the category system

what its all about

Your Category System Journey

The Category System is a versatile way to achieve your skydiving "A licence".  The initial step is the First Jump Course.  After that you continue through the system paying jump by jump, learning all the skills necessary to jump solo from maximum altitude.

There are 8 categories to progress through in the system.

Cat 1 & 2  Your First Jump Course.  6 hours of ground training with practical and written test.  A static line descent demonstrating a stable falling position.  (see our First Jump Course page).

Cat 3  "Dummy Pulls".  You practice deploying your own parachute while still using static line parachutes which open automatically.  You must do 3 consecutive "DPs" and a total of 5 static line jumps before moving on to freefall.

Cat 4  Freefall.  2 consecutive controlled freefall descents of 3-5 seconds delay before deploying your own parachute.

Cat 5  2 consecutive 10 second delays counting and maintaining a heading.

Cat 6  2 consecutive 15 second delays using the above skills plus an altimeter.

Cat 7  360 degree turns while using the above skills.

Cat 8  5 jumps demonstrating: an unstable exit, a dive exit, back loops, tracks and a combination of all.

Canopy Handling Level 1 (CH1)  A briefing and test on canopy skills.

You have achieved your A Licence and are qualified to skydive solo from maximum altitude and to continue with more advanced training.

To answer all your questions about the Category System and jumping at the Army Parachute Association, click here.

  • "I did 3 tandems before signing up for AFF and I have never looked back.  Now I am learning to “FreeFly” with some of the most amazing coaches at the Army Parachute Association."

    Jeannine Cook

  • "I learnt to skydive on an AFF course. It's by far the best thing I've done. Since passing my AFF I've now done 920 jumps. I've competed at national level winning gold last year, gained qualifications and coach ratings and made friends that can't be matched.

    Couldn't recommend this sport any higher to anyone interested in taking it up"

    Blue skies! – Jase Hughes

  • "I completed AFF with the Army Parachute Association and have since gone on to qualify and achieve my B licence.  I have organised a number of groups who have completed the Category System, AFF1 (and the occasional tandem) with the APA whilst raising thousands of pounds for various charities.  Not only does Netheravon have the largest safe landing area in Europe, with expert and friendly staff and top class equipment, but the social scene is second to none"

    Gav Topley