Become an Instructor

Complete information regarding USPA's instructional ratings can be found in the Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) available through the USPA Store. The IRM includes course outlines, evaluation forms, exams and proficiency cards for each rating.

About USPA Instructional Ratings

USPA issues instructional ratings to USPA members who have gained the necessary experience and successfully completed a certification course for three different levels of instruction:

  • USPA Coach Rating
  • USPA Instructor Rating
  • USPA Instructor Examiner Rating

The USPA Coach Rating may be earned by jumpers with at least 100 jumps and a USPA B license who have completed the Coach Certification Course. Coaches can teach the general sections of the first-jump course and train and supervise students for group skydiving skills. Coaches work under the supervision of instructors.

The USPA Instructor Rating may be earned in four different disciplines:

  • Accelerated Freefall Instructor (AFF)
  • Instructor-Assisted Deployment Instructor (IAD)
  • Static-Line Instructor
  • Tandem Instructor

These are the four methods of first-jump instruction available to anyone interested in skydiving. Each instructor rating requires a higher level of experience than the coach rating, as well as successful completion of a certification course for each different method. Instructors may teach the entire method-specific first-jump course, as well as train and supervise students beginning with the first jump through to the completion of the USPA A license.

The USPA Instructor Examiner Rating may be earned in five different disciplines:

  • Coach Examiner
  • Accelerated Freefall Instructor Examiner
  • Instructor-Assisted Deployment Instructor Examiner
  • Static-Line Instructor Examiner
  • Tandem Instructor Examiner

The examiner rating is the highest level of instructional ratings issued by USPA. Examiners are very experienced instructors who train new coaches and instructors. They have completed additional training that is necessary to become an examiner.   

Additional Resources

Rating Course Materials (Required for course attendance)

Rating Renewals

Each coach and instructor rating must be renewed annually. The first year of any rating will be a partial year, because the rating will be issued with the expiration date that coincides with your membership renewal date. Regardless of whether that is one month or 11 months, you must complete the rating renewal form with the necessary signatures and include the rating renewal fee with your membership renewal. Each rating holder must conduct a minimum number of student training jumps each year to meet the renewal requirements, except for the first partial year of holding the rating. See Section 1 of each course syllabus in the Instructional Rating Manual to find the rating renewal requirements.

License Exams

USPA Instructors may administer the A-, B- and C-license exams. Safety and Training Advisors may administer any USPA exam. Each drop zone should have a copy of the most current exams, so check with your drop zone. If you need a copy of the exams, contact USPA at safety@uspa.org.

PRO Ratings

The USPA PRO Rating qualifies skydivers for skydiving exhibitions into challenging landing areas. To earn the PRO rating, skydivers with a USPA D license must demonstrate landing skills with the parachute they plan to use for shows and receive training on how to use flags and pyrotechnic devices.

The FAA allows PRO-rating holders to fly and land closer to crowds than jumpers who have not demonstrated these qualifications. PRO rating privileges are listed in the Skydiver's Information Manual, Section 7-1.

Specific information on the PRO rating is available in the Skydiver's Information Manual, Section 7-2.

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