Mentoring & Training

Mentoring and Training are part of Suffolk RED’s Ethos: – ‘Advance interest and develop skills in aspects of amateur radio and electronics through skills workshops and demonstration evenings.’

**COMING SOON** On this page you will find links to up coming training courses available in Suffolk, East Anglia as well as links to the online training courses Bath Distance Learning for Full Licence and a host of online training support available via Essex Hams.

The Foundation licence is your gateway to amateur radio.

The course and exam that leads to the licence provides you with an exciting introduction to the hobby while requiring an acceptable minimum level of skill and experience.

Your Foundation licence is recognised by the UK communications regulator Ofcom, and entitles you to take a unique identifier called a callsign which will be used to identify you when you are transmitting.

The Foundation courses take place locally in a friendly and informal environment and are conducted by experienced radio amateurs, usually at a local radio club.

Most of the training is practical, there is a small amount of radio and electronics theory but only enough for you to appreciate things like using the correct fuses in your equipment and how to build an antenna to get the most out of your radio station.

Your course will take 10 to 12 hours to complete, and can be spread out over a few weeks or weekends.

Don’t be put off by the thought of having to do an exam.

The Foundation exam is very straightforward and consists of 26 multiple choice questions which you have 55 minutes to answer.

Your exam paper is checked by the invigilator straight after the exam so you will have a good idea if you have passed before you leave.

The formal marking is carried out electronically at the RSGB Examinations Department.

Once you have your Foundation licence and have chosen a callsign from those available, you are ready to make your first transmission on the amateur radio bands; an exciting moment.

You are then free to operate on the most frequently used amateur bands, without supervision, up to a power of 10 watts.

This does not sound like very much power, but once you have acquired experience operating your radio you will find it is enough to communicate almost anywhere in the world.

For the Foundation licence course exam there is a fee of £27.50. – Check out What Happens After Exam for more information.


The Intermediate Licence

Now that you have your amateur radio licence and have gained experience operating, it may be time for you to move on to an Intermediate Licence.

The Intermediate Licence carries with it more privileges and also more responsibilities on you as a radio amateur.

The main advantage of stepping up to the Intermediate Licence is the increase in permitted operating power.

You will be able to go from the 10 watts of the Foundation Licence, up to 50 watts as an Intermediate Licence holder.

It’s actually not necessary to take a course to sit the Intermediate exam, but we would strongly recommend doing so.

All our RSGB affiliated trainers have a wealth of knowledge and years of experience to impart to their students.

Understandably the Intermediate course is longer and more challenging than the Foundation.

It aims to teach many of the fundamentals of radio in a stimulating way by actually undertaking practical tasks such as soldering, building a small project and a variety of other exercises, building on the experience you have gained as a Foundation Licence holder.

Two methods of assessment are used.

First, a practical skills assessment is taken which demonstrates your competence in basic electronics. This involves soldering a rudimentary circuit together using some of the components you learned about on the course.

This is followed by an examination of 45 multiple-choice questions each with four possible responses, which covers the remainder of the syllabus. The examination lasts one hour and 25 minutes.

The examination may be taken online or on paper. Candidates sitting examinations online will be advised of their result immediately after completing the exam together with detailed feedback regarding their performance.

Your paper exam paper is marked by the invigilator after the exam so, as with the Foundation, you have an indication of whether you passed or not.

Once you have passed, Ofcom will then issue you with your new, upgraded radio licence and you can get started immediately on the Intermediate frequency allocations at up to 50 watts power.

Now you are not only a licensed radio amateur, but you are one step closer to having the Full Licence (Advanced Exam); an internationally recognized qualification that will enable you to transmit legally almost anywhere in the world.

For the Intermediate licence course exam there is a fee of £32.50.  Don’t forget that you need to have passed the Foundation exam first!

The Full Licence

You have worked hard to get your amateur radio licence, and have progressed through to being an Intermediate Licence holder.

Maybe you are ready now to take on the UK’s ultimate amateur radio qualification: the Advanced (see below)  Radio Communications exam leading to the issuing of a Full Licence.

Many privileges and responsibilities come with a Full Licence, including a higher power limit and operating in many other Countries without further formal application.

We are not going to pretend that getting a Full Licence will be trivial.

A technical exam has to be passed that requires serious study for success, so you must be prepared to invest a good amount of time and effort in your studies.

When studying for the Advanced Radio Communications exam there is no requirement to take a formal training course, this is because the examination is entirely theory based, with no practical training element.

It is possible to study at home on your own or at a local amateur radio club or at a college; the most commonly used training platform is The Bath Distance Learning course. Click here for more info:

For the Advanced Radio Communications exam there is a fee of £37.50. You must have passed the Intermediate exam before taking the Advanced.

Assessment is by a written or online  examination paper of 62 multiple choice questions each with four possible responses.

The examination lasts two hours and is available with 10 days’ notice (from 1st November 2017)

From the date of implementation of the updated syllabus (expected 1st quarter 2019) the “Advanced” examination will be renamed the “Full” Licence Examination.

What happens after each exam?

You will receive an official result sheet in the post from the RSGB Examinations Department.  This takes at least six days working days from the of receipt of your exam paper at HQ.

If you have passed, you will at the same time receive a certificate and your candidate number.  The examination office will upload your pass to  the UK communications regulator Ofcom, who are responsible for issuing amateur radio licences.

You may then log on to the Ofcom licensing system to apply for your licence.  Please make sure that you have your candidate number to hand, because you will need this to complete the process.

Unlike the Foundation and Intermediate, Advanced examinations completed on paper are not locally marked but sent to RSGB headquarters for electronic marking. Those candidates sitting the examination on line will receive their results at the end of the examination together with detailed feedback upon their performance.

Results for paper based exams will be issued six working days after receipt, and also sent to Ofcom.

Your certificate of success and HAREC certificate will be issued a few days later. In the case of online exams these will be issued within 6 working days from the date of the examination.

You may apply for your Full Licence on the Ofcom website free of charge.