The International Diving Educators Association (IDEA) was originally established in 1952 as part of the FSDA (Florida Skin Divers Association), and later changed to the Florida Scuba Divers Association. FSDA was a large group of very active Florida dive clubs and has been the voice of the diver since 1952. IDEA is proud of its past affiliation with FSDA.
Instructor training and certification was handled by the FSDA Scuba Training Committee. The committee was also in charge of Standards & Procedures and new diver certifications. As FSDA grew, so did the Scuba Training Committee. Many new instructors were from out-of-state or had moved out of the state, so the Committee was spreading throughout the continental United States.
By 1978 there were more instructors outside the state than there were within, because FSDA had also spread to the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Antilles and Barbados. It was at that time the committee members decided that the FSDA Scuba Training Committee had outgrown FSDA. A new name, a new logo and a new direction was forthcoming. A new "IDEA" was born.
In February of 1978, the membership voted to expand the Scuba Training Committee to an international certification agency, based upon the same principals of the original committee. The International Diving Educators Association (IDEA) was officially formed. In 1979 IDEA was reorganized and incorporated. IDEA made its first international appearance as a member of the Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association (DEMA) in Las Vegas in 1980. During the last few years IDEA has grown tremendously and is represented in more than 30 foreign countries and all the continental United States.
In 1987 the majority of certification agencies agreed to form a not-for-profit agency, known as the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). The RSTC member agencies train over 85% of the divers certified world wide. IDEA USA is an RSTC charter member.
In Europe the first headquarters was established in 1992 in Italy, with name IDEA Italy, thanks to the efforts of President Gaetano Occhiuzzi, which purchases the rights to use the brand and the educational system. From the beginning of 1995 the Italian headquarters became the European headquarters and IDEA Europe was born, with regional offices in several countries of Europe and instructors also outside Europe.
IDEA Europe is still growing, because has developed an excellent scuba training system, from the Introductory course to the Instructor Trainer course, with books, color slides and videos in English, Italian, French, German and Spanish, based on programs adapted to the Europeans divers-style.
The training material is available on printed books and digital books (e-teaching); the whole system has been certified, by the italian certification body Quality Italy, conform to ISO quality standards related to scuba recreational services. IDEA Europe was the first scuba training agency in the world to be awarded this important recognition!