In this day and age, there seems to be endless choices in certification agencies. Last count, there are over 30 organizations world wide advertising “international accreditation.” Whose program does the discriminating instructor or facility choose to align themselves with? Choosing the wrong agency could associate you with people and facilities that do not share similar beliefs or philosophies. When the “right” agency is found, everyone wins. Your clients, students, instructors and staff will be able to work in harmony, towards your common goals, to provide a quality (and profitable) experience for all concerned. Why does ANDI feel that they have the right compliment of programs with the right emphasis to meet those needs? Read on!
ANDI is best known for being the leader, the original training agency, for enriched air services (a.k.a. Nitrox). While ANDI takes NO credit for inventing its use, and does not suggest that they were the first to train divers in its benefits, ANDI was the first to put this important advancement in safer recreational diving into a cohesive system of student texts, instructor manuals and support materials.
Today, “Nitrox” has become as common (and in some cases prevalent) as “Air”diving. Of course, from the very beginning, ANDI chose to call this phenomenon “SafeAir®” as we understood that simply stating a mix (i.e. Nitrox I) was insufficient as other issues such as production equipment and gas quality standards were just as important. Today, throughout the world, when you see SafeAir® you can be assured that the facility dispensing gas has met the highest of purity standards in the industry and utilizes equipment and procedures consistent with international protocol for safely handling Oxygen and its mixtures. As a facility owner or instructor, who would you want to be associated with? When you see “Nitrox” advertised, that facility may or may not meet the stringent standards of SafeAir® but when the ANDI trademark is displayed, you can rest assured that it does. “If it isn’t SafeAir®, it is only Nitrox.”
From our original inception, ANDI has continually added programs for the instructor and facility to offer. Our original motto was “the leaders in optimal breathing gas technologies” as we were instrumental in introducing the casual and technical diver to SafeAir® and alternate inert gases such as Helium. During the past 15 “plus” years, ANDI has added a host of other programs to include closed circuit (we had the first “authorized” program for the Dräger Atlantis), Oxygen Provider, Wreck and Cave, Openwater diver, First Aid, CPR, Dive Medic etc. Today, ANDI can boast a course list unparalleled within the industry. With such an expansive list, standards could be easily forgotten but not by ANDI. ANDI will still state that the instructors and facilities certified to conduct their programs are the best trained in the industry. We have no short cuts!Besides the highest and most defendable standards in the industry, ANDI strives to support the local facility and instructor. Sure, some agencies say they support the facility but few go out of their way to do so in their instructional materials. If any support is given, it is usually for the “agency” itself! In every text, throughout all instructor manuals, and on our web site, ANDI goes the extra mile to call attention to other products and services that the facility offers. While we hope that those will be ANDI services, we make few distinctions. The point is, every course should open a new doorway for additional products and more training from the host facility. In the legendary ANDI CSU text (often referred to as “the bible” of EAN diving) ANDI has strategically placed statements (over 160 in all) to the effect of “speak to your ANDI instructor…..” about this product, that service or an up-coming course. EVERY manual has a similar philosophy. Does a good instructor need these reminders or could the student do without them? Well, maybe or maybe not but the fact is, any support for the facility did not hurt anybody but goes a long way to keep the message clear! Putting the message into print provides consistency and cohesiveness. This may just be one reason while besides conducting the finest programs within the industry, the ANDI facility and their instructors seems to make a better profit.
On the subject of instructor competency: While ANDI would in no way disparage an instructor just because they were not ANDI and we know that there are many, very dedicated professionals out there, we have refused to provide “paper crossovers” as many other agencies have. Sure, we could easily make more money by allowing anybody that applies for an ANDI instructor rating an automatic crossover. It would make us more money in processing fees, materials, future certification fees and yearly registration. The point is, ANDI DOES have a standard, ANDI does require that EVERYONE measure up to that standard and the only way we can possibly provide the tools and measure the individual is to ask that instructors be evaluated. This process is accomplished through workshops held at the local facility level. During the workshop we not only evaluate the candidates level of knowledge but we provide information on ANDI procedures, general standards, marketing of EAN programs and in essence, help the candidate become functional within the facility and ANDI family. ANDI chooses to have a limited number of Instructor Trainers. We must get multiple requests every week for a “crossover.” Some agencies actually boast of having a certain number of IT’s that if looked at from a statistical perspective means that a “new IT has been created nearly every day since the agency was founded.” ANDI IT’s are chosen carefully for their experience, professionalism and qualifications. This insures that the instructor candidates they work with become the most qualified in the industry. I will again ask the question: “Who do you want to be associated with?”
ANDI is the only “training agency” that stocks not only instructional materials for their 78 or so programs but also provides a complete resource of gas blending equipment, filtration, compressor options, valves, fittings and you name it. If it is utilized for “Nitrox” we have it! Because we were the first and because when we started, none of these resources were available from any sport diving manufacturer, we began stocking the necessary supplies for easy access by our facilities. As a single example, the ANDI Alpha-I, Oxygen analyzer has received accolades from everyone, including our competition. It is the most accurate and most economical, hand-held Oxygen analyzer on the market and it is available at dealer prices to any ANDI facility! If you want the best, you would choose ANDI.
To summarize, our International Regional HQ’s, facilities and instructors world-wide have chosen ANDI because we have consistently provided them with ethical standards and quality materials that supports them so that they may run a profitable business. Should you have any specific questions or needs about ANDI’s programs, products or services….PLEASE contact ANDI HQ and we will be happy to answer them.