I love night diving as it gives that special dimension and adventure to your normal dive site as well as meeting new marine life whom hunt at night. A few days ago I had an interesting discussion in the Dutch 'Duikbuddy gezocht' (Dive buddy wanted) community about rules regarding night diving. I asked in the community if anyone was interested in joining me and that experience with night diving wasn't a necessity for me. It fuelled an discussion on the topics 'When are you experienced enough for a night dive?' or 'who may take you on a night dive?'. Apparently there is a lot of confusion on these matters?
A big disadvantage of this community is that in the Netherlands there are many divers with certificates from different dive organisations with each having different rules and backgrounds regarding diving. I created the community that every scuba diver, regardless organisation or certificaties, could find a dive buddy. However even between scuba divers from the same organisation there is often confusion on rules regarding scuba diving. This doesn't even include rules regarding scuba diving set by your own country.
PADI, SSI and IDD are organistions who are close together in training and therefore in rules on scuba diving. Nonetheless even between these organisations there are minor differences. However in Holland we also have the NOB (Nederlandse Onderwater Bond) or freely translated the Dutch leage for scuba diving. Their rules regarding scuba diving seem very strict when compared with previous mentioned organisations.
'When are you experienced enough for a night dive?' or 'who may take you on a night dive?'
I'm PADI certified and it's this organisations guidelines / rules I follow when scuba diving. The only criteria to partake in the night dive specialty course from PADI is that you are OW certified and are at least 12 years old. Furthermore there is nothing on the website of PADI that implies it's mandatory to be an instructor before you go night diving with someone or that you need to have the night dive specialty. Even in their latest blog they only wrote about the thrills of night diving and the skills you need. Wether you have these skills you need to determine for yourself. It's safe to assume it's your own responsibility to check with whom you're about to go diving with and especially during a night dive which asks a bit more skill than during a regular dive. For example it's difficult to see handsignals in the dark. So you'll need to be aware of how to communicate with your scuba lamp.
So wether you are going to make a night dive with someone it's up to yourself to decide what is acceptable or not.