United States Parachute Association > Experienced Skydivers > SIM > Section 3-3

3-3 Ratings

A. USPA instructional ratings

USPA issues instructional ratings to each skydiver who qualifies by fulfilling all requirements for the rating being sought. These ratings attest that the holder has not only achieved skydiving skills but has also demonstrated the techniques needed to teach these skills to others.

  1. Ratings are issued at the following levels (from lowest to highest):
    1. Coach
    2. Instructor
    3. Examiner
  2. USPA Instructors may be qualified to conduct initial skydiving training in one or more disciplines:
    1. harness hold (USPA Accelerated Freefall or AFF)
    2. instructor-assisted deployment
    3. static line
    4. tandem

The USPA Coach may act as a supervised assistant to the USPA Instructor to teach specified portions of the first-jump course. Any USPA instructional rating holder may perform the duties of the USPA Coach or of any lower rating holder in his or her discipline.

USPA Examiners appoint qualified instructional rating holders as course evaluators in accordance with the requirements outlined in the USPA Instructional Rating Manual. All policies, procedures, new rating and renewal requirements, and the rating course outlines, support materials and examinations are found in the USPA Instructional Rating Manual.

B. Newly Rated Instructors

Instructors who have just completed a certification course should be paired with more seasoned staff as they begin to work with students in any new discipline. The Instructional Rating Manual includes recommendations for new rating holders in Section 1 of each of the rating course sections.

C. USPA PRO Professional Exhibition Rating

The Federal Aviation Administration and USPA cooperate on an alternative means for skydivers to demonstrate competence to perform skydiving shows before the public via a USPA PRO Exhibition rating. The program is described in?the Exhibition Jumping Section of the SIM. The FAA may ask jumpers who do not hold a USPA PRO rating to demonstrate competence prior to issuing a Certificate of Authorization to conduct a parachute exhibition jump.

D. USPA Judge Rating

To assist in the administration of skydiving competitions at various levels from local and regional to World Championships, USPA conducts the USPA Judges program. Judges are rated as Regional, National, and International.?Details on the USPA Judge rating program and the National Judge Training Course are detailed in the USPA Skydiver's Competition Manual.

E. FAA ratings

The Federal Aviation Administration administers the programs that certify parachute riggers, aircraft mechanics, and pilots. The rules for these drop zone staff members are found in the Federal Aviation Regulations, many pertinent parts of which are included in the SIM Section 9, FAA Documents.

Skydiving students study the role of the rigger and supervised packers in detail while preparing for the USPA A license using the Integrated Student Program in the SIM. In addition, they overview pilot rating requirements and the role of the FAA mechanic.