New approaches to amateur radio qualification arrangements | ACMA

New approaches to amateur radio qualification arrangements

Consultation closes: 02 July 2018

IFC: 16/2018 amateur-radio-hand jpg

Outcome of this consultation

Outcome
The ACMA thanks all those that submitted a response to the consultation paper New approaches to amateur radio qualification arrangements. All submissions received have been considered.

The ACMA will approach the market with an open tender seeking an organisation to provide services similar to the process described as ‘approach one’ in the consultation paper.

Any winning tenderer will be approved to conduct examinations and act as a delegate to issue certificates of proficiency under the Radiocommunications Act 1992, or through similar mechanisms for approving and delegating statutory functions expected to feature in new legislation that may replace the Act.
Any winning tenderer will also be required to perform other associated administrative tasks, such as recommending callsigns in accordance with an agreed template. To maintain flexibility in how exam participants choose to prepare themselves, there will be no mandatory requirement for a successful tenderer to provide training.

The ACMA will also seek to negotiate the addition of all amateur radio competencies into the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training, and is regulated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority. Early discussions have indicated that amateur radio may be best suited to the ICT Training Package component of the AQF, rather than the Electrotechnology Training Package, where an amateur radio competency based on the standard syllabus already exists.

The request for tender is expected to take place in late August–September 2018, with a contract to be in place prior to February 2019, when the current deed of agreement with the Wireless Institute of Australia is due to expire. The time frame for adding amateur radio competencies to the AQF is likely to be longer. The two pathways to attaining a recognised qualification are not mutually exclusive and may operate in tandem, providing for more choice and flexibility.

Any change to subordinate legislation required to facilitate the recognition of Australian amateur radio qualifications, other than certificates of proficiency, will require further public consultation. The timing of further public consultation is dependent on negotiating the addition of amateur radio into the AQF.

Submissions
The ACMA received 45 submissions/comments to this consultation, of which three were made in-confidence. These can be accessed from the right hand side index box.

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Consultation paper:
New approaches to amateur radio qualification arrangements

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Executive summary

The ACMA is consulting on new approaches to the way that amateur radio operator qualifications are conferred.

The current arrangements have been in place since 2009 and are due to expire in February 2019. The ACMA is contemplating three possible approaches to how amateur radio qualifications are conferred in the future. The ACMA is also considering the establishment of a Syllabus Review Panel to ensure that the amateur syllabus remains fit for purpose.

Issue for comment

Opportunity to provide feedback
The ACMA welcomes comments from stakeholders on the new approaches to amateur radio qualification arrangements described in this paper.  Any other issues relevant to the way amateur radio operator qualifications could be conferred are also welcome, including other possible approaches not described in this paper.