- 1Consultation opened29 Aug 2023
- 2Consultation closed26 Sep 2023
- 3Outcome and submissions published12 Dec 2023
The ACMA has concluded its review of the proposed new amateur radio assessor accreditation and qualification framework.
26 public submissions were received in response to the consultation. You can access the submissions at the bottom of this page. Submissions were broadly supportive of the arrangements proposed in the consultation. Our response to the submissions is in the ‘Key documents’ box above.
On 7 December 2023, we made the Radiocommunications Accreditation (Amateur Radio Examinations) Rules 2023 (the Accreditation Rules). We also published the Accredited Assessor Guidelines, which sets out the operational and conduct requirements for accredited amateur radio assessors.
We plan to release the amateur radio qualification framework and call sign policy in February 2024, to coincide with the commencement of the amateur class licence.
The charges for issuing ACMA recognition certificates, assessing applications for recognition of prior learning and issuing call signs are outlined in the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement: Fees for radiocommunications, telecommunications and broadcasting services, budget year 2023–24. We will also consult on charges for the re-assignment of call signs with the prefix VK0 or VK9, special event call signs and contest call signs in the draft 2024–25 Fees for Service Cost Recovery Implementation Statement, which is planned to be released for consultation around March/April 2024.
View details about the new amateur radio qualification framework and assessor accreditation scheme.
Previous consultation: The issue
By deed with the ACMA, the University of Tasmania’s Australian Maritime College (AMC) currently:
- issues amateur radio qualifications
- conducts amateur radio examinations
- makes call sign recommendations for amateur radio operators.
The AMC has decided not to extend this deed beyond February 2024.
We have considered how amateur radio qualifications and call signs can be best supported under a class licence framework. We propose to manage the overall amateur radio qualifications and call sign assignment ourselves, with certain examination activities undertaken by accredited assessors.
We propose to start implementing parts of these arrangements in December 2023, so they are in place when the new amateur class licence begins in February 2024.
We want your feedback on the proposed arrangements for the new amateur qualification framework and assessor accreditation scheme.
New amateur assessor accreditation scheme and qualification framework
We are proposing a new qualification framework that will retain the current qualification levels – foundation, standard and advanced. It will also continue to recognise qualifications that were obtained or recognised under the current framework.
Qualifications, called ‘ACMA recognition certificates’ under the new framework, will be issued by us. This will be on application from a person who has passed a relevant amateur radio examination or recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessment. The new framework also outlines a process where amateur operators can have their internationally obtained amateur radio qualification recognised through RPL.
We propose to use a network of voluntary assessors to conduct amateur radio examinations under a new scheme to be managed by the ACMA. These assessors will be suitably qualified, experienced amateur operators who meet various requirements.
The consultation paper includes draft Radiocommunications Accreditation (Amateur Radio Examination) Rules 2023 (the draft Accreditation Rules). These will provide a formal accreditation framework for amateur radio assessors and outline requirements to become an assessor.
We have also drafted Accredited Assessor Guidelines, which contain operational and conduct requirements for assessors. We propose to commence some aspects of the Accreditation Rules during December 2023. This will allow us to bring current AMC assessors on board prior to the class licence commencement.
We plan to start accepting new applications from those seeking to become an accredited assessor from February 2024.
Under the proposal, we will continue to issue call signs to amateurs with recognised qualifications. We also propose to release a call sign policy on our website when the new class licence commences.
To support the ACMA’s new functions, we propose to introduce new fees for:
- issuing ACMA recognition certificates
- assessing applications for RPL
- issuing call signs.
Under the proposal, amateur operators will pay a reduced fee for applying to us for an ACMA recognition certificate, RPL and some call sign types. A full outline of these fees can be found in the draft 2023–24 fees for service Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (the CRIS), which is also open for consultation and available on the ACMA website.
To support the new arrangements, the consultation paper also outlines proposed amendments to the:
- Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015
- Radiocommunications (Qualified Operators) Determination 2016
- draft Radiocommunications (Amateur Stations) Class Licence 2022.
To help understand how the new arrangements will work under the class licence, we have provided an overview of our planned class licensing arrangements. These include call sign assignment, amateur operating procedures and reciprocal arrangements for overseas amateurs.