10 Things You May Not Know About SDI/TDI
Originally Published: http://www.divelog.net.au/dlonline.html
Written by: Richard Taylor
SDI/TDI is run by divers, for divers! Every person at Headquarters and every Regional Representative are divers… most are actually Instructors or Instructor Trainers. In fact the President, Brian Carney, just taught an Intro to Tech Course to a new staff member! So when you pick up the phone or send an email, you are talking to a diver, if not an active instructor. It’s just one of the differences that helps make SDI/TDI the choice for so many professionals and divers all over the globe!
SDI/TDI is an agency of FIRSTS! It was the FIRST to introduce rebreather training (TDI Semi-Closed Rebreather back in 1994 with the Uwatec Atlantis 1), the FIRST with a Solo Diver Program (SDI’s Solo Diver Program was released in 1999), and the FIRST agency to offer online training (eLearning) in 2002! Not to mention SDI was the FIRST to teach the Open Water Course with dive computers and to offer Junior Open Water Scuba for kids (under 12!).
SDI/TDI is not a twosome… it is in fact a threesome! ERDI (Emergency Response Diving International) is the third training arm for International Training, specializing in Public Safety Diving for the Emergency, Rescue, and Policing services. It offers programs from ER Operations to Swift Water, Forensics, Retrieval, Contaminated Water and Helicopter Underwater Escape Training and most recently Full Face Mask Diver (to name a few!) and 5 of the ERDI courses are available online.
SDI/TDI offers over 20 online training courses from SDI Open Water to TDI Generic CCR through ERDI’s Testifying in Court. To add to the ease of the online study option, they even offer online “live chat” with an Instructor from the HQ support team. And online training is not just for divers… SDI offers online training for Divemasters, AI’s and Instructors!!
TDI stands for Technical Diving International, and was started in 1994, with the idea of three industry veterans looking for a Technical Diving Agency that focused on courses and materials divers wanted to use. The original twin tank globe logo was penned on a paper napkin, and still resides in the company president’s office! It’s framed and on the wall now. A reminder that the third largest training agency in the world started because the others lost contact with what their customers want.
SDI stands for Scuba Diving International and started in 1999 because so many members wanted an agency to bring the same commonsense approach and dedication to customer service, to sport diving that TDI brought to technical diving. This may explain why over time most TDI members have taken up SDI for their sport diver programs. Of course, it could also do with the no extra membership fees, the straight forward crossovers, the simple course structures and the great materials!
SDI/TDI has over 25 Regional Offices around the globe, servicing over 80 countries, with their International Training Headquarters in Florida, USA. They produce materials in over 12 languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Chinese (simplified & traditional), Japanese, Korean, Hebrew and Polish and have materials for over 40 different courses. Not bad for an agency that started on a kitchen table with 4 courses 22 years ago!
TDI offers training on over 24 different rebreathers with a simple generic Air Dil No Deco course to start off with and progressive levels in Decompression, Helitrox, Mixed Gas, Advanced Mixed Gas and varying Rebreather Cave Diving levels. Courses are unit specific with simple steps to migrate from one unit to another. TDI works closely with CCR manufacturers to ensure only approved instructors are certified to teach on a given unit and that the courses meet the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is why so many CCR manufacturers recommend TDI Instructors as their first choice.
SDI/TDI is a member of most International Diver Training Accreditation schemes or Associations, including the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council), EUF (European Underwater Federation) and the ISO (International Standards Organisation). The SDI/TDI courses either meet, or in most cases, exceed, these standards – one of the reasons SDI & TDI c-cards are recognised and respected the world over.
SDI/TDI Instructor Trainers are some of the highest qualified dive leaders anywhere in the world. They can not only run SDI Open Water Scuba Instructor Development Courses (IDCs) but they can also run SDI Instructor Examinations (IEs) as well as the various TDI Instructor levels. It’s a one off course, and once passed the IT ratings accrue according to the graduate’s experience and student numbers. ITWs are run around the world, in regional locations accessible to all members and are priced to be affordable.
There’s so much more to SDI/TDI than the above. Online webinar updates for members, free web optimization assessments for facilities, in house card printing, and mobile compliant online training are just a few of the e-services offered. But most importantly it’s the people… passionate instructors and ITs who want to deliver courses that are flexible and focused on the skills divers need, and passionate managers and owners who do not just love the business of diving, but love diving! If you want to know where the future of dive training is… this is it!