International Freediving Development Association AIDA courses

Basic AIDA Freediving Courses

From beginner to instructor

Introducing AIDA1 Freediving

Initial requirements:

  • over 18 years of age (over 16 with written consent of the parent / guardian)
  • ability to swim at least 100m without stopping

Regulations: no

Minimum water activity: 1

Basically, this introductory course is planned at the discretion of the instructor and the students – in terms of the number and duration of classes. However, some aspects must be included in the program of such a seminar: preparation for holding the breath and ensuring safety when doing freediving.

AIDA2 Basic Course

Initial requirements:

  • over 18 years of age (over 16 with written consent of the parent / guardian)
  • the ability to swim at least 200m without fins and at least 300m with a mask, snorkel and fins

Standards: STA 2:00, DYN 40m, CWT 16m, theory exam

Minimum water sessions: 5 (STA and DYN – pool or confined water, 3 sessions in open water)

In this course, the basic skills of freediving are laid: holding the breath, preparing for it and recovering from it, effective swimming with fins, diving to depth and pressure compensation. The basics of safety training are taught without fail and rescue skills are practiced. Theory lectures study the beginnings of the physiology of freediving, the physics of pressure compensation, diving equipment, techniques and disciplines of freediving.

AIDA3 Advanced Course

Initial requirements:

  • over 18 years of age (over 16 with written consent of the parent / guardian)
  • AIDA2 certification or skill assessment when transferring from another association

Regulations: STA 2:45, DYN 55m, CWT 24m, theory exam

Minimum water sessions: 6 (STA and DYN – pool or confined water, 4 open water sessions)

One of the main skills of the advanced course is “free fall”, that is, using negative buoyancy to save energy when diving. This course teaches the basics of building training and training methods; so that graduates can independently plan their training process competently. The theory includes information about possible water pressure injuries and how the body adapts to diving. During the course, the skills of rescue and organization of safe training with a partner are necessarily practiced.

Master Freediver AIDA4

Initial requirements:

  • over 18 years of age (over 16 with written consent of the parent / guardian)
  • AIDA3 certification or skill assessment when transferring from another association
  • certificate of completion of a first aid course, including CPR, issued no more than two years ago

Standards: STA 3:30, DYN 70m, CWT 32m, theory exam

Minimum water sessions: 6 (STA and DYN – pool or confined water, 4 open water sessions)

This is the first professional stage; AIDA4 freediver status gives you the right to assist an instructor on a course. The graduate of the AIDA4 course is able to dive deeper than the recreational limit and is able to independently organize their training in order to progress further. The course teaches special blowing skills for deep diving and training techniques to adapt to high pressures, including exercises to increase lung capacity and improve body flexibility. Rescue skills and scenarios are being practiced.

A lot of time on the course is devoted to training on land: lectures on the theory of deep freediving, exercises, assistant skills. AIDA4 students not only learn about new deep training equipment, but also learn how to properly prepare and set up training equipment.

Crossover Evaluation Skills Assessment

Freedivers who wish to enroll in an AIDA course after training with another association go through the Crossover Evaluation. This is a confirmation of skills and knowledge, in accordance with the level for which the student applies.

Crossover Evaluation includes:

  • pool and open water skill assessment and validation
  • writing the exam for this course.

For example, if a freediver wants to pass AIDA3, he needs to show the standards and skills, as well as pass the theory exam of this course. It is possible to issue an AIDA2 certificate, but it is not required.

AIDA Instructor

Initial requirements:

  • Age 18+
  • AIDA4 certification or skill assessment when transferring from another association
  • certificate of completion of a first aid course, including CPR, issued no more than two years ago

Standards: STA 4:00, DYN 90m, DNF 50m,
CWT + FIM 40-50m, CNF 20m,
CWT 30m at 1:30, FIM 30m at 2:00,
endurance test: 5 x 20m with a break of 1:00,
rescue scenarios,
special presentation,
theoretical exams, including all AIDA2-4 exams

Minimum water lessons: 8 for a minimum of 10 full days of training

The instructor course does not teach you to dive. Instructor candidates learn to teach freediving skills, attend lectures and try to teach on their own, pass exams and standards. This is a very intensive course; read about how it goes in the article “How to learn to become a freediving instructor”.

