Tandem Master Ratings

General Info

A Tandem Master rating is required for participants carrying out tandem parachute descents as the Tandem Master. The rating may only be used in conjunction with a valid NZPIA Parachutist Certificate.
Note: To carry out tandem descents for hire or reward, Tandem Masters must also hold a valid Commercial Parachutist Certificate. (Civil Aviation Rule 115.577)


  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Hold a valid NZPIA ā€˜Dā€™ Parachutist Certificate or Commercial Parachutist Certificate;
  • Have been in the industry a minimum of 24 months since their first training jump;
  • Have a minimum of 750 free fall parachute descents;
  • Have completed a minimum of 50 jumps and 30 minutes free fall in the previous 12 months;
  • Hold valid First Aid certificate;
  • Hold a valid Class 2 medical certificate acceptable to the Director of CAA;
  • Attend and pass an NZPIA-approved Tandem Certification Course**;
  • Undergo a practical assessment by an NZPIA Tandem Instructor Assessor;
  • Successfully complete the NZPIA exams applicable to the rating, including proficiency checks and relevant equipment type rating exams;
  • Submit the appropriate application, including a Fit and Proper Person declaration;
  • Pay the applicable fee(s).


** Tandem Master ratings issued by organisations other than NZPIA (e.g. USPA, APF, NZPO, etc.) may be submitted for consideration as substitutes for the NZPIA Tandem Certification Course. Other evidence may also be required.

At a minimum, non-NZPIA Tandem Masters wishing to cross-credit their rating must:

  • Have held that rating for a minimum of one year;
  • Have a minimum of 1000 free fall descents, including at least 250 tandem descents as the tandem master;
  • Meet the currency requirements of the NZPIA Tandem Master rating;
  • Pass the NZPIA exams applicable to the rating;
  • Have their competency assessed by an NZPIA Tandem Instructor Examiner or Assessor.


Tandem Masters may only do tandem descents with equipment types they are rated on. Additional harness type ratings may be obtained by:

  • Being instructed on the correct operation, packing and emergency procedures of the equipment by an NZPIA Tandem Instructor Examiner or Assessor who has that type rating; and
  • Passing the NZPIA exam for the type and paying the applicable fee.