International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD) is a SCUBA diving organization concerned with certification and training in Enriched Air Nitrox diving, Technical diving and Free diving.


Dick Rutkowski, the former dive supervisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), formed the International Association of Nitrox Divers (IAND) in 1985 to teach nitrox to sport divers. This program was developed through NOAA during his tenure.

In 1992 Tom Mount became the President and CEO, and the name of the organization was changed to the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD). The T was added when the European Association of Technical Divers merged with IAND. Billy Deans has also served as a director of IANTD. Prior to founding IAND, Dick Rutkowski worked for Dr Wells and was director of the diver training at NOAA. This was the first organisation to offer international training to recreational scuba divers.

As it was the first program to offer certification in Enriched Air Nitrox, the company was kept at a slow, yet steady pace from 1985 through February 1992 with the support of Hyperbarics International. In 1991 Tom Mount joined Dick and IANTD became the first to offer training programs in all aspects of Technical diving (Advanced Nitrox, Deep Air, Technical Diver, Cave and Wreck Penetration, Normoxic Trimix, Trimix, Rebreathers, etc.) as well as Free diving.

IANTD General Statement of Objectives

IANTD’s mission is to explore the opportunities and challenges of Recreational Diving, which includes all forms of Sport Diving, Nitrox, Advanced and Technical diving, in order to foster openness and individual responsibility, and to provide a standard of care for instruction in the diving community.  IANTD and its members strive to be honest, ethical and fair in all our venues.  We also believe that there are universal principles that are more absolute.  We try to live by them.  We envision our mission activities in the following areas:

PUBLIC AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY: IANTD is working to promote openness in the diving community; to share procedures, techniques and operational methods with divers seeking to expand their diving experiences.  In the interest of safer diving we encourage freedom with discipline allowing for development of new methods and procedures but recognizing the need for an accepted safety envelope.  IANTD will stay informed on diving developments and include them in its diving activities.

SAFER DIVER PROGRAM: IANTD believes individual diver responsibilities are developed through rigorous skill refinement and experience in the water.  Vigorous instruction with a strong student / Instructor relationship, enhancing a transfer of the diving responsibility to the student, is the essence of our teaching philosophy.

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND REFINEMENT: IANTD has developed Programs to increase diving knowledge and skill levels.  We will continue refining these Programs, based on reports from Instructors in the field, to improve and strengthen their value to our membership.  We will continue to develop a set of core values that apply to sport and technical diving.  IANTD Standards and Procedures have been developed and have evolved to allow worldwide recognition of skill and knowledge at each qualification level addressed by IANTD.

FOSTERING COMMUNITY: Much of the work IANTD has done has been directed at fostering a sense of community in the diving world.  The diving community, by virtue of its size, needs internal cooperation to prosper and grow; anything less is counter-productive.

Some of OC or CCR Diver Levels

IANTD Training Philosophy

IAND, Inc./IANTD believes it is better to be cautious and demanding in training than to have even one accident.

IAND, Inc./IANTD is dedicated to producing knowledgeable and skillful divers.  Both are key for developing competent, confident and relaxed divers, who can fully enjoy the exhilarating experiences of sport and technical diving.

KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING are, beyond a doubt, the keys to power in any endeavor one undertakes. In diving, the combination of knowledge and understanding provides greater diving safety.

  • IANTD designs all Program materials to instill in-depth knowledge to the student and practitioner of sport and technical diving endeavors. This knowledge develops greater confidence and understanding of both the enjoyment and risk aspects of safe diving.
  • To ensure a sound knowledge base, IANTD is demanding on the subject material presented in its Programs.

SKILLS and STRESS MANAGEMENT are important in performance of safe dives and in the ability to survive when faced with stressful events in the water.

  • IANTD Programs are designed to develop superb water skills and relaxed and comfortable divers. To achieve this, techniques are taught and drills are incorporated that enable divers to realize their full potential. The confidence developed in this type of training will reward students by allowing them to become self-confident and self-reliant divers.
  • Equipment familiarity exercises, such as simulation of a gas failure with valve shutdowns to practice regulator switches, are included to allow divers to become confident and capable in reaching and manipulating the valves and in performing regulator switches. To the amazement of many students, this is often difficult on the first few attempts. Indeed, equipment adjustments are often needed to enhance the performance of this skill. This is a skill that may save a diver’s life someday, and one in which all divers need to be confident with. This type of confidence is developed by demonstration and practice.
  • Stress management exercises are placed into our Programs to simulate realistic diving emergencies. The purpose of these exercises is to train divers in response awareness, and to develop in their minds a memory of having experienced a similar event before. One example of such a drill is to swim to a buddy over a prescribed distance without breathing, and then commence gas sharing followed by a timed swim. To some, this appears as a fitness or harassment drill. In fact, it is a confidence-builder and a mind conditioning exercise. It provides a rehearsed response to an emergency to develop mental stamina instead of an on-site challenge. The distance involved is similar to what one would likely encounter when swimming to a companion diver, while communicating the problem and the need to initiate gas sharing. The timed-swim is designed to instill a reaction of maintaining a normal swim pace to enable gas consumption to remain at a normal rate.
  • IANTD believes confidence and efficiency are developed by spending time in the water. All Programs specify required minimum minutes of bottom time to be accomplished within a certain number of dives. IANTD is the first to incorporate this into diver training.
  • IANTD believes basic survival skills must be practiced to enable one to better cope with stressful events
  • IANTD recognizes that many skills in its Programs are redundant. Provisions are allotted to credit diver training amongst Programs.
  • IANTD values experience and its Standards have provisions for credit of equivalent experience towards a given level of qualification. At the same time, we all realize that experience is not always compatible with knowledge and skill performance. To provide a marriage of experience, knowledge and skill performance, divers must demonstrate the required skills and knowledge appropriate to the level they are being credited for, prior to qualification at a higher level of diving.
  • IANTD believes that our Instructors do set the example. To this end, the Instructor must always be present in the water providing direct or indirect supervision of the dive any time skills are practiced; demonstrating overall good diving skills while providing an extra element of safety in the water. At the same time, the Instructor must take care that the student does not depend upon them. They must ensure confidence is being developed.  Teaching Assistants may be responsible for any needed indirect supervision and control provided that the Instructor is present on the dive.
  • IANTD requires the Instructor in charge to be present in the water and provide direct or indirect supervision if a teaching assistant   is to provide direct supervision of students on their first dive to a new and greater depth, and to discourage students from exceeding the prescribed limits of the Training Program they are participating in.
  • IANTD believes diving is a risk taking activity and that divers must be aware of those risks.

The more advanced the diving styles, the more polished the skill level of divers must be to provide safety. In addition, standard minimum skills and theory assure each Instructor that divers coming into our Programs from another IANTD Instructor are ready to advance their diving education.

  • IANTD requires a standard student text and/or other equivalent text(s) (if submitted and approved in writing by the BOD) to ensure that the theoretical knowledge exists to make the given level of diving safe. In cave diving, the NSS/CDS and NACD texts are considered equivalent and, in fact, are recommended as supplements to the IANTD Cave Diving Manual and Student Workbook.
  • Upon Program completion, IANTD requires students to pass a written exam as a means to measure their knowledge level.
  • IANTD has leadership / supervisory ratings to allow for “Instructor Assistants” in preparation of advancement towards instructorship.
  • IAND, Inc./IANTD believes that being confident, competent and knowledgeable, through responsible training, enables one to survive the seemingly un-survivable.



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