The History of FSDA "Scuba Training Committee"
and the transition to IDEA.
IDEA was established in 1952 as the educational division of the (FSDA)
Florida Skin Divers Association. IDEA was known as the FSDA "Scuba
Training Committee". FSDA was and still is a power house group of
politically active dive clubs. FSDA has been the voice of the diver
since 1952. IDEA is proud of its past affiliation with FSDA. We
highly recommend that any new or existing Florida based Dive Clubs join
FSDA. FSDA is a power house and has been a positive influence in
protecting the divers rights and environmental concerns since its formation in 1952.
the beginning Instructor training and entry level scuba certification
was handled by FSDA Scuba "Training Committee". Many new instructors
were from out of state or had moved out of the state. The instructors
produced by the FSDA "Scuba Training Committee" were spreading
throughout the continental U.S. By early 1976, there were more FSDA
instructors outside the state of Florida than there were within. FSDA had also spread to the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Aruba, Jamaica,
Bermuda, the Antilles, and Barbados. It was at this time the FSDA
"Scuba Training Committee" members decided that the FSDA "Scuba
Training Committee" Instructors needed to separate from FSDA.
Selection of a new name, a new logo, and a new direction was
forthcoming. A new name was approved by the members of the FSDA “Scuba
Training Committee". A vote was taken on several names and the
majority selected the name of International Diving Educators
Association. IDEA was born.
In February of 1976, Jim Hollis
owner of Jim Hollis Scuba Worlds was voted in as the National Training Director of IDEA. Under the leadership of Jim Hollis the membership voted to
expand, and reorganized the "Scuba Training Committee" to an
international certification agency, based upon the same principles they
has used as the FSDA "Scuba Training Committee for training scuba
divers safely . The group wanted to maintain the principle concept of
creating and presenting an entry level scuba training course that was
based on academics and proficiency.
As in the
past IDEA was to be based on academic and proficiency based training
methods. Between 1952 and 1971 our old method of training a scuba
diver was based on the training style of U.S. navy divers. IDEA wanted
to eliminate the military approach. Many of the skills were
either dangerous or considered obsolete. Passing the old "Scuba
Training Committee" scuba course was almost as tough as going through
the navy scuba diver program. The swimming test was a real problem.
Many students were washed out by failing the swimming skill. You do
not have to be an excellent swimmer to be an excellent recreational
sport diver. IDEA realized that any individual that had moderate
swimming skills and could be an excellent scuba diver if trained
properly. The idea and concept that we voted on was to be an academic
and diver proficiency based program of instruction. In 1976 IDEA was
totally reorganized and in 1979 incorporated in Florida as a for profit
scuba training agency. IDEA trademarks and unique training program
and materials were registered and received copyright protection under
federal and Florida state law.
IDEA made its first
International appearance as a member of the Diving Equipment
Manufacturers Association (DEMA) in Las Vegas in 1980. IDEA has grown
tremendously and its represented in over 30 foreign countries and all
over the continental United States.
In 1987, the majority of
certification agencies agreed to form a nonprofit corporation known as
the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). The RSTC had one
purpose for existing: to allow member associations a vehicle for
developing standards, and to monitor quality control of our member
organizations for the mutual benefit of the recreational diving
industry and the general public. The RSTC was appointed as the
secretariat of the American National Standards Institute and developed
and established the ANSI standards for entry Level Scuba Diving. IDEA
& the RSTC also formed the World Recreational Scuba Training
Council (WRSTC). The RSTC/WRSTC allowed the European standards
organization ISO to use RSTC standards for developing ISO scuba
training standards for europe.
RSTC member agencies train over
85% of the divers certified worldwide. The original founding member
agencies of the RSTC were IDEA, NASDS, PADI, PDIC, and SSI. Since that
time NASDS joined SSI and the YMCA scuba program was closed in 2009
just one year short of what would have been the YMCA scuba programs 50
th year. The YMCA scuba program was the first National Scuba Program
and was established in 1960.
FSDA “Scuba Training Committee”/
IDEA was established in 1952 a full 12 years prior to the YMCA,s
start up program. Scripps Institute offered a scuba training program in the mid 1950’s and the Los Angles County Scuba Certification was started
in 1956. In 1994 a survey conducted by Under Water USA name IDEA as
the fourth most popular certification agency in the U.S. IDEA is the oldest
continuing running sport diving scuba certification agency in the
United States and most likely the world. Safe, Training and 2012 will
mark our 60 th Anniversary. IDEA's/FSDA "STC" records and student records go back to 1952.
Florida Skin Divers Association is one of the largest Scuba Organizations in the world. Check FSDA's website click below