Tandem Course

Nature of the Course

The UPT Manufacturer Rating (SIGMA) and the USPA Tandem Instructor Rating are normally taught together in one course.  USPA (and most other parachute associations) require that all Tandem Instructors must hold a manufacturer rating as well.  Therefore, if you complete your UPT Manufacturer Rating with us, the USPA Tandem Instructor rating will be included at no extra cost.

The requirements for both the Manufacturers and USPA Tandem Ratings are different, so our course will cover the requirements and syllabus needed to complete both. If you are looking to complete your UPT rating only, it’s no problem, we will adjust the course accordingly.  If you are looking at converting either another manufacturers rating over to UPT, or another Tandem rating to USPA, please see our Licenses & Conversions Page for this process.

Course Length

This course typically takes 4-5 days to complete, depending on the number of candidates and weather restrictions.

Course Prerequisites

A Candidate may sign up for the UPT/USPA Tandem Course if they have met the following requirements:

  • Holds a Coach or any other current USPA Instructor Rating.
  • Holds a USPA D License.
  • Has logged 500 ram-air jumps.
  • Has a minimum of 3 years experience skydiving (since first solo training jump, not tandem).
  • Holds a current FAA Class 3 Medical Certificate or an equivalent acceptable to USPA.

Prior To The Course

To prepare for the course, each Candidate must have:

  • A current copy (no older than 2 years) of the USPA SIM and IRM, which can either be purchased here or downloaded here.
  • A current copy of UPT’s Sigma Tandem Manual, which can be downloaded here.  We can email this to you as well.
  • Completed the open book USPA General Instructor Exam (questions 1-25) as well as the USPA Tandem Instructor Exam (questions 26-40), which are located in the back of the IRM.
  • Completed UPT’s Tandem Sigma Exam, which will be emailed to you upon registration for the course.
  • Filled in the USPA Instructor Proficiency Card (info & prerequisites), which is located in the back of the IRM or can be downloaded here.
  • Study the Tandem section of the USAP IRM.
  • Student Categories A-E of the USPA SIM.

During the Course

The Candidate will be evaluated on their abilities to:

  • Establish and maintain stability, recover from an intentional planned unstable exit, and heading control during freefall and droguefall on your tandem jumps.
  • Earn a score of Satisfactory on all sections and subsections of the Tandem In-Air Skills and Instruction Evaluation Form and the Training, Supervision, and Debriefing Evaluation Form.
  • Correctly and completely rig a simulated student for a tandem jump and complete a satisfactory pre-jump check of all associated systems.
  • Conduct 5 successful initial tandem evaluation jumps.
  • Conduct 5 practice tandem jumps.
  • Demonstrate the correct response to each emergency procedure while harnessed together with a stand-in student using a practice harness or an actual tandem container rigged with auxiliary handles for the drogue release and emergency handles.

USPA Tandem Proficiency Card

On the USPA Tandem Proficiency Card, you will need to have these prerequisites signed off prior to the course by an appropriately rated instructor:

  • Assisted in two tandem first-jump courses toward Category A.
  • Assisted in two Category B and two Category D tandem ground preps.
  • Observed ground preps in Categories B, C, E, and F.
  • * Correctly taught freefall stability and basic freefall maneuvers, including freefall turns, backloops, barrel rolls, front loops, and tracking.
  • * Prepared an effective canopy flight plan and provided ground-to-air instruction.
  • * Participated in the spotting and aircraft lessons from Categories D-H.
  • * Made 10 jumps (coach) to teach and observe basic group freefall skills.
  • Demonstrated five practice tandem cutaways wearing tandem equipment and with a simulated student in the student harness in the presence of a USPA Tandem Instructor or Tandem Instructor Examiner (will be done in course as well).

* Note – all parts marked with an “*” are void if Candidate is already a USPA Instructor (AFF or AID/Static Line).


Candidates should arrive to the course with all the above listed documents in hand.  The course will start at 09:00 on the first day with verification of requirements.

During the course, eah candidate must earn a score of “satisfactory” on the teaching sections and the in-air evaluation jumps.  As well, a minimum score of 80% is required on the written exams.


Have a look at our Calendar for scheduled courses or take a look at our Facebook page for course events.

To sign up for a course, please register using our Course Registration Form.  Upon registration, we request a non-refundable deposit of €250 to secure your space.  The remainder of the course fee will be paid on the morning of the first day of the course.  To see our prices, please view our Pricing page.


Please feel free to contact us!  We are happy to answer any questions you may have and/or to set up a course of your own!

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