Tips For Successful Application


Reading this and applying it to your application will likely speed up your certification approval process.


After reviewing a number of applications, we have come to realize that there are a few areas where applicants are routinely being asked to expand on what they have submitted or to completely redo it because they did not understand what they were being asked to provide.   Part of this problems comes from PASA in that maybe we did not clearly list what was meant by each requirement.   With that in mind, we will address the most common problem areas in hope that it will assist the applicant in providing the needed information on the first attempt.


  1. First Aid/CPR

This is the biggest problem as of right now. In the past few years there has arisen an industry of providing a ‘certificate of completion’ or even sometimes a certification in First Aid and CPR by companies that offer the entire class online.   Most organizations who certify adventure sports instructors and schools (including PADI, Ski Patrol, and many more) do not accept these ‘online only’ for their certification requirements.   PASA joins this list of organizations and does not accept any First Aid or CPR certifications from ‘online only’ providers.   Now, keep in mind that the Red Cross and American Heart Association do indeed have online study programs where you can do the bookwork online and THEN be tested in person. That system is just fine.   PASA will accept all Red Cross and American Heart Association certifications as well as all other certifications that meet our criteria about not being ‘online only’.


  1. Letters of Recommendation

This subject has evolved within the PASA organization. We realized that we need to have a recommendation system that includes people who we understand their motivations.   We have had to ask a number of applicants to provide new letters because we have changed this policy and we appreciate all applicants’ willingness to meet our changing criteria on this matter.   Our current requirements in regard to whom the letter of recommendation should come from are ‘peer based’. We want the letters from people who understand what your school should look like – from a professional angle.   The criteria is as such:

  • The letter must be from a peer.
  • That peer must be:
  • – industry professional ( tandem pilot or instructor )
  • – that person must be certified and/ or current
  • – with intimate knowledge of your activity
  • – not under your employ
  • – USHPA regional director ok as well

Please ask the letter writer to include their ‘peer status’ on their letter. Example: Sincerely, Bob White USHPA Tandem Instructor USHPA #99999

Thank you in advance for providing the proper letters of recommendation.


  1. Risk Management Plan (RMP)

A Risk Management Plan is something that has to be done correctly and we will have to ask you to redo it as many times as it takes for you to get it right.   There are multiple ways to do it right, but the main purpose of it is to show that you have identified the risks at your site and done what it takes to minimize those risks. Some applicants have provided a matrix which identifies a risk, it’s level of risk, the likelihood of it occurring and then listed how it has been mitigated.   This is an excellent way of showing PASA and the RRG that you have considered the risks and have addressed them.   THAT is the reason behind a Risk Management Plan. An alternative to the matrix is a essay or bullet list type document that does the same thing.   See our example Risk Management Plan which is on this website.   Feel free to use it as a template for what you provide to us.


  1. Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

The EAP shows PASA and the RRG that you have a plan when possible emergencies arise.   A fire where you teach groundschool, how you would handle an earthquake if you have students in a classroom, how you would handle an accident on launch, an accident on landing and such are all part of the EAP. Make sure you tell us your procedures as well as location of emergency equipment etc.   Again, you can look at our example of an EAP and use it as a template for yours if you don’t currently have one.


  1. Operation Plan.

Your Operation Plan shows PASA how you structure your school/business. Please see our Operation Plan example and feel free to use it as a template.


  1. Syllabus

We appreciate that some of you use the USHPA syllabus as the outline for your school.   If that is your main syllabus, please also include documentation showing us how you track the progress of your students.   We really like to see that you have customized any syllabus to where and how you teach.


  1. Accident History

If you’ve had teaching related accident in the last 3 years, please provide an accident report and any other information that we ask for in the application.   We’re gonna ask you for it if you don’t.


  1. Instructor List

Make sure you fill out all the information on the instructor list.   If it’s not filled out, we will send it back and it will delay your application.


We will add more items to this list as they show up as being problem areas.   Thank you for taking the time to read this, it will save you time in the long run.