You have been with EURAMI for quite some time now. What has changed since you started and what trends were you able to identify over that timeframe?
When I started to work with EURAMI five years ago we had around 40 members and the activity within the association was fairly limited when it came to knowledge sharing, interacting with members and overall global brand recognition. To date, EURAMI has more than 55 accredited members, a waiting list of more than 10 applicants for accreditation, has created a membership platform, published a new set of Fixed Wing Standards and is launching the first EURAMI conference in November. In addition, we have put a heavy focus on member-based marketing and are very involved with global organisations such as ITIC, ITIJ, THIA and USTIA – so quite a lot has changed since I started – but we are certainly not done.
In terms of trends, we can definitely see an increase in demand for accreditation outside of Europe. Historically, EURAMI started in Europe and gained a large membership base in that region right from the start, however, in the last few years we have gained many additional members from all other continents as well. Recently we have received a lot of requests for accreditation from the South and Latin American area as well as remote African countries and the Asia-Pacific region, especially from Australia. So, our membership is a unique and a truly global one, providing aeromedical transports all over the world.
Another very positive development for EURAMI – and also for other accreditation companies – is the increased recognition of accreditation from clients, especially from insurance and assistance companies. We are often approached by the same for guidance on how to choose their providers and receive inquiries about them being more involved with standardisation of aeromedical transports, which is why we launched the EURAMI Corporate Membership last year. With that, non-aeromedical companies can support our missions and support the further development of standards in our industry.
What has been the most challenging part for accreditation companies in the last five years?
I can only speak on EURAMI’s behalf, but for us, most recently, it was handling the pandemic. It was incredibly challenging to find alternatives to on-site visits, and to try to avoid the whole accreditation process coming to a complete halt, which would have been disastrous for our organisation. Thankfully, we were able to react quickly to the new circumstances and had fully digitalised our process in a matter of a few weeks, which allowed for us to continue our normal re-accreditations without much delay.
In terms of the organisation itself, I would say the most challenging part was to gain recognition outside of Europe. Due to its name, EURAMI was often recognised as ‘just’ a European organisation and thus was overlooked by other global providers and clients. These days however, a large number of our providers are from other parts of the world, and we have achieved broad recognition worldwide, as we regularly attend numerous conferences and provide knowledge and expertise to further develop our brand and support our mission all over the globe.
What are the next steps for EURAMI and what exciting things are on the horizon for you?
We are certainly very excited for the upcoming EURAMI conference which will be the very first one we hold in Barcelona during ITIC Global. We have put together a very engaging and diversified agenda with excellent speakers – so I am really looking forward to being able to discuss these topics with the panels and our membership. In addition, we will be having the EURAMI General Assembly three days later, where we will not only review our year but also launch the EURAMI Commercial Airline Medical Escort Standards 2.0., which will be a big upgrade from the current version.
We are very busy in front and behind the scenes, and it is really great to see how much we have accomplished to date and how enthusiastic and supportive our membership has been over the last five years – that is certainly the most important accomplishment, as they are the core of EURAMI.
Personally, I am still loving working with EURAMI as much as I did when I started in 2018, so I am not only really enjoying the ride but can’t wait for the many more amazing things we have in the pipeline. Having said that – keep an eye out for these updates in the monthly ITIJ EURAMI column!