A new Deed of Agreement is now in place with 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. For further information, please visit our changes to amateur radio qualifications page.
Persons wishing to obtain an Amateur Certificate of Proficiency, need to pass an approved examination in accordance with the appropriate syllabus for the grade of qualification sought. Further information and requirements are listed below.
Examination formats and grades of
There are three grades of Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency.
- Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (Advanced)
- Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (Standard) (AOCP(S))
- Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (Foundation)
Once issued with an Amateur Certificate of Proficiency, the holder is then entitled to apply to the ACMA for an amateur licence. Table 1 details each type of Certificate of Proficiency and its various subject requirements.
Table 1 - Certificate of Proficiency Types and Requirements
||Requirement for each Grade of
Yes - Advanced Theory paper
Yes - Standard Theory paper
Yes - combined Foundation Theory / Foundation Regulations
Yes - Advanced / Standard Regulations paper
Yes - Advanced / Standard Regulations paper
See below for further information about the syllabus for each certificate
Examination formats and
The AOCP(A) syllabus and related examination reflects the knowledge, skills
and experience required to safely assemble and operate an amateur station at
the highest level without interference to other users and services. The AOCP(A)
comprises a 50-question multiple choice examination in Theory, a 30-question
multiple-choice examination in Regulations and a Practical assessment.
The AOCP(S) syllabus and related examination reflects the knowledge, skills
and experience required to safely assemble and operate an amateur station at an
intermediate level without interference to other users and services. The
AOCP(S) comprises a 50-question multiple choice examination in Theory, a 30-question multiple-choice examination in Regulations and a Practical
The AOCP(F) syllabus and related examination reflects the minimum level of
knowledge, skills and experiences required to safely assemble and operate an
amateur station at an entry level, without interference to other users and
services. The AOCP(F) comprises a 25-question multiple-choice combined
Theory/Regulations examination and a practical assessment.
Re-examination of qualified
The ACMA may re-examine a qualified operator if, at any time, it has
reasonable grounds for believing that person will probably be unable to achieve
satisfactory results in an applicable examination. The ACMA may give to the
operator a written request that the operator submit himself or herself to an
examination, or a further examination.
The request must set out:
- particulars of the examination in question
- the time and place of the examination in question
- whether the operator has refused or failed, without reasonable excuse,
to comply with a request under the relevant section of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act).
The examination or further examination referred to above will be conducted
by the ACMA.
Appeals and dispute settlement
Where a dispute in connection with the results of an amateur examination is unable to be resolved, the AMC will refer the matter to the ACMA for consideration.
Recognition for prior learning (RPL)
Under certain circumstances, exemption(s) may be granted from one or more subjects in an amateur operator examination if a person holds equivalent, or higher, qualifications covering the appropriate portion of the relevant amateur syllabus. RPL is dependent upon a number of factors, including the type of qualification and the time it was conferred. A Certificate of Proficiency will not be issued on the basis of RPL, unless the candidate has passed at least one part of an approved examination, and ordinarily two parts, namely the practical assessment and the regulations qualification.
There are no minimum age limits for Amateur Certificates of Proficiency. Australian Amateur Certificates of Proficiency will be issued, on application, to any person who demonstrates, at examination, that he or she possesses the necessary knowledge and skills.
If an Amateur Certificate of Proficiency is lost, defaced, destroyed, or a change of name has occurred, the certificate holder may, by written application, request a replacement from the Australian Maritime College.
Under subsection 124(1) of the Act, ACMA may, by written notice given to a qualified
operator, cancel an amateur operator's Certificate of Proficiency. The notice
must include the reason for the cancellation. Subsection 124(3) of the Act
specifies the matters to which the ACMA must have regard in deciding to cancel
Cancellations of Amateur Certificates of Proficiency are reviewable under
Part 5.6 of the Act.
Reciprocal licensing arrangements between countries result from comparative
assessments of each country's qualifications and licences, and include the
establishment of a formal reciprocal licensing agreement. Table A lists
the countries with which Australia has reciprocal licensing arrangements and
details the overseas qualifications/licences and their Australian
Note: There have been concerns raised about the equivalence of USA/Australian licences. The ACMA is currently reviewing the reciprocal arrangements for equivalence of these qualifications. In the intervening period, applications for amateur licences made based on the applicant holding FCC qualifications will not be processed.
Arrangements for participation in European Conference of Postal and
Australia's AOCP, AOLCP and AOCP(A) qualifications are recognised under CEPT
Recommendation T/R 61-02 which makes it possible for participating
administrations to issue amateur qualifications that are mutually recognised.
This is underpinned by a common qualification arrangement known as the
Harmonised Amateur Radio Examination Certificate (HAREC).
This benefits Australian amateurs because, by the establishment of the T/R
61-02 agreement with CEPT, other participating countries recognise Australian
amateur qualifications, without the need for Australia to establish and
maintain bilateral reciprocal licensing arrangements.
From October 2005 until March 2008, while the Advanced examination syllabus was being approved by CEPT, the Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (Advanced) did not have HAREC endorsement. Replacement certificates with the HAREC endorsement may be obtained from the ACMA, depending on the original issue date.
Australia's amateur licence (amateur advanced station) is recognised under
CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01. Amateurs holding that licence may operate in
participating CEPT countries during short visits without having to obtain a
licence from those countries. Operating conditions are those of the country
visited and not those applicable to the amateur licence (amateur advanced
Amateur licences (amateur advanced station) issued from 4 June 2008 include
an Advisory Note in English, French and German that indicates that the licence
accords with the CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01. Amateurs holding licences
without that Advisory Note may apply for a replacement licence.
Other equivalent overseas qualifications
Some overseas qualifications or licences have been recognised by the ACMA as
being equivalent to an Australian qualification or licence. Table B lists
those countries from which equivalent qualifications or licences have been
recognised and details the overseas qualifications/licences and their
Circumstances where no equivalent overseas qualifications exist
Australia has implemented licensing arrangements that accommodate overseas
amateurs visiting Australia who do not hold a qualification or licence
recognised by Australia. It is a matter for individual countries to decide
whether an Australian amateur qualification is acceptable for the purpose of
operating in that country. Licences, if they are issued, may be issued with
Further information about amateur licences may be found in amateur operating
procedures and via the Australian Maritime College.