Safety & Training

RTO Project and VET Update


20 April 2016 RTO Project on hold; Learning & Development Framework Proposed

Following accreditation of APF’s Cert III in Skydiving and Parachuting Instruction, work progressed on Stage 3’s development of training/assessment materials and RTO systems and processes. Hurdles were identified that involved significant policy development and administrative burden. This significant additional burden on both the APF Office and those few APF training organisations who choose to be involved was contrary to the Board’s requirements to remove red tape.

After meetings between APF management and VET industry experts, the decision was made to recommend the project be put on hold. The development of our Cert III and other course material however, remains beneficial regardless of our future direction. Collaborating with an already-established RTO appears to be a better option, and for VET to be only one component of a more comprehensive solution to APF’s training needs.

In December, a discussion paper was submitted to the Board by the Operations Manager outlining an alternative solution – a Learning and Development Framework, incorporating an online LMS or Learning Management System, and for the framework to be registered with the Australian Sports Commission. This is expected to be further considered as a project proposal in 2016.

National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) and the National Officiating Accreditation Scheme (NOAS)

During 2015, the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) completely revised its approach to the NCAS and NOAS. The ASC uses “coaching” to cover all levels of sporting teachers, instructors and coaches, with the schemes being based on approved training and development frameworks for all participants. The ASC’s new approach offers National Sporting Organisations (NSO) a highly-flexible nationally-recognised option tailored by each sport for its own needs (as opposed to the old scheme where sports’ coaches were forced into the scheme’s rigid 3 levels).

Many NSOs are now developing new NCAS/NOAS frameworks to suit their specific needs, including Surf Life Saving Australia, Volleyball Australia, Baseball Australia, Netball Australia, Tennis Australia, Swimming Australia and the National Rugby League.

APF contacted a few of these NSOs which have adopted an integrated approach to their frameworks by combining the ASC’s NCAS with Vocational Education and Training (VET) competencies/courses. Their advice reinforced our concerns that the compliance burden and ongoing costs for APF to become an RTO were too high when compared to the perceived benefits. This helped shape APF’s decision to put the VET-RTO project on hold and to consider partnering with an already established RTO for future VET involvement.

This makes the ASC’s schemes more attractive, as they provide alternative Government accreditation together with a flexible tailored approach without the heavy ongoing compliance burden. It also supports skill development and mapping of career paths across the sport, recreation and adventure tourism areas of skydiving.

23rd June 2014 – Certificate III Accredited

The significant milestone was achieved on 23rd June with accreditation by the Australian Skills Quality Authority of the APF’s Certificate III in Skydiving and Parachuting Instruction.  This is an important step that will provide jumpers interested in a career in our sport with the first of 3 Vocational Education and Training courses.

The course aligns with our Certificate Classes A to D as foundation core learning, and has 3 early exit points, for Packer B, Target Assistant and Ground Control Assistant.  Completion of the 14 core units and one of the 3 endorsement electives results in an Instructor D outcome.  See the diagram below for the course structure. Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) for some units will be possible for existing members who already hold APF qualifications. 

Completion of the GCA unit is expected to satisfy eligibility requirements for granting of an authorisation to operate an aeronautical radio, issued in accordance with Civil Aviation legislation.  CASA requires operators of aeronautical radios using aviation frequencies to hold a radio operator qualification and CASR Part 64, expected to be released in September 2014, provides for RTO delivery and assessment of the required training and competency.

The inclusion of a First Aid unit supports having more drop zone staff with this qualification. We need first responders to incidents who are willing and able to offer assistance that can have a significant, positive impact on injuries and their after-effects.

Our attention now focuses on stage 3 of the RTO Development Project: APF application to become a Registered Training Organisation and the development of the resources for course delivery and assessment.  Project stage 4 involves the drafting of a Cert IV and Diploma to cover IB/DZSO and CI competencies.  For more information, contact the National Office.

The current course structure is shown in the diagram below:

Cert III SPI Competency Map for webpage

25 July 2013 - RTO Project Update

At the July meeting of the APF Board, approval was given to proceed with finalising the development of the Certificate III in Skydiving and Parachuting Instruction, applying to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for the course’s accreditation and for the APF to become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).  This part of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) project involves the development of 12 skydiving-specific units of competency and 5 units from national Training Packages. The Certificate III aligns with our Instructor ‘D’ training (Jumpmaster) and includes the training necessary to gain the pre-requisite certifications (A, B, C and D). The project also involves development of learning material and assessment tools for each unit – all using templates to meet standards required in the VET sector. Much of this content will be translated from existing APF training and assessment documentation.

Moving to VET standards began earlier with support for our instructors to obtain the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (Cert IV T&A). The Cert IV T&A qualification is required for instructors and examiners involved in the delivery and assessment of VET units and accredited courses.  Already 28 APF instructors are qualified and at least another 20 are enrolled so far.

Training and assessment in the VET sector is structured, rigorous, high quality and practical. It brings increased recognition and credibility for our Industry, our training organisations and professionals.  VET framework processes integrate well with existing APF training, auditing and member administration processes; and provide stronger governance, contributing to reduced risk.

The VET project also proposes a Certificate IV and Diploma covering skydiving instruction and DZ safety. At this stage there is no proposal to develop a Cert II coaching qualification. The proposed courses will each include units from the Cert IV T&A, resulting in a double qualification for those who complete the Diploma.  Conversely, those already holding a Cert IV T&A will be given Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) towards each APF course. The APF will “own” these accredited courses. (see diagram below):

APF courses and ratings comparo 5 for webpage

The APF’s units and courses include “employability skills” with qualifications that are nationally consistent (outside sport, recreation and adventure tourism) and transportable across industries.  This should help attract and retain volunteers.  Skills and qualifications are transferable to the workplace (outside skydiving) and for articulation to other studies (RPL).  This training also qualifies as part of a professional development framework – we have had encouraging and supportive feedback on the APF’s draft “Continuing Professional Development Policy”.  Down the track, it may also be possible for this training to support opening a market in international instructor training, access by the unemployed to government funding for training, and for commercial operators to offer traineeships.

Vocational Educational and Training Background: The Registered Training Organisation Project

In 2010, the APF Board gave the go ahead to investigate using the APF’s existing instructional training material to develop Nationally Recognised Training, for the APF to become an RTO with our instructors nationally qualified to train and assess.  The proposal involved encouraging APF instructors to enrol in the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and developing 3 accredited instructor courses at AQF levels 3, 4 and 5 (a Certificate III and IV and a Diploma).  Further investigations, a SWOT analysis and presentations to the APF Annual Conference 2011, Management Committee and Board resulted in seed funding to develop the project further. During 2012, the national office staff developed the accredited course application along with a suite of Units of Competency for a Certificate III; however government changes in the VET sector and strict compliance requirements resulted in a brief stalling of the project until early 2013.  With the move from a state run VET sector to the Australian Skills Qualifying Authority (ASQA) a new National body, came a change in the process, fees and the overall requirements. A project manager with a background in training and development was employed to progress the project to the next stage.

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

As the most influential face to our organisation, it is imperative that APF instructors act as professionals, in their competence as both skydivers and as trainers.  From 2012, the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment became an alternative prerequisite (to a thesis) for APF instructors to qualify for their Instructor A rating.  This is a cornerstone to having professional instructors with national qualifications to train and assess in the VET sector.  Individual Units of Competency from this course

Members are encouraged to find out more about this qualification and how it provides for their professional development as an industry trainer/assessor.  Current APF Instructors should achieve some Recognition for Prior Learning (PRP) based on their APF qualifications.  Feedback from those who have completed the Cert IV in Training and Assessment is that the face-to-face option has been most rewarding.  Find out more by contacting the National Office, or one of the regular course providers, MRWED. (  An Information Kit from MRWED that includes RPL guidance can be downloaded here.

Glossary of Terms and Definitions

ACSF    Australian Core Skills Framework
AQF      Australian Qualifications Framework
AQTF    Australian Quality Training Framework
ASQA    Australian Skills Quality Authority
CBT       Competency Based Training
ISC        Industry Skills Council
LLN       Language, Literacy and Numeracy
LTO       Licenced Training Organisation (see RTO)
NSSC    National Skills Standards Council 
RPL       Recognition of Prior Learning
RTO      Registered Training Organisation
VET       Vocational Education and Training

Accredited course:  An accredited course addresses an industry need that is not currently covered in a nationally recognised Training Package. Compliance with the standards for accredited courses and approval is managed by ASQA.

Articulation:  A process that enables students to progress from one completed qualification to another with credit in a defined pathway.

The process of collecting evidence and making judgements on whether competency has been achieved, to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard expected in the workplace, as expressed by the relevant endorsed industry/enterprise competency standards of a Training Package or by the learning outcomes of an accredited course.

Assessor: An assessor means an individual or organisation responsible for the assessment of Units of Competency in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework.

Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF):  The ACSF provides a rich, detailed picture of real life performance in the five core skills of: learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF):
  The policy framework that defines all qualifications recognised nationally in post‐compulsory education and training in Australia.  The AQF comprises titles and guidelines that define each qualification, as well as the principles and protocols covering cross‐sectoral qualification links and the issuing of qualifications and statements of attainment.

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA):  ASQA is the national regulator for registered training organisations with authority over all RTO’s based in Australia. There are exceptions to ASQA’s authority in Victoria and Western Australia, where there is also a state regulator who manages RTO compliance for RTOs only offering training within that state.  ASQA’s role is monitoring RTO compliance with the VET Quality Framework.  ASQA audits, both desk and site audits, are conducted to monitor compliance with these standards.

Certificates I, II, III & IV:  A set of qualifications that prepare candidates for both employment and further education and training. These qualifications recognise achievement of specified national industry competency standards at four Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) levels in a wide variety of trades, industries and enterprises.  These qualifications may be gained through a wide range of pathways, including: Apprenticeships and traineeships; work‐based and/or school/institution‐based training; and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) (which may include training programs or an accumulation of short courses).

Industry Skills Council (ISC):  There are 11 Australian Industry Skills Councils.  Skydiving falls under the “Sport, Fitness and Recreation” sector of the ISC “Service Skills Australia”

Registered Training Organisation (RTO):  A training organisation registered by a state or territory registering body in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) Essential Standards for Registration within a defined scope of registration.  A training organisation must be registered in order to deliver and assess Nationally Recognised Training and issue nationally recognised qualifications.  The NSSC has proposed that RTO become Licenced Training Organisations (LTO).

Statement of Attainment: Issued by an RTO when an individual has completed one or more units of competency from nationally recognised qualification(s)/courses(s).

Training Package:  A nationally endorsed, integrated set of competency standards, assessment guidelines and Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications for a specific industry, industry sector or enterprise.  (Note: Training Packages have Commonwealth copyright, whereas accredited courses and units of competency are owned by the enterprise who hold copyright.)

Unit of Competency:  The specifications of knowledge and skill, and the application of that knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace.

Vocational Education and Training (VET):  The sector responsible for developing the skills and knowledge of individuals for work.  It includes VET undertaken in industries, enterprises, government agencies, and community and school settings.  The VET sector encompasses both recognised training leading to a qualification/statement of attainment under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and non‐recognised training, such as in‐house, product‐ based training.

Cloud Jumping Procedures


Cloud Regulations

APF Operational Regulation Part 6 - Safety, responsibilities and Supervision states:

6.4 Weather Limitations 

6.4.1 Cloud and Visibility
Except where Descents are made in accordance with the authorised written approval of the APF, all descents must be made in meteorological conditions that:
(a) permit the target to be clearly visible throughout the descent; and
(b) do not require the parachutist to enter cloud.

However, rules have been ratified by CASA and are placed here so members can familiarise themselves with APF directions and start to plan their own manual that will be needed to comply with The Standard.

If a DZ wants to be able to conduct cloud jumping operations, they must submit a Cloud Jumping Procedures Manual to the APF.

