I attended the annual Mid-Atlantic S&TA meeting last night, and learned quite a bit about the upcoming USPA rating changes scheduled to take place 1 October with the release of the 2009 SIM/IRM.
-As most of you already know, as of 1 October a USPA Tandem Instructor Rating will be required for any USPA member to conduct tandem skydives any DZ. This includes foreign USPA members at foreign DZs and members in the US doing tandems at non-USPA DZs. -For those of you who are rated TIs by a manufacturer but do not hold a USPA TI rating, there are already provisions in place to convert your current manufacturer's rating to a USPA TI rating. Depending on your current rating situation, you may not need to attend a complete USPA TCC. Conversion requirements are listed HERE. The Tandem Proficiency Card is posted HERE. The link for the page containing those documents can be found in the right hand column of the News page on the USPA website.
-As of 1 October, the new I/E rating will replace the "Course Director" rating. The new I/E rating is nothing like the old one - it basically qualifies I/E rating holders to conduct USPA rating courses if they meet the other specified prerequisites for a particular discipline. Aside from meeting the prerequisites listed in the new SIM/IRM, candidates will be required to complete the new I/E Course, which is targeted for completion by the end of the year. The I/E Course will take elements from the AIC (which will be discontinued) and be scaled back to three days, intended to train senior USPA Instructors to conduct USPA Rating Courses. Course Directors from any discipline that are current as of 1 October will automatically receive the new I/E Rating (grandfather clause). That means that as of 1 October, newly rated I/Es will then be cleared to conduct USPA Rating Courses as long as they meet the specified prerequisites. AFFCDs will no longer require a BOD appointment. AFF Evaluator and Designated Evaluator assignments will remain unchanged. They are not ratings per se, rather they are assigned by AFFCDs to support courses in the local area.
-For current CDs not wanting to wait until October to start conducting USPA TCCs, submit a waiver request through your Regional Director asking that the AIC requirement be waived for you to earn a Tandem Course Directorship. Several such waivers were approved during the last BOD meeting. This will help prevent gaps in rating coverage for current manufacturer rated TIs who don't yet hold a USPA TI rating.
(This post was edited by slotperfect on Mar 7, 2008, 2:55 AM)
What about for Canadians? Do we still renew our ratings with manufacturer?
After talking with Ted Strong and Bill Booth at the PIA three years ago CWC chair Tim Gretch recommended to the committee that CSPA not develop a TM rating because the manufacturers still wanted control. Basically the CWC had better things to do with their resources than duplicate work that was already being done. CSPA requires only that you keep your rating current with the manufacturer. That is unlikely to change.
(This post was edited by Andrewwhyte on Mar 4, 2008, 10:48 AM)
One correction to my original post, provided by Jim Crouch (USPA Director of Safety & Training) via PM:
The changes apply to any USPA member, regardless of the location. So if someone is a member of USPA and has a manufacturers tandem rating, they will need to take care of the USPA paperwork with a USPA TCD. This goes for Europe, Asia, etc. too. There is no differential for foreign members of USPA. What we need is for all the examiners to do both sets of paperwork and cover the additional training for the USPA TI in one course
I edited the original post to reflect the correction - thanks Jim!
I am currently deployed till ~JAN 09. I hold a TI rating but not a USPA rating. What time frame do I have to convert, and am I not allowed to do Tandems till converted? (and yes I expect to redo a few jumps and get my currency back first).
-As long as you're current, you are OK to do tandems through 30 September on your manufacturers rating alone (Iraq deployment notwithstanding) -You will not be able to do tandems 1 October forward until you convert your rating to a USPA TI rating.
I can touch on some of those, but not all of them.
Who: USPA & Manufacturers (exactly who was present at the meeting I don't know) What: Stated in the original post When: meeting happened last year, effective date is 1 Oct 2008 Where: meeting happened in DeLand, I believe . . . change affects ALL USPA members regardless of location Why: I don't have a good grasp on why, but I do know that manufacturers don't necessarily agree 100% on their level of involvement (or lack thereof) under the post-1 October plan. There are different schools of thought involved there.
I think a lot of us saw this coming a long time ago - maybe not to this extent, but surely somthing to this effect. I consider it part of the evolution of tandem skydiving from the FAA exemption years where the manufacturers had 100% say so to being included in much less specific terms in the FARs and included in USPA doctrine. Whether it will ever truly evolve into the student training method it was originally intended to be, I don't know - my crystal ball is cloudy on that one. It has definitely become a cash cow for some DZOs and in some folks opinion has become the Kudzu vine of the sport in the US. I hope there is a happy medium that happens somewhere down the line, but I don't know what that looks like, nor do I know when it might happen.
USPA did do a good thing by making it easy for those who are either currently rated manufaturer TIs or hold another USPA instructional rating (or both) to get the USPA TI rating without having to complete an entire TCC.