Under the amateur radio regulatory framework, an amateur radio station cannot be operated unless the operator holds appropriate qualifications. Qualifications are issued to people who pass an amateur radio examination, which uses the Amateur Radio Syllabus.
Syllabus Review Panel
A Syllabus Review Panel was established in November 2019 under a Deed of Agreement between the ACMA and the University of Tasmania through its institute, the Australian Maritime College (AMC). The panel, comprising the ACMA, the AMC and representatives of the amateur radio community, approves changes to the Amateur Radio Syllabus.
Change of arrangements
In January 2020, the panel began considering updates to the foundation syllabus to align it with the amended Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015 (the LCD).
However, despite repeated attempts, the panel was unable to reach a consensus on the very minor changes required. This has led the ACMA to the view that the panel will not be able to develop and agree to more substantive changes to the amateur syllabus and, therefore, is not fit-for-purpose to deliver for the broader amateur community.
As a consequence, the panel will be disbanded and the ACMA will amend the Deed with the AMC to remove the requirement for changes to the syllabus to be approved by the panel. Changes to the syllabus will now be managed directly through the ACMA’s usual consultation processes with the amateur community.
We will use the recent public consultation process for changes to the foundation syllabus to advise the AMC on amendments. This will align the foundation syllabus with the amendments to the LCD, so that prospective foundation licensees are able to take advantage of the amended LCD.
We will undertake a broader consultation process on more substantive changes to the syllabus at a later date.