Paragon follows the Category System to help you learn and progress from static line to freefall (all of which is possible in 5 jumps) and progress from student parachutist status to becoming an experienced parachutist. Each level of this system (there are 8 in total) requires you to master a specific skill and prove to your instructor that you are ready for the next challenge. This does not only encompass the exit from the plane and freefall skills it also incorporates the canopy handling proficiency that you are developing with every descent made. Once you have completed and gained your cat 8 qualification you are ready to decide which area of skydiving interests you the most.
The student has received a minimum of 6 hours ground training and has been cleared to make a first static line descent.
The student has demonstrated the ability to fall in a stable position, counting throughout.
The student has demonstrated the ability to perform successful 'Dummy Ripcord Pulls' (DRPs), counting throughout, on three consecutive descents. N.B. Progression to free fall will only take place after a minimum of five static line descents and will only be authorised by at least a Category System Instructor, who must satisfy him/herself that the criteria laid down for progression has been attained. The first free fall descent will take place no later than the day following the last of the successful DRP descents
The student has demonstrated the ability to perform two consecutive stable delay openings, counting throughout, of between 3 and 5 seconds.
The student has demonstrated the ability to perform two consecutive stable delay openings of 10 seconds, maintaining a heading and counting throughout.
The student has demonstrated the ability to perform two consecutive stable delay openings of 15 seconds and has demonstrated the ability to use an altimeter in freefall.
The student has demonstrated the ability to perform 360° turns in both directions.
The student has demonstrated the ability to perform the following: a) An unstable exit b) A dive exit c) Back loops d) Tracks, including a track turn as an avoidance maneuver e) A backloop, 360°left turn, 360° right turn, a short track and wave off, from a minimum altitude of 8,000ft AGL. Further details can be found in the Operations Manual provided by the BPA.