Amateur Licence Training Courses and Exams
Although anybody with the correct equipment may listen in to Amateur Radio transmissions, you need a licence in order to operate a transmitter on the Amateur Radio bands. In the United Kingdom, these licences are issued by Ofcom.
Ofcom currently run a three tier system of Amateur Radio licences with each tier being aimed at a different type of person and each tier having its own rules and privileges.
This is the entry level and must be passed by everyone who wishes to operate an Amateur Radio transmitter in the UK.
Foundation licence holders can operate commercially designed equipment with a maximum power of 10 Watts (although you can use aerial arrays to boost the effective power of the signal).
The exam currently consists of a multiple choice theory paper.
The aim of the exam is to ensure that you can install and operate your station safely without causing interference to others.
Intermediate Licence holders can operate transmitters with a power of up to 50 watts in the UK and can also use home made equipment.
The aim of the training and exam is to give you enough information that you can start to tackle repairs and build your own equipment using published designs.
(Please note that you must have passed the Foundation exams before you can take the Intermediate exams).
This is the final step for Intermediate Licence holders. The Full Licence allows you to can operate transmitters with a power of up to 400 watts, to operate from countries outside the UK and to use additional frequency bands.
There is no practical exam at this level, only the multiple choice theory paper.
The aim of the training and exam is to give you enough information that you can start to understand the principles that will allow you to modify equipment or designs, for example so that a rig operates on a different band or in a different mode.
(Please note that you must have passed the Foundation and Intermediate exams before you can take the Advanced exam).
The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) are currently providing remote invigilated exams and this is the only way to take any of these exams at the moment. For details, please see the RSGB website at https://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/for-students.
Gloucester Amateur Radio and Electronics Society can no longer offer face-to-face training but we are happy to try to help and mentor candidates in any way that we can.
Please remember that the courses and exams will only give you the minimum level of competence. As with the car driving test, there is a lifetime of experience and additional information to be gained after you have passed your test.