The USPA Constitution binds USPA "to sanction skydiving competitions, to document officially all state, national and world skydiving records set by citizens of the U.S., and to select and train the United States Parachute Team for world competition." The Skydiver's Competition Manual prescribes procedures by which national competitions are selected and conducted, how judges are rated, how records are set, and how teams are selected. Download a chapter or the entire Skydiver's Competition Manual on the right.

Annually, USPA conducts the National Parachuting and Skydiving Championships to recognize national champions in the sport’s seven competition disciplines: Canopy Formation, Canopy Piloting, Formation Skydiving (includes Vertical and Mixed Formation Skydiving), Freefall Style, Accuracy Landing, Artistic Events (Freestyle and Freeflying) and Wingsuit Flying (see descriptions of disciplines). In addition, USPA hosts the National Collegiate Parachuting Championships annually for the collegiate skydiving community.

The top placers from each Open class of the National Championships (except the Collegiates) are chosen to represent the United States at international parachuting and skydiving competitions.

In the United States, USPA oversees all competitive and record-setting parachuting activities, in consonance with its relationship with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

USPA is a member of the International Parachuting Commission (IPC), the parachuting arm of the FAI. IPC is responsible for promulgating the rules by which the world meets are conducted and world records are measured and ratified. USPA's delegate to the IPC is National Director Kirk Verner and the alternate delegate is James Hayhurst, USPA's Director of Competition.

Early each year (late January/early February) the IPC meets to deal with issues of international scope.