AIDA Youth Program for Children

Swimming and diving program for children from 6 to 15 years old

Bronze Dolphin, Silver Dolphin and Gold Dolphin courses are aimed at children from 6 to 11 years old. Each of them takes at least three days. The AIDA Junior course is designed for adolescents from 12 to 15 years old and takes a minimum of four training days. Each of the children’s courses includes information for parents, mainly related to the proper care of children in the water.

AIDA Kids Instructor

Initial requirements:

  • be an active AIDA Instructor
  • have a First Aid Certificate including Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (or AIDA FEMR)

To become an AIDA Youth Instructor child instructor, you need to complete an online course and pass exams – after which the instructor gets access to all AIDA children’s program materials and the opportunity to certify children.

AIDA Specialties

AIDA Special Education

AIDA Freediving Emergency Medical Responder (FEMR)

Freediving First Aid

Initial requirements:

  • Age 18+

Minimum days: 1

Freedivers of any association can enroll in the AIDA FEMR course. Together with the skills of traditional first aid courses, FEMR includes knowledge and skills to assist in freediving situations. Theoretical materials are first studied independently before the course, and then discussed with the instructor. The theory looks at the pathophysiology, first aid and prevention measures for a variety of water accidents, including conditions associated with pressure and hypoxia, and injuries and diseases caused by contact with marine life. In the practical part, first aid scenarios are worked out and the skills of using medical equipment, for example, an Ambu bag, an aspirator, an oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal air duct, are practiced. In addition, students are trained to measure vital signs, including blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation.

AIDA Freediving Emergency Medical Responder Instructor (FEMRI)

Freediving First Aid Instructor

Initial requirements:

  • be an active AIDA Instructor

Minimum days: 5

Only active AIDA Instructors can enroll in the FEMRI Instructor Course. This course teaches how to teach first aid – it includes all of the FEMR course material and explains how to teach this material. FEMRI candidates learn all skills themselves, learn to demonstrate and evaluate them by working with students. Maintaining FEMRI instructor status requires repeating skills with instructor-trainer every two years.

AIDA Monofin Freediver Diving

Initial requirements:

  • over 18 years of age (over 16 with written consent of the parent / guardian)
  • AIDA2 / AIDA2 Pool Certification or Skills Assessment when moving from another association

Regulations: no

Minimum water activity: 2

This course provides the basics of monofin diving. Students learn about different approaches to freediving with monofin and learn swimming techniques. The course includes exercises performed in water to hone swimming skills and on land to prepare the body for freediving with a monofin.

AIDA Competition Freediver

Initial requirements:

  • over 18 years of age (over 16 with written consent of the parent / guardian)
  • AIDA2 / AIDA2 Pool Certification or Skills Assessment when moving from another association

Norms: theory exam

Minimum water activity: 2

This course is for those who want to start participating in competitions. Knowledge of how freediving competitions go, rules and disciplines are given in the theoretical part. Practical skills, including athlete protocols, are practiced on the water.

AIDA Competition Safety Freediver

Initial requirements:

  • Age 18+
  • AIDA2 / AIDA2 Pool Certification or Skills Assessment when moving from another association

Norms: theory exam

Minimum water activity: 4 or 2

You can choose to complete the full course or only the open / confined water part. In the first case, the course should include at least 4 sessions on the water for at least two days. In the second – respectively, 2 lessons in one day. At the same time, courses are rarely held in the shortest possible time, it is difficult to accommodate all the material in two days.

Students are introduced to rescue procedures and competition rules. Graduates of this course are encouraged to maintain safety while attempting records and competing.

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