The International Air Transport Association, most commonly referred to by its initials IATA, is a international aviation trade organisation based in Montreal, Canada. IATA represents 230 airlines from 115 countries that together carry about 93 per cent of the world's international scheduled traffic. One service that IATA provides to its member airlines is its highly regarded training courses. These courses can be used to expand the skills and knowledge of employees in a variety of areas.
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Areas of Study
IATA offers eight main areas of study that span all industry sectors. The current eight categories of training are: Travel & Tourism, Regulation & Compliance, Safety, Security, Environment, Operations & Infrastructure, Aviation Management, Organization & Human Performance and Aviation Studies. Within each area, students can take as many or as few classes as they wish; some classes are highly specialised while others are applicable to a broad spectrum of the industry. Courses are frequently added and updated --- for example, a course on Airline Social Media Strategy is offered as of February 2011.
Diplomas and Certificates
While students can elect to take only individual classes, some students will pursue diplomas or certificates from IATA. Diplomas are offered within each category of training. As of 2011, there are about 30 diplomas offered by IATA in a variety of fields. For example, some diplomas presently available include Air Law, Airline Management, Cargo Management, Safety Management and Air Traffic Services Management. Each diploma has different requirements but generally between five and 10 courses must be taken to obtain a diploma. The diplomas are recognised throughout the industry and can be used to increase skill or help secure a promotion or another job. IATA certifications are similar to diplomas and are also recognised throughout the industry.
IATA has six designated international training centres located in Geneva, Switzerland; Montreal, Canada; Miami, Florida; Singapore; Beijing, China and Delhi, India. There are also dozens of IATA Affiliated Regional Training Centers located around the world that are independent organisations or schools that offer IATA classroom courses. IATA also collaborates with Regional Training Partners, Authorized Training Centers and Accredited Training Schools. These affiliates vary in the amount of courses they offer --- some may have only a few IATA courses while others offer many more, but usually not the wide array offered by the main training centres.
For those unable to travel to a training centre or those desiring to study while still working, IATA offers a large number of self-study distance learning programs in most areas including air transport, travel and tourism, and air cargo. Many of the courses offered in its training centres are also available online through distance learning. IATA also offers industry standardised training programs that can be used to train large groups of employees in basic airside safety, essentials for travel agents, safety awareness for airport workers and many others.
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