The GUE Primer course is designed to introduce students to the essential skills required for sound diving
practice. The course is non-certification; therefore completion of this class has no bearing on future GUE
The GUE Primer is designed to accomplish the following goals:
1. Provide the recreational diver an opportunity to advance his/her basic diving skills, thereby
developing more comfort, confidence and competence in the water
2. Provide an introduction to GUE training while demonstrating the techniques necessary for success
in future GUE courses
1. Must meet GUE general course prerequisites as outlined in section 1.6
2. Students that are not able to meet the prerequisites in section 1.6 are able to participate in the GUE
Primer Course, provided they obtain a physician’s written approval to dive and disclose this
information to the GUE instructor before the onset of training. Physician clearance to dive does
not obligate GUE or a GUE representative to clear a trainee for diving; this remains at the sole
discretion of the instructor.
3. Must be a certified open-water diver from a recognized training agency
4. Must be a minimum of fourteen years of age
The GUE Primer Course must be conducted over at least two days, encompassing both classroom and inwater
work. Course requirements include a minimum of 6 hours of academics & land drills and a minimum
of four in-water sessions. Course time should total at least 14 hours encompassing classroom, land drills
and in-water work.
1. General training limits as outlined in section 1.4
2. Student-to-instructor ratio is not to exceed 8:1 during land drill or surface exercises, but cannot
exceed 4:1 during any in-water training, and should be adjusted downward to account for bad
conditions and/or poor visibility.
3. Maximum depth 40 feet/12 meters
4. No decompression
5. No overhead environment diving
The GUE Primer Course is a non-certification class, normally conducted over a two-day period, combining
lecture, land drills, and in-water sessions. The GUE Primer course is focused on increasing diver
proficiency through proper control of buoyancy, trim, propulsion, teamwork, and other GUE principles.
1. GUE Primer Workbook
2. Doing it Right: the Fundamentals of Better Diving, Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001, High Springs
1. GUE Introduction
2. What is the GUE Primer?
3. Why this discipline?
4. Developing Diver Capacity
5. Pre Dive Overview
8. Body Position
11. Situational Awareness
1. Pre-dive sequence
2. Body Positioning
3. Trim and Balance
4. Equipment overview & fitting
5. Propulsion Techniques
6. Team Communication
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 cues 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. Demonstrate comprehension of the components necessary for successfully performing at least two
propulsion techniques that would be appropriate in delicate and/or silty environments.
8. Demonstrate comprehension of the components necessary to maintain good buoyancy and trim.
Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following equipment:
1. Tanks/Cylinders: Students may use a single tank cylinder with a K-, H- or Y-valve. Students may
also use dual tanks/cylinders connected with a dual-outlet isolator manifold, which allows for the
use of two first-stages.
2. Regulators: One of the second-stages must be on a 5- to 7-foot/1.5- 2-meter hose. One of the first
stages must supply a pressure gauge and provide inflation for a dry suit (where applicable).
3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform of metal construction with minimum padding, held to
a diver by one continuous piece of webbing. This webbing should be adjusted through the plate
and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end
of this platform and looped through the waistband prevents the system from riding up on the
divers back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should
support five D-rings; the first should be placed on the left hip, the second should be placed in line
with the divers right collar bone, the third should be placed in line with the divers left collar bone,
the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing
gear. The harness below the diver’s arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the
placement of reserve lights. The system should retain a minimalist approach, with no unnecessary
4. Buoyancy Compensation Device: A diver’s buoyancy compensation device should be backmounted
and minimalist in nature. It should be free of extraneous strings, tabs, or other material.
There should be no restrictive bands or “bungee” of any sort affixed to the buoyancy cell. In
addition, diver lift should not exceed 50 lbs / 25 kg for a single tank and 80 lbs / 40 kgfor double
tanks. Wing size and shape should be appropriate to the cylinder size(s) employed for training.
5. At least one time-/depth-measuring device
6. Mask and fins: mask should be low-volume; fins should be rigid, non-split
7. At least one cutting device
8. Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure