The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
Making progress with Delft move
It used to be said that one should never take a gramophone (remember them?) to pieces as it was impossible to get everything back again into the space provided; the IDSA office clearly has much in common with such historic equipment!
The proposed move of the office to the Netherlands Diving Centre (NDC) in Delft seems like a good opportunity to have a really good ‘clear out’, to reorganise filing systems, and prepare for the future; in retrospect such ambitions were clearly wildly optimistic and our succumbing to the European Winter Virus has not helped! However, our recent visit to Delft did make progress and the more we get to know the admin team at NDC the easier it becomes; if we can share our knowledge as easily as we appear to be able to share our germs the future looks good!
The IDSA has now reached the stage where every full member school (i.e., those which can issue IDSA certification) has gone through its second five-yearly audit and we were pleased to see that in every case standards have risen since the initial visit. There is a real atmosphere of enthusiasm and commitment as well as increasing support from employers for a qualification that is not solely within the remit of one country. The fact that the IDSA Levels have been used to set standards for national certification reflects the high regard in which they are now being held.
Although our main focus is with diving schools, the IDSA is fortunate in having the support of a number of manufacturers. One of these is IHC Hytech BV in the Netherlands, and the admin team spent a fascinating morning visiting IHC’s production centre in Raamsdonksveer some 50 kilometres southeast of Rotterdam. Factory visits can be something of a chore, but this one proved to be both stimulating and enjoyable. The working areas are stretched over three sites, two of which adjoin each other and the third is close by. What immediately strikes the visitor is the high quality and professionalism of the staff who work in these centres. There is an atmosphere of quiet commitment and understanding of colleagues’ contributions to the whole picture. We arrived at the same time as a new hyperbaric lifeboat was being unloaded, ready for its chamber to be fitted and were able to follow much of the process by moving through the workshops and seeing the chambers at various stages of development. New safety regulations mean that the demand for hyperbaric lifeboats is at an all-time high, whilst new developments in technology continually raise standards. It was comforting to see, at first hand, the excellent standards in research and development which operate within this company.
The 33rd annual meeting of the Association will be held this year in Cork, Ireland and will be hosted by the Irish Naval Service, a full member of IDSA. It begins with welcome drinks and registration on the evening of Tuesday, 15 September and ends at lunchtime on Friday, 18 September. Preliminary details are available in the current issue of IDSA News, or from the administrator at any time.