Applying for accreditation | ACMA

Applying for accreditation

This page sets out the procedure for seeking accreditation to issue Frequency Assignment Certificates (FACs) and/or Interference Impact Certificates (IICs). Information about the function of these certificates and other aspects of the accreditation scheme can be found in The Role of Accredited Persons in Radiocommunications.

Section 263 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) provides for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) to accredit people to perform certain activities related to the use of the radiofrequency spectrum. Such activities include frequency coordination and emission level management.

Anyone wishing to apply for FAC and/or IIC accreditation should complete:

  1. an application form

  2. a deed of indemnity, in the unaltered form approved by the ACMA (n.b. the deed of indemnity is only required for non-government employment or government employment by an agency not covered by the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act). Contact the ACMA for more information.).

Note: The FMA Act is Commonwealth legislation. Agencies covered by the FMA Act are prescribed in Section 5 of the Act.

Application documentation:

  1. Application for accreditation form (R067) - PDF format | Word format

  2. Deed of indemnity for non-government employment - PDF format | Word format

  3. Deed of indemnity for government employment with an agency not covered by the FMA Act - PDF format | Word format.

More information

Prerequisite qualifications for accreditation

Paragraph 266(2)(d) of the Act specifies that the ACMA may determine qualifications and other requirements necessary for a person to become accredited. The ACMA has determined that the following prerequisites will apply.

An applicant must hold:

  1. an Associate Diploma granted by an Australian or New Zealand TAFE institution:

a significant component of which relates to radiofrequency communications

  1. a qualification recognised as being equivalent to qualifications referred to above.

'Equivalent qualifications' means:

  1. a comparable overseas qualification recognised by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition

  2. other equivalent qualifications

  3. competency assessment

  4. relevant experience and training that would be acceptable for a technical appointment with the Australian Public Service.

ACMA assessment of qualifications

In assessing whether qualifications referred to in b. ii. are equivalent, the ACMA will consider:

  1. the educational requirements for entry to the course, i.e. the number of years of schooling or post secondary study required

  2. the number of years/hours of study required to complete the course

  3. the range, depth and level of subjects studied

  4. the recognition of the course within the relevant profession.

An assessment of competency may include an assessment or eligibility test conducted by another employer and recognised as determining a level of skill appropriate for a technical appointment with the Australian Public Service.

In assessing whether relevant experience and training referred to above is equivalent, the ACMA will consider the number of years, range and depth of experience and training held by the applicant for accreditation.

Relevant experience

The applicant should outline his or her experience in fields of employment related to radiofrequency assignment. While the ACMA has not imposed a minimum period requirement, relevant experience has been defined by the ACMA as:

  1. experience in radiocommunications relevant to frequency assignment, e.g. experience as a frequency assigner or

  2. experience as a radiocommunications network designer or radiocommunications site manager.

The ACMA will contact nominated referees to confirm the nature and relevance of the experience cited by the applicant.

Professional indemnity insurance

When issuing a certificate other than as part of government employment, an accredited person is required to be covered by professional indemnity insurance, either as an individual or as an employee of an organisation. The insurance must provide indemnity against loss or damage up to $2 million and must be provided by a corporation licensed under the Insurance Act 1973. If you are relying on your employer's insurance, you must not issue certificates other than as a part of your employment.

Government employment means that a person can be:

  1. employed by the Commonwealth or a State or Territory Government

  2. employed by a body corporate established for a public purpose by or under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory

  3. employed by a body corporate incorporated under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory Government, and in which the Commonwealth, State or Territory has a controlling interest

  4. a member of the Australian Defence Force.

At the time an accredited person, who is required to hold insurance, is issued their certificate, his or her insurance policy details must be provided to the ACMA. Each subsequent certificate will require an insurance policy number and a date of expiry for that policy. The accredited person is required to ensure that the ACMA has the most up to date copy of their insurance policy. The accredited person must be covered by a current insurance policy for at least the lesser of the period of the person's accreditation, counted from when the person first issues a certificate and 5 years after the person last issues a certificate.

