Published: January 28, 2022
What happened to my proficiency card?
USPA licenses and ratings going digital
If you recently enrolled and participated in a USPA rating course, especially here at Skydive Ratings, you probably heard the words "Online Course Manager", "Pre-course activities", "Online Exam" and other stuff like that. What you probably didn't see or use was the "old" paper proficiency card, that one where you had to fill in all your information, and then snail-mail it to USPA once the course was completed. Lucky for us USPA is now going all digital!!
Everything from issuing a license, renewing or earning a rating is done online without the need for any paper! Let's talk a little bit about it as to have a better idea of how the system works, specifically for rating courses.
Almost all of the stuff that we're going to talk about happens in the "Credentials" tab of your USPA profile. That is a kind of "central hub" for all your licenses and education needs.
The online rating exam
First of all, when you sign up for a course you will be enrolled in the "Online Course Manager", which is the platform we examiners use to manage instructional courses. When that happens you will receive an email with a couple useful information and link. The first thing to do at that point is to take your rating exam. Either use the link in your email or go to the USPA.org website, log into your profile, go in the credentials tab and then select "education", it's in small lettering right below the credential tab. In these tab you will find the past courses you have attended and also the future courses you are enrolled in, and that's where you will find the link to take the exam. It's an open book exam, and you can take it as many times as you want, just make sure that when you have achieved a satisfactory score you press the button "Record my Results" so that your score will be saved in the system. And that's all there is for your exam!
The course Pre-reqs/pre-course activities
How about the course pre-requisites? They are now called Pre-reqs or pre-course activity, and you can start working on them and getting them checked off even before you are enrolled in a course. In the education tab - same one that you used earlier to look at your past/future courses - if you look on the right hand side of the page you'll see a button that says "View my Pre-reqs for rating courses", click on it and there you will be able to see all the pre-reqs for all the instructional ratings - Coach, SL, IAD, AFF and Tandem - Once and Instructor signs them off, the checkmark will become green and the line will be strikedthrough. To do that, your Instructor will log into his/her USPA profile, under the "Safety and Training" tab they will click on "Verify", and there will be a button that reads "Pre-reqs for rating course". That is where they have to click and it's from that tab that they can check one or multiple pre-course activities.
If you have any doubts as to how to actually do all of these things, you will also find step-by-step tutorial videos in your "Education" tab, under "Need help?"
Paying your USPA rating fee
So you have worked and gotten your pre-course activities checked off, you did your online exam, you went through the course and low and behold, you successfully passed! The only thing left to do is pay the rating fee and officially become a coach/instructor. Once again, go to your trusty "Education" page, find the course you just took - and passed J - , click on the title - USPA coach rating course, AFF instructor rating course etcc...- and in that next window you will be able to your progress in the course - at this point all the boxes will be green and strikethroughed - and at the top of the page you'll see a button that says "Purchase my rating". Press that and in a couple seconds you'll be an official rating holder!
You can also renew your rating online, which is faster and more efficient. In your "Credentials" tab, right besides the "education" small print, you'll see another tab that reads "Instructional Ratings". Click on it and you will find listed all your Instructional Ratings, together with the renewal requirements. Once you have met any of those, get together with the appropriate verifying official, and once they have verified the requirement, they will just have to use the "Verify" function on their profile to check it off. In your "Instructional ratings" tabs you will be able to see what requirements have been verified and what not. Once your requirements are all verified and checked, just press the "Renew just my ratings" link, and in a couple seconds you'll be all current and renewed!
Let's say that you're planning on taking a rating course, but you still need the required license, can you do that online or do you have to go through the paper license application? Luckily for us, USPA now offers online licenses for B,C and D license. Just as before, from your "Credentials" tab click the "licenses" small print - right besides the "Education" and "Instructional rating one". There you will see the necessary requirements for each license, and the ones that have been already verified, if any. Then, your veryfing official just has to log into their USPA profile, go in their "Verify" tab, and there they will have buttons for B,C and D license requirements. Once all the requirements for a license has been verified, just go ahead and pay the fee. All done!
Online license exam
Last but not least, what about your license exam? Just like the rating one, it can be done online, and it can be done at any point, before or after you have completed the necessary requirements for any given license. Just have any Instructor log into their profile, the under the "Safety and Training" drop-down menu they will find a "Set up license exam" button. After clicking on that they just have to select which license to set up and exam for, and that's it! Faster than light!
It might seem daunting at first, especially for your seasoned old-timer - we all know who we're talking about, and we love them! They might just need a bit of coaching with these computer skills - but after just a couple tries it will be second nature and everyone at your DZ will realize how much more easy, fast and efficient the online process is. Not to mention that all of the above can be done not only from a desktop, but also from mobile! Isn't that awesome?
If you have any suggestion on how to make this system better, don't hesitate to shoot a friendly email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . They are working very hard and are invested in bettering this system for us, the license and rating holders of USPA.
I want to say thanks again to you guys for the incredible experience I had up there at Skydive Ratings. You guys really know what you are doing and I felt like everything was done very efficiently. I couldn't possibly ask for a better group of Instructors, I felt both welcomed and challenged and I really learned a lot. I feel like I expected to walk away with a piece of paper but what I really walked away with was a foundation of knowledge that I can now move forward with. I feel more confident and prepared now to pursue more ratings in the future and with time and experience I feel that I will make a good instructor some day. So thank you all at Skydive Ratings for making such a positive impact on my life and career. I hope to see you all again soon for the next step in this epic journey we call skydiving! And I will be sure to recommend everyone I know to sign up for all of their future ratings with you guys at skydiveratings.com. Thanks! Sincerely, Nick Fuog
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