The Accredited Persons Scheme - Background | ACMA

The Accredited Persons Scheme - Background

Section 263 of Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) enables the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) to accredit persons to perform certain activities related to the use of the radiofrequency spectrum, including frequency assigning and coordination services to radiocommunications licensees and emission level management.

The Accredited Persons Scheme was established in 1996. The Accredited Persons Scheme delivered new business opportunities to the communications industry and a more flexible approach to meeting the needs of spectrum users. The scheme was an important reform initiative enabled by the Act.

The Radiocommunications (Accreditation-Prescribed Certificates) Principles 2003 is a legal instrument which defines the principles that govern the accreditation process and specifies the matters for which accreditation may occur.

The ACMA currently accredits persons to issue two kinds of certificates:

  1. frequency assignment certificates (FACs) under section 100(4A) of the Act, relating to the operation of radiocommunications transmitters and receivers covered under apparatus licensing arrangements; and

  2. interference impact certificates (IICs) under section 145(3) of the Act, relating to the operation of radiocommunications transmitters in spectrum subject to spectrum licensing.

Improved opportunities for Accredited Persons

Following a review of the operation and effectiveness of the Accredited Persons scheme (AP Scheme), the ACMA has expanded opportunities for suitably qualified individuals from both the private and Commonwealth sectors to participate.

The major changes to the AP scheme are:

  1. recognising New Zealand engineering qualifications as equivalent for Australian accreditation

  2. removing the requirement for some Commonwealth agencies to provide a Deed of Indemnity to the ACMA for their employees

  3. establishing a mechanism for the withdrawal of accreditation if an AP has been inactive for at least two years.

To implement these changes, the ACMA amended the Radiocommunications (Accreditation – Prescribed Certificates) Principles 2003, the legislative instrument that governs how the AP scheme operates. The amendments came into effect on 1 July 2011.

The ACMA is also making a number of administrative changes to the AP Scheme including improving documentation and website materials and developing an audit process for interference impact certification.

The Review of the Accredited Persons Scheme is based on ongoing feedback mechanisms established with internal and external stakeholders, dating back to the formation of the ACMA in 2005. You can access further information on the Review of the Accredited Persons Scheme.

To discuss these changes, please contact Mick Owens on (03) 9963 6839 or email

Last updated: 17 December 2012