Note: It is in the interests of people who cease to be accredited less than 5 years after issuing a certificate to keep an insurance policy covering that certificate for at least the 5 year period.

Completing an application

Your application must include:

  1. your full name and business or residential address

  2. your business or residential telephone number

  3. your date of birth

  4. your relevant educational qualifications

  5. a copy of your relevant educational qualifications along with a list of the subjects you studied

  6. your relevant work history

  7. the names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least two referees

  8. the kind of certificates in relation to which your application for accreditation is being made (i.e. FACs and/or IICs)

  9. a declaration, signed by you, that the information in the application is not false or misleading

  10. if you are not an employee of a government agency covered by the FMA Act, a signed deed of indemnity in the unaltered form approved by the ACMA for either government employment or non-government employment

  11. the application fee AUD$476.

These requirements are set out in the Radiocommunications (Accreditation - Prescribed Certificates) - Principles 2003.

Your application should also indicate if you do not want your contact details to be made available on the ACMA's website, should the application be successful.

Please note that accreditation may only be granted to 'natural persons', that is, individuals as opposed to corporations or other business entities.

Costs to be paid by applicants for accreditation

Upon receipt of the application, the applicant will be sent a tax invoice for the application fee of AUD$476. The ACMA accepts cheque, money order, electronic funds transfer (EFT) and credit card payment.

Cheques and money orders should be made payable to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. For EFT and credit card payments, please call (03) 9963 6990.

In addition, persons granted accreditation will generally need to purchase data from the ACMA to carry out work under the accreditation scheme.

Submitting an application for accreditation

Your application for accreditation must be submitted in writing to the following address:

Customer Service Centre
Operations Branch
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 13112, Law Courts
Melbourne VIC 8010

Assessment of applications

On receipt of your application for accreditation, the ACMA will, as soon as practicable, evaluate your claims and contact your nominated referees to confirm those claims. If the ACMA is satisfied you have provided sufficient evidence to support your accreditation, the ACMA will grant it to you.

If you are refused accreditation, you will be formally advised in writing of the reasons for the refusal. The decision to refuse accreditation is a reviewable decision under Part 5.6 of the Act.

Instrument of accreditation

Following the decision to grant you accreditation, the ACMA will issue you with an instrument of accreditation (i.e. a certificate). This will specify the kinds of certificates that you are empowered to issue (i.e. FACs or IICs or both). The grant of accreditation is generally perpetual but may be surrendered by you or withdrawn by the ACMA.

Withdrawal of accreditation

In some circumstances, the ACMA will consider whether the withdrawal of a person's accreditation is appropriate. This may be done where the accredited person:

  1. has failed to meet the spectrum management criteria defined in the Radiocommunications (Frequency Assignment Certificates) Determination 2003 or

  2. has submitted an application for accreditation which includes false or misleading information.

Accreditation may only be withdrawn in accordance with the procedures set out in Principle 11 of the Radiocommunications (Accreditation - Prescribed Certificates) - Principles 2003.

If the ACMA considers it appropriate to withdraw your accreditation, a formal notice of that intention will be forwarded to you. You will then be given the opportunity to show cause why your accreditation should not be withdrawn. A decision to withdraw accreditation is a reviewable decision under Part 5.6 of the Act.

Review of decision

If you have had your accreditation withdrawn, you may apply for a review of that decision. You should make a written request to the ACMA for reconsideration under section 288 of the Act. Your request should:

  1. be made on ACMA form Application for review of decision (R051)

  2. state the reasons for the request

  3. be sent within 28 days of receipt of the decision

  4. be addressed to:
    Executive Manager
    Operations Branch
    Australian Communications & Media Authority
    PO Box 78
    Belconnen ACT 2616.

The review will be conducted by a person not involved in the original decision.

If you are dissatisfied with the ACMA's decision after its reconsideration, subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for further review.

Last updated: 28 September 2016