If approved, an Authorisation & Specification document for approval under APF RS 60 will be issued by the APF. (maximum 3 years)

Cloud Jumping Procedures Manual

Text is available from the Downloads section below in a "generic" manual template (i.e. The Standard) plus appendices, to assist in preparing a club DZ specific manual.

Once a submission is COMPLETE, send it as an electronic editable version to the APF Office c/o the APF Technical Officer (i.e. the APF CJPM Authorisation Appointed Person). The assessment & authorisation procedures of the application are detailed in APF Regulatory Schedule 60.

Downloads & Templates

GETTING STARTED. Download and study ALL the following publications to start your preparation, then BEFORE you start, contact the APF Technical Officer, Kim Hardwick for further clarification and any queries. APF Contact Page

PLUS - the following appendices

PLUS - Check List:


A service fee of $500 will be charged for first time submissions to contribute to the cost of processing applications, which has proven to be a very time consuming and complex exercise.

At the expiry of an APF Authorisation, a new submission will need to be made. There will be a $250 fee for each new application.

NOTE: An organisation will be invoiced for the Service fee at the completion of the review/approval process. I.e Please do not make any payment upon submitting a manual for review.

Note re Hazard Risk Model

The Hazard Model's results are looked at very closely. It is absolutely necessary that you be able to justify the figures that are inputted to the Collision Hazard Risk Model.

That is, you must provide somewhere in the body of your CJPM or as part of the Hazard Model appendix, explanation as to how the data was gathered.

It has been accepted previously for example, the counting of all aircraft flying over the DZ in a fortnight and multiplying by 26. The DZ area is defined usually as a minimum of a 1NM radius. This specified area may be found in the club's LoA with Airservices.

There would be other ways to gather this data. Most submissions gather their data from Airservices.


Tandem Instructor Information


New South Wales

Name Location
Bokay, Kobi Wollongong, NSW
Brody, Mark Taree, NSW
Godwin, John Clunes, NSW
Hemmila, Cindi Sandy Point, NSW
Hill, Lawrence Mullaway, NSW
Jaeger, Ralf Worrigee, NSW
Knowles, Andy Appin, NSW
Maurer, Tony Wauchope, NSW
McConnel, Jules Moruya, NSW
McMillan, Rob North Wollongong, NSW
McWilliam, Jon Picton, NSW
Onis, Phil Sandy Point, NSW
Smith, Paul Moruya, NSW
Tuddenham, Bill Kurri Kurri, NSW 

Northern Territory

Name Location
King, Terry Batchelor, NT
McKay, Sam Yulara, NT 
Smith, Ashley  Sanderson, NT 


Name Location
Cook, John Clontarf, SQLD
Cooper, Cameron Caloundra, SQLD
Davies, Adam Mooroobool, NQLD
Goss, Jonny  Cannonvale, NQLD
Jamieson, Archie Coolangatta, SQLD
Lewis, Steve Wongaling Beach, NQLD
McCooey, Richard Springwood, SQLD
Moss, Alan  Townsville, NQLD
Motzo, Max Cairns, NQLD
Oliver, Luke  Mooloolah, SQLD
Osborne, Paul El Arish, NQLD
Stein, Joe Byron Bay, SQLD
Turner, Brad Springwood, SQLD
Turner, Paul  Geebung, SQLD

South Australia

Name Location
Gazley, Mark Glenelg, SA
Gray, Al Greenwith, SA
Rootman, Charl Hove, SA
Smith, Greg Murray Bridge, SA


Name Location
Cross, Don Nagambie, VIC
Hamilton-Presgrave, Ralph Maldon, VIC
Lindberg, Chippe Mornington, VIC
Murphy, Paul  Burwood, VIC
Smedley, Steve Doreen, VIC
Tibbitts, Mike St Kilda, VIC
Trimble, Craig Camberwell

Western Australia

Name Location
Cicciarelli, David Scarborough, WA
Geens, Steve Jurien Bay, WA
Lee, Graham (Dixie) Palmyra, WA 
Lonnon, Pete  Jurien Bay, WA 
Stutt, Glenn  Geographe. WA
Woodland, Don  Ferndale, WA