Complete information regarding USPA's instructional ratings can be found in the Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) available in pdf download and in hard copy through the USPA Store. The IRM includes course outlines for every instructional rating. Additionally, evaluation forms, exams, and proficiency cards for each rating are available on the Downloads page.
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 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 methods:
- Accelerated Freefall Instructor (AFF-I)
- Instructor-Assisted Deployment Instructor (IAD-I)
- Static-Line Instructor (SL-I)
- Tandem Instructor (TAN-I)
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 Examiner Rating may be earned in five different methods:
- Coach Examiner (CE)
- Accelerated Freefall Examiner (AFF-E)
- Instructor-Assisted Deployment Examiner (IAD-E)
- Static-Line Examiner (SL-E)
- Tandem Examiner (TAN-E)
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 and apprenticeship that is necessary to become an examiner.