Vern Johnston

Vern Johnston started his diving career in 1979 when he was employed to work on a specialized salvage project on the border of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.  

From these humble beginnings Vern went on to open up Diving Dynamics in Kelowna, British Columbia in November of 1986. It was in 2007 that Diving Dynamics became accredited as a Designated Training Establishment to teach the Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diver program certified through the Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC).

After a few years Diving Dynamics rebranded the commercial training under the Commercial Diving Institute of Canada (CDI) to better reflect the school’s educational goals. CDI is focused on becoming a global leader in the training of commercial divers and Diver Medical Technicians (IMCA) in support of the civil, coastal and offshore diving operations.

Some key initiatives that Vern has overseen recently are:
  1. CDI’s accreditation as an International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Training Provider for the instruction of the Diver Medical Technician (DMT) course.
  2. Installation of Canada’s first mock production platform that is utilized in the Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diver program.
  3. Procurement of a model S-70 Flexi-float barge to accommodate growth at CDI. The new barge has been designed to meet IMCA & CSA compliance requirements.
  4. Vern is active on the Canadian Standards Association Technical Sub-committees that oversea Diver Competency, Diving Operations & Commercial Diver Education in Canada.
  5. As the past president of the Canadian Association of Diving Contractors (CADC) for 2 full terms, Vern has helped lead the charge on the National Harmonization of Commercial Diving Standards in Canada.
  6. As a Diving Safety Specialist, Vern is an active consultant providing specialized services to clients looking to achieve IMCA certification.
Vern’s current qualifications are:
  • B.Ed. from the University of Alberta
  • DCBC Inland Diving Safety Specialist (IDSS)
  • Unrestricted Surface Supplied Senior Instructor / Supervisor
  • Unrestricted SCUBA Senior Instructor / Supervisor
  • Diver Medical Technician (DMT/IMCA) Instructor
  • Commercial NITROX/ Gas Blending Instructor
  • Holds a PADI Course Director Rating.

With over 39 years of commercial diving experience and supervision, Vern is committed to giving back to the industry through CDI.