USPA Central Region

Rating Currency issues

This information is being provided as a separate "letter" from my usual "check in" email for Safety and Training Advisors in the USPA Central Region. I have also included drop zone owners in this email.

The question is, "How do these people expect to stay current?" (The requirements to stay current are listed in the USPA Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) and in the IRM Essentials documents. The IRM cannot be downloaded from the USPA web site at this time, but the IRM Essentials can be.)

As I consider the various dropzones and their instructional staff, I sometimes do some math in my head, and sometimes the numbers just don't make sense - the number of instructional jumps needed for all of the instructional rating holders to stay current does not match or exceed the number required by the rating holders.

I often ask new rating holders, or people discussing getting an instructional rating, how they plan to stay current, and often I just get a puzzled look. (Are examiners not emphasizing this enough in their courses?)

There are two choices for being current as an instructional rating holder:

Some years ago I suggested a change in the currency requirements for IAD and static line ratings, which was passed by the USPA BOD. I realized that IAD and static line instruction was in decline, and if we did not have any current instructors in those methods, that the decline would increase. The other ratings are different.
So, here are my suggestions and comments:

Perhaps during your first Instructional Rating Renewal Seminar for the season, all of the instructional rating holders should get together with the DZO and deternine how they are going to stay current. Have an IRM or IRM Essentials with someone.

If a drop zone does not provide its instructional rating holders with enough student jumps to stay current, the instuctor will need to find another way to retain currency. It is just that simple, (but may not be easy.)

There will be no "pencil whipping" of rating renewal requirements.

Unfortunately in the past I have discovered renewals questionable enough that I have had to ask the rating holder for more documentation. In one case, I needed to work with USPA heaquarters to "undo" a rating renewal. Both of these things are very unpleasant for everyone involved, but I will continue to investigate questionable renewals.



In previous mailings, I have suggested to S&TAs and drop zone owners that they need to ensure that their instructional staff is current, for several reasons, including to reduce their legal liability. In the past I have found some instructors that were uncurrent by many months.

I maintain a list of instructional rating holders to spot-check ratings currency as well as membership currency. I have found that it is helpful to remind instructors when they go uncurrent.

Drop zone owners, if you feel like you do not have the resources to keep track of your rating holders and would like me to add your instructors to this list, simply contact me with their name and membership number. It is very easy and quick for either of us to check.


Note:

I do not make money from skydiving instruction. In fact, it costs me money. Why do I do this? 1. I can represent skydivers as a USPA BOD member far better if I continue to teach skydiving students. 2. I enjoy teaching students.


Gary Peek, USPA Central Regional Director, first created 2/23/16

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