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News

HSE issues warning over forged diver qualification certificate

HSE InfoLine : 22 December, 2004  (Company News)
The warning comes after the prosecution of Nicholas Alfred Arrowsmith who had applied to HSE for a replacement Part II (AODC transitional certificate) commercial diving certificate. HSE carried out routine checks of Arrowsmith's qualifications and found he was only qualified to the lower Part I level. Further investigation revealed that the copy of the certificate Arrowsmith sent to HSE had been tampered with so as to make it appear that he had reached the Part II level.
The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning to divers following a prosecution involving the forgery of a diving qualification certificate.

The warning comes after the prosecution of Nicholas Alfred Arrowsmith who had applied to HSE for a replacement Part II (AODC transitional certificate) commercial diving certificate. HSE carried out routine checks of Arrowsmith's qualifications and found he was only qualified to the lower Part I level. Further investigation revealed that the copy of the certificate Arrowsmith sent to HSE had been tampered with so as to make it appear that he had reached the Part II level.

A joint investigation was subsequently carried out in conjunction with Sussex Police, and Arrowsmith was charged with attempting to obtain property by deception. Arrowsmith pleaded not guilty, but a jury found him guilty at Hove Crown Court on 6 October 2004. Following an adjournment for reports he was subsequently sentenced to 12 months imprisonment on 1 November 2004.

In imposing a custodial sentence, the Judge highlighted that he had taken into account the fact that qualified divers could have been unwittingly exposed to extreme danger if Arrowsmith had succeeded in passing himself off as a Part II qualified diver.

Chris Sherman, HSE's Chief Inspector of Diving said: 'This case shows the seriousness with which courts take forgery. The diving qualification certificate system is a crucial part of the UK's diving safety regime. HSE diving teams will investigate all cases where divers are found to hold forged documents or qualifications.'
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