Updated Rules and Requirements for Rating Holders

As a USPA rating holder, it is important to stay on top of changes to the instructional rating system. Each USPA Board of Directors meeting usually produces changes, and USPA posts these to its website soon after the meeting concludes. The USPA Board approved several changes at its February meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Some of these place additional responsibilities on examiners to ensure that candidates meet the necessary experience requirements and that USPA Headquarters receives the proper documentation with each new rating. Others changes clarify course requirements and instructor responsibilities.Here are some of those changes:

  • The board modified the Instructional Rating Manual to make it clear which requirements candidates must meet before and during rating certification courses. USPA will change Section 1 of each rating course syllabus to clarify the requirements. For example, the changes make it clear that for each discipline a candidate must obtain the required jump numbers, freefall time and license before the course begins.
  • Effective June 1, only USPA Coach Examiners and Instructor Examiners may submit rating proficiency cards and required course documentation for the candidates in their rating courses to USPA Headquarters for processing. This holds the examiner responsible for following up with each candidate after the course and ensures that USPA will receive the proficiency card.
  • The board raised the evaluation jump bottom-end sequence by 500 feet to allow candidates to track and deploy by 2,500 feet. Effective June 1, the end-of-dive evaluation altitude rises from 3,500 feet to 4,000 feet for evaluation jumps conducted during any AFF Instructor Rating Course. All of the other altitudes related to the bottom-end sequence will also rise by 500 feet.
  • Beginning immediately, the Safety & Training Committee must validate each new AFF Instructor Examiner Rating Application before USPA staff processes it. In the future, the board may decide to make this requirement apply to all other examiner ratings, as well.
  • Based on data from recent incident reports, the board decided to require each new tandem instructor to gain experience with tandem jumping before adding the complexity of a camera to a skydive. Beginning immediately, a new Basic Safety Requirement mandates that tandem instructors make at least 200 tandem skydives before they or their students use any camera device—whether hand-held or attached—on a tandem skydive.

USPA will not release updated print versions of the Skydiver’s Information Manual and Instructional Rating Manual until the end of the year. However, USPA updates the online SIM, which jumpers can find at uspa.org, after each board meeting. The IRM and SIM change documents that show the latest revisions are also available online shortly after every board meeting so that jumpers can see the latest additions or deletions.

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

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