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 email@example.com.
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.
Standard Licence the next step up!
The three tier amateur licence restructure began on 19th October 2005, consisting of the entry level Foundation Licence, Standard Licence and Advanced Licence.
This change included new exam syllabi for the latter two, which lowered the level of knowledge required by candidates so as to align them with international standards.
An approach to upgrading
The Foundation Licence, as an entry-point to amateur radio, is providing experience with hobby communications and the opportunity for further hands-on learning.
A key message to those wanting to upgrade is to know what is involved so they can make an informed decision, prepare and commit to a period of study.
It is important to have a commitment in terms of time and effort to study over a number of weeks. Plus an understanding that the Standard Licence is not simply ‘more of the same’ that was studied for the Foundation Licence.
The Foundation Licence requires knowledge at a very basic level, to enable a person to competently operate a low powered amateur radio station on selected bands and a few modes of transmission.
The Standard Licence needs knowledge of a wider range of topics, some which will be more in-depth than the basic approach taken in the Foundation Licence. This is necessary to reflect the greater operating privileges given to this licence.
Your Second Step Into Amateur Radio
When we say “Amateur Radio” many people instantly think of the old Morse code. They think that to get involved in amateur radio you have to learn Morse code, it is not necessary to learn or have knowledge of Morse code to obtain a standard or any other grade of amateur licence.
Learning some pretty heavy electronics theory and put in many months of study to pass a pretty difficult exam. Well that’s the way it used to be, but not any more. October 2005 saw the introduction of the new standard grade syllabus and it is easier than the old novice license. It is now in line with the world standard for the middle grade licence and you can use your standard grade licence in many countries that have reciprocal licensing with Australia . A current list of countries with reciprocal licensing agreements with Australia can be found on the ACMA website.
Just complete a training course with as little as 20 hours training and at the end of the course a 50 question multiple choice examination, a multiple choice regulations examination and if you do not hold a foundation licence, practical test and a few days later yours on the air with your new standard grade licence.
The Standard Licence provides a great opportunity for young people to expand an interest in communications technology and can be a solid launching base to a rewarding career in science, electronics, and communications.
But most importantly standard licence will expand your horizons if you are upgrading from a foundation licence. It provides an opportunity to communicate with people all over the world as it allows for the use of more bands and higher power than the foundation licence. You will also be able to make and or modify your own equipment, as a foundation licensee must only use standard, unmodified commercial amateur radio equipment. The standard grade licensee can use the 20-meter band and can therefore join one of the several very popular maritime nets.
The standard Licence makes an amateur radio Licence upgrade from the foundation licence very achievable with around 20 hours study
The standard licence operator can use either home
Things You Will Need To Know
You will need to be able to correctly answer correctly 35 of 50 multiple-choice questions based on the standard syllabus, a copy of the syllabus can be downloaded from the link on the right hand menu bar of this page and a similar regulations assessment based on the LCD (Licence conditions determination), a copy of which can be also downloaded from the link on the right hand menu bar of this page. Alternatively if you already hold qualifications, which would allow you exemptions in training, then you can apply for recognition of prior learning from the WIA, details are on the WIA website under Become A Radio Amateur > Australian Amateur Licensing And Callsigns > Recognition Of Prior Learning Assessment.
Radio Bands You Can Use
The standard licence operator can operate in the bands listed below using
the modes listed in the right hand column.
|Radio band||Frequency||Permitted Emission Modes|
|80 Meters||3.500 – 3.700 MHz||Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 8 kHz|
|40 Meters||7.000 – 7.300 MHz|
|20 Meters||14.000 – 14.350 MHz|
|15 Meters||21.000 – 21.450 MHz|
|10 Meters||28.000 – 29.700 MHz||Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 16 kHz|
|6 Meters||52 – 54 MHz|
|2 Meters||144 – 148 MHz|
|70 Centimeters||430 – 450 MHz|
|23 Centimeters||1240 – 1300 MHz|
|13 Centimeters||2400 – 2450 MHz|
|6 Centimeters||5650 – 5850 MHz|
Note : These are general band ranges provided as a guide only, please ensure you consult
the ACMA LCD for specific frequency ranges, power limits and any special conditions.
Training For Your Licence
There are several radio clubs around Australia offering training for the standard licence and the charges can vary from club to club from as little as $10.00. You will also need to purchase some support technical reference information such as the ARRL handbook or the Radio Theory handbook or Radio Theory Handbook for Amateurs – 5th Ed.Fred Swainston. Radio Theory Handbook for Amateur Operators – Fifth Edition. (Standard & Advanced Theory) Includes CD.
These publications plus many others related publications can be purchased via the WIA online bookshop here on this website.
Besides providing training the clubs are the ideal places to learn all about amateur radio. You can meet other hams, attend interesting lectures, and find out lots of information. If you decide to take up amateur radio as a hobby you will soon learn there are hundreds of different facets to the hobby.
The standard time for training is around 20 to 30 hours. Some clubs will conduct training over several nights and some over a weekend. The 50 question multiple choice written assessment and the regulations assessment takes around 1.5 hour.
Any charges associated with standard licence training are up to the radio clubs conducting the training. You will need to check with your local club to find out what their charges are.
The WIA webpages list most of the clubs that are offering training and assessment. If you have trouble finding a club then send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you.
You can also study for the Standard Licence Multi-Media Course with the Radio and Electronics School in the comfort of your own home. This course is supplied on two CD ROMS, and is an easy short course which lasts from 4-5 weeks duration. The course is designed to get you on air “FAST”, with the minimum amount of fuss, covering standard theory and regulations.
The school head office is located on the Gold Coast and services all Australian States and Territories. E-mail support is provided with this course should any questions or problems arise. Inquiries are answered within 24 hours, usually less. Please visit http://www.radioelectronicschool.net for further information about the Standard Licence Multi-Media Course and pricing.
Note that you will need complete your Practical Assessment for the Amateur Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency (Standard) AOCP(S) if not already done.
You will also need to complete an assessment as soon as you feel you have completed the training. The price for the standard assessment, regulations assessment and practical assessments are $70.00 each or $35.00 each if you are under the age of 18, if you this licence is your entry point into amateur radio you will need to complete a practical assessment. A full list of assessors can be found on the WIA webpage. The Standard amateur radio licence is issued by ACMA and the licence cost is currently $67.00 per year, or $41.00 for a licence variation fee if transitioning from an existing licence.
The new licence structure introduces a practical assessment that is common to the three grades of licence. The practical assessment is required not only for foundation but also for standard and advanced licence grades. However a practical assessment only needs to be completed once, so by successfully completing a practical assessment as part of your foundation licence you will not be required to repeat it should you decide to upgrade to the standard or advanced licence grades. Even if you are an existing licensed amateur who received your licence before the requirement for a practical assessment was introduced and you wish to upgrade your licence, then you too will need to complete a practical assessment if you have not already done so.
The Internet is a great source of information on amateur radio, the WIA website has a lot of information including links to club websites and a link to the WIA broadcast pages. You can down load last weeks or up to two year of broadcast and listen to the on MP3 files. The WIA website is www.wia.org.au Other sites are the American Radio Relay League at http://www.arrl.org/index.php3 the Radio Society of Great Britain at http://www.rsgb.org Radio Amateurs of Canada at http://www.rac.ca/ If you search the web you will find thousands of site world wide that have been set up by radio clubs and individual amateurs, after all there are around three million of us.
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.
Who To Contact
Last update 04/02/2019
Sherbrooke Community Radio Club Inc “VK3KID”