Putting Your Name on the Line

Instructors and instructor examiners are responsible for lots of things when working with license and rating candidates. One of the most important and often overlooked tasks is the verification of license and rating requirements. Every USPA license requires the candidate to complete a minimum number of jumps and amount of freefall time. Every USPA rating requires a minimum number of jumps and amount of freefall time, and the candidate must hold a license of a certain level or higher. Every new examiner rating requires a minimum number of total jumps, student jumps and evaluation jumps. In other words, there is a lot to verify! It is important that the instructor or instructor examiner verifies these requirements through logbook entries or even drop zone manifest records to make sure that the candidate has met the jump number, freefall time and other requirements.

USPA’s membership department frequently finds errors and omissions while processing licenses and ratings. Instructors and examiners need to carefully check for errors before sending an application to USPA Headquarters for processing. Spending an extra minute or two to look over the application to ensure it is completed and properly signed and initialed can go a long way toward reducing the number of rejected applications.

Perhaps the most concerning issue regarding licenses and ratings is that there has been a slight uptick in falsified applications sent to USPA for processing. Submitting a falsified document can lead to membership and rating suspension or revocation. The USPA Board of Directors has taken steps to tighten up its processes for issuing examiner ratings and will most likely continue to expand those processes for all license and rating applications.

At the July board meeting, the board voted to require the Safety and Training Committee to review all new USPA Coach Examiner and Instructor Examiner candidate proficiency cards before candidates can receive their ratings. Candidates may be required to provide log book entries or drop zone manifest records as proof of meeting the requirements, including the number of total jumps, student jumps, course evaluation jumps and first-jump courses conducted.

A new license or rating is more than just a piece of paper. It shows the world that a jumper has achieved what is necessary to hold that license or rating. Whether for a new A license or a new examiner rating, the outlined requirements are there for a reason. Make sure they have all been accomplished before you put your name on the line saying so.

Jim Crouch | D-16979 | USPA Director of Safety & Training

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