The following information was taken directly from the 2007 Skydiver's Information Manual, a United States Parachute Association Publication. This is from Section 3: Classification of Skydivers. This information can be found online on the USPA website.
License Privileges and Requirements
Persons holding a USPA A license may jump without supervision, pack their own main parachute, engage in basic group jumps, perform water jumps, and must have:
completed 25 jumps
completed all requirements listed on the USPA A License Proficiency Card
completed five group freefall skydives involving at least two participants
received the signature and official stamp on the USPA A License Proficiency Card or USPA A License Progression Card (ISP)
Note: For USPA A-license registration purposes only, USPA Headquarters will accept either completed card signed by a USPA Instructor without the official stamp. The registration fee must be included.
Persons holding a USPA C license are able to exercise all privileges of a B-license holder, are eligible for the USPA Instructor rating (except USPA Tandem Instructor), participate in certain demonstration jumps, may ride as passenger on USPA Tandem Instructor training and rating renewal jumps, and must have:
met all current requirements for or hold a USPA B license
completed 200 jumps, including accumulating at least 60 minutes of controlled freefall time
landed within two meters of target center on 25 jumps
aerial performance requirements, either:
during freefall, perform in sequence within 18 seconds-a backloop, front loop, left 360-degree turn, right 360-degree turn, right barrel roll and left barrel roll
completed at least two points on an 8-way or larger random skydive
Passed a written exam conducted by a current USPA I/E, S&TA, or USPA Board member.
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.
Ratings are issued at the following levels (from lowest to highest):
USPA Instructors may be qualified to conduct initial skydiving training in one or more disciplines:
harness hold (USPA Accelerated Freefall or AFF)
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 appoints qualified instructional rating holders as course directors and 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.