You completed all of your license requirements and are ready to send the form to USPA … but wait! You didn’t get the Safety and Training Advisor’s signature on your license application. Bummer. You really want to get that license sent in and processed in time to make those helicopter jumps, but the S&TA is not available. Well, nobody is watching, so you forge the S&TA’s signature and send in the license application. After all, nobody really checks that stuff, right? Wrong.
USPA is catching an increasing number of forgeries on license applications and rating-renewal forms. Some of the applicants seem to be trying to get away with not completing the requirements; others forged the documents due to laziness such as not wanting to find the appropriate person to sign the form. Somehow, it always comes as a surprise to the forger that USPA actually checks the license and rating applications it receives. The membership department staff members all have sharp eyes and easily spot forgeries and altered documents. Once a staff member discovers a forgery, USPA starts a formal investigative process. Section 1-6 of the USPA Governance Manual outlines disciplinary procedures, and “willfully falsifies any document, certificate or record connected with or relating to skydiving” is one of the seven deadly sins listed in that section.
What’s the lesson here? Simple: Follow the rules. Make sure you are completing the requirements and obtaining the appropriate signatures. Even if you have one of the more innocuous reasons for forging a document, you are still forging a document, and USPA will suspend your licenses and ratings.
USPA is looking into the various options available to simplify the rating-renewal process by using a more automated system. The USPA Safety and Training Committee is doing the research. Hopefully, within the next year or so, you will be able to renew your membership and ratings from the comfort of your favorite chair using a smart phone or computer. The final product will be an improvement over the current processes for license applications and rating renewals, providing more automation, more education and a more secure process for the member, as well as less work for USPA Headquarters staff.
Jim Crouch | D-16979 | USPA Director of Safety and Training