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 New Syllabus Details for 2019

For further information on costs and course availability,
 please contact

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.