Beginning Your Journey ...


Are you ready for a new challenge, adventure and world to discover? SCUBA diving is an amazing sport that will take you to new depths and let you explore a world few get to see!

To be a successful, a safe Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) diver requires patience. You must understand that it will take time to acquire the educational background, skills, and equipment to properly execute your dives. You must also allow yourself the time to improve your skills until they become reflex and can be depended upon to make your diving safe and fun.

The materials are only the first part of the educational system. You are an important part, as is your instructor. In this course, as in all IANTD courses, you will be learning new skills and acquiring knowledge that will help you move on in your journey. The skills and education are not enough, you must also obtain the tools to safely execute the dives.

Education, training and equipment are all components of a skilled diver. Your Instructor will use the educational materials to help you internalize the things you need to make you successful and to move on in your diving journey. Remember to be open to new ideas.

The First Steps

The Open Water Course Structure

The course is composed of three parts:

  • Education
  • In the Education phase you will learn the basic physics of diving. Your instructor will help you understand the key ideas and concepts before taking a series of quizzes.
  • Confined Water
  • In this phase (typically done in a pool or shallow water), you will get the hands-on experience to practice skills needed to become a proficient and comfortable diver in an open body of water.
  • Open Water
  • In the final phase of instruction your instructor will take you on four dives in an open body of water. On these dives you will have a chance to demonstrate your knowledge and skills that you learned from the Education and Confined Water phases.

Becoming a safe SCUBA Diver requires a commitment. Rushing through a course will not allow you as a student to retain, digest and, apply learned skills effectively. Comfort in the water takes repetition and practice.

Your IANTD Instructor wants you to be successful. A safe and successful diver needs to allocate time to becoming comfortable with new skills before going to the open water session.

Of course, without equipment you cannot experience the underwater world. If you truly want to become a diver, you will need your own equipment. Having your own equipment makes going diving easier and safer. We will talk more about diving equipment in the equipment chapter.

The Next Step

The Open Water Course is only the beginning. There is a whole new world awaiting you, along with a series of programs designed to help you enjoy it. IANTD offers the most complete training programs in the world and has developed programs to help you reach your goals. Through its instructor base, IANTD offers a host of recreational and technical diving programs to help you develop into the diver you want to become.

Where you go from here is up to you. Speak with your Instructor and let him or her know what you plans are, and what you want to achieve. Your Instructor can help you develop a training program to help you reach your goals.

Of course, there are always other pathways that you can take along the way. You may want to incorporate rebreather diving into your dives. You might find the allure of cavern and cave diving to be a goal. Maybe diving deeper in open water is a path for you. Wherever you want to go, IANTD instructors are already there to help you reach your diving goals.

IANTD History

The International Association of Nitrox Divers (IAND) was formed in 1985 in response to the needs of the diving public. Up until that time, mixed gas diving and the use of decompression gases were limited to military and commercial divers.

Sport divers were beginning to incorporate some of these methods into their diving. Their planning was a free exchange of ideas and sometimes these ideas were flawed.

In 1985 Dick Rutkowski (former dive supervisor for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA) together, with other leaders in the diving community formed IAND. Dick’s goal was to introduce the benefits of using Nitrox in many diving situations and to begin teaching safe decompression diving.

Beginning in 1992, under the leadership of Tom Mount, the organization grew into the leading technical training organization in the world, offering courses covering all aspects of sport diving. At the same time, IAND was updated to the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers, (IANTD). This better reflected the organization’s additional emphasis on technical diving.

Today IANTD has offices in over twenty-five countries and instructors in around 60 countries representing all major diving locations around the world. These instructors represent the “Who’s Who” of diving in both the traditional recreational diving arena and the technical diving arena.

IANTD continues to set the standard for both recreational and technical diving education. With the help of its International Licensees and International Board of Advisors, IANTD monitors the quality of its instructors and the educational programs in an effort to maintain the high-quality standards set by its founding members.

The Future

As technology improves and diving changes, the accompanying education and skills development must change. IANTD is committed to maintaining its lead in the diving education industry by adapting its course offerings to the shifts in technology, hyperbaric medicine, research, and environmental changes.

Our divers and instructors are some of the most well-trained and most knowledgeable divers in the world. Through continuing diver education, both in formal training and through publications like Nitrox Diver - the IANTD Journal, IANTD is dedicated to making the diving community safer and more responsible to the environment in which we play and work.

Complete and Continue