Amateur Licence Examinations and Certification | ACMA

Amateur Licence Examinations and Certification

1 February 2019

An announcement has been made regarding changes to amateur radio qualifications. The ACMA is working to finalise a new Deed for the delivery of services. More information and updates will follow.

 


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 proficiency

There are three grades of Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency. These are:

  • Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (Advanced) (AOCP(A))
  • Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (Standard) (AOCP(S))
  • Amateur Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (Foundation) (AOCP(F)).

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

Examination Subject Requirement for each Grade of Certificate

AOCP(A)

AOCP(S)

AOCP(F)

Amateur Theory

Yes - Advanced Theory paper

Yes - Standard Theory paper

Yes - combined Foundation Theory / Foundation Regulations paper

Regulations

Yes - Advanced / Standard Regulations paper

Yes - Advanced / Standard Regulations paper

Practical

Yes

Yes

Yes

See below for further information about the syllabus for each certificate type.

Examination formats and syllabi

AOCP(A)

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.

AOCP(S)

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 assessment.

AOCP(F)

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 operators

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:

  1. particulars of the examination in question
  2. the time and place of the examination in question
  3. 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 matter will be referred 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.

Minimum age

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.

Replacement certificates

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 ACMA.

The Amateur licence information paper details Certificates of Proficiency requirements for amateur licensing options.

Cancellation of certificates

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 a certificate.

Cancellations of Amateur Certificates of Proficiency are reviewable under Part 5.6 of the Act.

Reciprocal arrangements

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 equivalents.

Arrangements for participation in European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT)

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 station).

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 Australian equivalents.

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 conditions.

Further information

Further information about amateur licences may be found in the documents entitled Amateur operating procedures and Amateur licence information paper.

Last updated: 12 February 2019