Changes to amateur radio qualifications

Following an open tender process on AusTender (Approach to Market reference 18ACMA148), the ACMA has selected the University of Tasmania—through its institute the Australian Maritime College (AMC)—to deliver amateur radio examinations, issue amateur certificates of proficiency and for related callsign management.

The ACMA thanks all organisations that expressed an interest in providing services, and also wishes to thank the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) for its provision of services over the term of the current Deed, which came to an end on 1 February 2019. After that time, an examination conducted by the WIA will not be an approved examination for the purposes of amateur qualifications and the WIA will not have the power to issue further certificates of proficiency under the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

The ACMA is working with the AMC to finalise a Deed for the delivery of services and will also need to make enabling instruments to support the AMC’s activities. Once the Deed is signed, the ACMA expects the AMC to progressively commence delivery of services from 25 February 2019.

While these arrangements are being made, the ACMA will consider any applications for certificates of proficiency. A certificate may be issued if the applicant has successfully sat an approved examination under the previous WIA arrangements. The ACMA will also consider any applications for licences related to those certificates of proficiency and will assign callsigns to those licences on issue. Enquiries should be sent to

ACMA names successful ATM tender

Date : 01 / 02 / 2019
Author : WIA

A media release was issued late Friday afternoon with an update on the Approach to Market (ATM) “tender” for the ACMA deed related functions.

The successful tenderer is the University of Tasmania through the Australian Maritime College.

The WIA congratulates the Australian Maritime College.

The announcement from the ACMA indicates that services will will not be delivered in full until some time after 25 February 2019 – the ACMA will be undertaking some of these functions until the AMC is ready.

Amateur callsign recommendations will no longer be processed by the WIA. All Callsign queries should now be directed to the ACMA

The WIA has provided the ACMA with a proposal to transition out of the deed between the ACMA and the WIA. This proposal is yet to be formally accepted by the ACMA.

Amateur Radio Explained!

The entry level Foundation Licence continues to be the most popular way of getting into amateur radio.

It is attracting those who have had some previous hobby radio communications interest (CB, 4WD, Scanner Listener) and others who are attracted to ham radio for the first time.

It is an interesting and stimulating hobby enjoyed by millions worldwide. The biggest change with this licence is that it no longer takes about six months of study to get a basic licence.

Gone too is the requirement to pass Morse code tests. The decision to make the move and enter amateur radio is really easy – do something different in 2010, became an active radio amateur.

“Foundation Licence” Your Entry into Amateur Radio.”

Link Ron Bertrand foundation Licence youtube course

(Please note that there is no Morse code requirements in any level of the Australian Amateur License.)

What is the foundation Licence all about?

The hobby of Amateur Radio has a long and proud tradition. The very first radio amateurs were true pioneers of radio technology. Amateurs ‘invented’ and refined much of the early radio technology and were the first to transmit music, radio plays, and information to the handful of people who had the new radio receivers and still do.

The new Foundation Licence provides a great opportunity for people to foster an interest in communications technology and perhaps lead on to a rewarding career in science, electronics, and communications.

But most importantly, amateur radio provides an opportunity to communicate with people. Outback travellers, sailors, retires, or anyone with a little time to spare.

A curious mind will find amateur radio very rewarding. The Foundation Licence makes an amateur radio Licence very achievable with a just few hours study.

What do I need to know to get a licence?

The emphasis is on candidates having the knowledge and skills to demonstrate a practical ability to put together an amateur radio station from commercial equipment and operate it without causing interference to other users and have the knowledge to be a competent radio operator.

You will also need to be aware of how amateur radio relates to other users of the radio spectrum, your licence conditions, technical basics of electricity and electronics, transmitters, receivers, feed-lines and antennas, propagation, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

What bands can I operate on and what modes can I use? (type of transmission)

Foundation licence operator can operate in the bands listed below using the modes listed. The foundation licence operator can only use commercially manufactured equipment.

Permitted Frequencies (and type of transmission)

The foundation licence operator can operate in the bands listed below using the modes listed Amplitude Modulation (AM) voice Single Side Band (SSB) voice Hand Keyed Morse Code the right hand column. The foundation licence operator can only use commercially manufactured equipment.

Radio band Frequency Permitted Emission Modes
80 Meters
3.500 MHz – 3.700 MHz Amplitude Modulation (AM) voice Single Side Band (SSB) voice Hand Keyed Morse Code. (Morse Code is not required for the Australian Licence test)
40 Meters
7.0 00 MHz – 7.300 MHz
15 Meters
21.000 MHz – 21.450 MHz
10 Meters
28.000 MHz – 29.700 MHz Amplitude Modulation (AM) voice Single Side Band (SSB) voice Hand Keyed Morse Code
Frequency Modulation (FM) voice
2 Meters
144 MHz – 148 MHz
70 Centimeters
430 MHz – 450 MHz

Distances You Can Work.

Radio band Distance & Coverage
3.5MHz (80 meters) Typically up to 150KM during the day and up to 3000KM at night.
7MHz (40 meters) Typically up to 1000KM during the day and during good conditions world wide at night.
21 MHz (15 meters) World wide mostly during the day.
28 MHz (10 meters) World wide during periods of high sunspot activity and up to 3000km in summer.
144MHz (2 meters) Local coverage and world wide via “IRLP” and EchoLink.
432MHz (70cm) Local coverage and world wide via “IRLP” and EchoLink.
The mode definitions are explained in the manual.
CW Hand Keyed Morse Code only for Foundation (not required for the Australian Licence) but fun to learn once you got your Licence.

Is there a book with all the information you need to know to get a licence?

The WIA has produced a book called the Foundation Licence Manual.
The manual contains all the relevant information you will need to know to successfully complete a training course to obtain a foundation licence. It also contains a wealth of information a Foundation Licence operator will need. Items like Band Plans, Electrical Safety information, operating procedures, and much more.

This may seem to be a lot to remember but with a clubs help you will get there, the hardest part is contacting a club.

If you have any other questions whom should I ask?

Remember there are no silly questions just silly people that don’t asked.

A good start would be to contact Jim McNabb VK3AMN  club President or the

Further information on the Foundation Licence can be found on the ACMA website.
Clicks the links below to visit the ACMA website for this information or go directly to the ACMA website.

On passing your exam you can start on air as soon as the ACMA put you name up on there web site, start looking from about 7-10 days after the exam (only a guide) this will depend on there work load at the time.

ACMA website

Sherbrooke Community Radio Club Inc are happy to help any new Amateur Radio operator into the Ham Radio family.

If you would like to become a part of the club come along to one of our meeting or please contact the club 

Last update 04/02/2019

Sherbrooke Community Radio Club Inc “VK3KID”

 Home page.

 Established 2007

“Only a club can give you on going support once you get your Licence”

Author Jim McNabb 2012.