities relating to diving, particularly pulmonary complaints such as asthma will normally disbar applicants.
Physical. You will also be required to successfully pass a Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) before enlistment. This PFA requires you to achieve a higher standard than the general entry fitness level for the Navy. You must be able to complete:
- 6 chin ups
- 30 push ups
- 25 sit-ups and
- Beep test (shuttle run) to level 10.1
Candidates are required to conduct chin-ups with a pronated (overhand) grip to simulate pulling themselves and their equipment free of the water.
The procedure for the chin-up is as follows:
Start position. The chin-up bar/beam must be grasped with the hands facing forward (pronated overhand grip), and the body is to be fully extended to a hanging position with the feet free of the ground (not crossed). The position of the hands may not be changed during the activity.
The body is then pulled upwards with the arms until the chin is over the bar/beam, then lowered until the elbows are fully extended and the body is again in the hanging position. This comprises one repetition.
Slight kicking motions are permitted provided the knees do not rise above the waist and the chin-up activity remains a vertical action. The feet at no time are to be crossed. The body may be kept from swinging by an assistant holding an extended arm in front of the individual at knee height.
Each repetition must be fully completed to be counted.
Resting during performance may be permitted in the starting position only and without dismounting or the aid of a support.
Navy Swim Test
You must also pass the swim test and physical fitness test to graduate from your Navy Training and to proceed to the Safety of Life at Sea Training that is a requirement for Recruit School and Officer training.
The Navy Swim test consists of:
- A safety jump off a 3m tower in overalls
- 10m underwater swim in overalls
- 50m swim using three safety strokes and
- Tread water or float for 15 mins (removal of overalls optional)
Note: You will find it much easier to pass the swimming test if you undertake swimming training before you join.
Period of Service
You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of six years. On enlistment if you elect to serve an open ended enlistment, you will be able to serve until retirement age, subject to your continued suitability for service. If you elect to serve for a fixed period of service, subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service.
Your Careers Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.
It is essential to hold a current unrestricted Australian Class 1 (or equivalent) Motor Vehicle licence (a 'P2' Provisional/Probationary Licence is acceptable) endorsed with manual transmission. Where a current Provisional/Probationary (P2) Licence is held, the holder must have had a minimum of 12 months (P1 P2 combined) driving experience. Consideration may be given to applicants who will achieve necessary licence requirements by completion of employment training.
The holder of the licence must also be free of traffic infringements that may cause future cancellation of the licence.
The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.
Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.
The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.
Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.
Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.
If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.
The security clearance is critical to an applicant’s successful progression through to Navy employment and training. It is strongly recommended that all applicants provide the required documents as early as possible in the recruiting process to avoid any delays in their training and employment.
Details regarding the security requirements for all Navy jobs can be found here.
Duration: 11 weeks
Location: Crib Point, Victoria
The Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus is situated on Western Port Bay, Victoria about 70 kilometres south east of Melbourne. The school has its own administration building, accommodation blocks and classrooms and operates as an independent unit within the greater training environment of Cerberus.
The eleven week recruit course is designed to give you sufficient knowledge and skills on which to base your navy career. The course includes both classroom and practical activities. Most subjects are individually tested. Examinations are set to ensure recruits are sufficiently prepared to undertake further specialist training at category schools. Private study areas are available in the school and a Duty Instructor is available for assistance during non-instructional hours.
When you are offered a General Entry job in the Navy, you will receive Joining Instructions for the Recruit Training Course. These instructions will provide you with a good indication of the daily routine while at the recruit school and what will be expected of you during your training. This information is also available by accessing the Navy recruit school web site.
Recruits, who successfully complete the course including the Navy Swimming Test , participate in a Graduation Parade, which is normally held on the Friday of the last week of training. Recruits will have the opportunity to invite family and friends to view the parade.
After graduation, personnel will be posted to category schools at Cerberus or at other training establishments throughout Australia.
During Military (Initial Recruit) Training and Initial Employment Training (IET), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities, depending on a number of factors.
Course Duration: 52 weeks
Clearance Diver Selection Test - 2 Weeks
Clearance Diver Initial Employment Training - 50 Weeks (approximately)
The Clearance Diving Course is based at the ADF Diving School located within HMAS Penguin, Sydney, NSW.
Phase 1: Recruit Training - Prior to enlistment.
Beep test/shuttle Run to level 10.1; 30 push ups; 25 sit ups; 6 chin ups.
Phase 2: Preliminary introductory dive and fitness test of suitability - during Recruit training at ADF Dive School
Run 2.4 Km in 12 min; 30 push ups; 60 sit ups; 6 chin ups; and swim 500m with fins in 14.30 minutes.
Phase 3: Clearance Divers Selection Test - During week one of your Clearance Diver Selection Test you will be required to meet the following job specific physical employment standard:
Beep Test/shuttle run to level 11.0; 3 chin ups with 15kg vest; two 22kg jerry can carry over 25m 11 times; surface fin 500m in 13 minutes; 5km march with 30kg load in 50 mins.
Phase 4: Clearance Divers IET - You will conduct programmed daily physical training designed to develop strength and conditioning to support your future career..
Candidates must successfully complete the Clearance Diver Selection Test and be recommended by a selection panel to undertake further training. If you do not complete the Clearance Diver Selection Test or are not recommended to continue further training, you may be required to:
- Transfer to another employment workgroup (subject to Navy requirements) or
- Discharge At Own Request (DAOR)