Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Amateur Radio Licensing & Exams

A Licence for Amateur Radio is achieved through a structured suite of three examinations.  Each is designed to extend facilities available to the licensee on the many amateur radio frequencies, modes and power levels as a result of a proven progress in learning and proficiency.  The following is a summary.  If you are already licensed please check your licence for precise details.

Most UK amateur bands between 135.7 kHz and 10500 MHz but not 1280 - 5850MHz

1W max on 135.7-137.8kHz
1W max on 10000 - 10500MHz
10W max all other bands

YES Morse assessment

All amateur bands allocated in the UK
1W max on 135.7-137.8kHz
32W max on 1.85 - 2.0MHz
40W max on 430 - 432MHz
50W max all other bands
All amateur bands allocated in the UK
1W max on 135.7-137.8kHz
32W max on 1.85 - 2.0MHz
100W max on 51.0 - 52.0MHz
160W max on 70.0 - 70.5MHz
400W max all other bands

All prospective amateur radio operators must demonstrate a suitable level of competence and proficiency as a prerequisite to holding a UK amateur radio licence.

The Foundation Licence is the entry level examination, designed to get you going, with most of the training of a practical nature.  There is a small amount of radio and electronics theory - just enough to appreciate basic concepts such as safety, using the correct fuses in your equipment, simple operating procedures and how to build an antenna to get the most out of your radio station.  The courses are run in an informal atmosphere by experienced radio amateurs, and usually takes about 10-12 hours of study / practical work.  Once complete, it is an accepted qualification to progress to the Intermediate Licence course.

The course for the Intermediate Licence is longer than the Foundation one, and aims to teach many of the fundamentals of radio by undertaking practical tasks such as soldering, building a small project and a variety of other exercises .. building on the experience gained as a Foundation licence holder.  After completing the course, candidates sit the Intermediate examination which is a multiple choice exam based on what was learned on the course. The Intermediate licence in turn is an accepted qualification to progress to the Advanced Licence course, also sometimes referred to as the 'Full' amateur radio licence with associated benefits for the licensee.

The Advanced Radio Communication Examination is more advanced than the Intermediate, and replaces the old City & Guilds RAE.  It, again, covers radio theory and licence conditions but because holding a full licence enables you to use 400 Watts power output to your transmitter, such subjects as Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC), antenna design and safety issues are covered in greater depth. This licence allows access to all the amateur allocations including those above 30MHz with full power.

CHANGES to the Syllabus and Exams in 2019

Changes to the Amateur Radio examinations are being made in 2019 to keep them up to date and include at the same time small tweaks between the different levels of examination.  This web page is being written in February 2019 and the adoption of the changes will be made from the next examinations planned to be held in September 2019.

In order that you can start preparing for your new training, the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) have provided documents to help you see what has changed in the Syllabus for 2019 at each of the three levels.  You can see what is new and what has been moved between levels etc.

The following link will open a new page on the RSGB website and provide you will all the current information to help you find what you need to know to plan your next exam.  If you are not sure what to do next you can always call into a club meeting of the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club and speak to someone who will hopefully be able to answer your query or at least find out for you.

RSGB License EXAMS and download New Syllabus pdf for 2019

You are also most welcome to visit us on any Club night (without charge)
(Check our
"Calendar" on our left hand main menu to see where we are)

British Licensing over the years

This excellent link explains the Current Amateur Radio Callsigns operating in the United Kingdom, the various callsigns by Region and Classes of Licence, and finally a compete history of callsigns issued in the UK since the 1890's.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Online Training for Amateur Radio

Friday 8th May 2020

Now that people can take the UK amateur radio Foundation exam online from their own home, what online training courses are available?

Currently we are aware of two free online Foundation training courses.
If you are running an online course not mentioned here please let us know.

The courses so far are:

Foundation Online run by Essex Ham

GM6DX Foundation licence course

On April 3, RSGB announced that Foundation Practical Assessments have been waived so candidates will not need to do them

The RSGB publication 'Foundation Licence Manual: for Radio Amateurs' is available in Kindle format at
The RSGB Online exam remote invigilation FAQ describes how to apply for an exam

The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club
offers excellent opportunities to get together and mix with like minded folk for those living within easy reach of Wirral, with the chance to meet up regularly (under normal non-coronavirus conditions) and ask questions. 

As in most walks of life, passing the initial exam is the first stage to proving competence and experiencing the joys of an exciting hobby.  It is often chatting with your peers who can add their life experiences and knowledge as a short cut to complete your personal enjoyment.

We are unable at this moment in time to offer training and so one of the above courses would be an ideal way into the hobby, followed by taking the RSGB on-line exams.

After your success, do consider coming along to WADARC for a few evenings (for no charge), and I'm sure we will be able to convince you how fulfilling and rewarding being a member of a good club can be.  Our members operate in a wide range of radio and computer activities.

Keep checking our "Calendar of Events"  on the club website for the latest information

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -