The ACMA has put in place new arrangements for amateur radio. These include changes to licensing, qualifications, call signs, charges, examination assessors and overseas visiting amateurs.
The arrangements preserve their current operational utility for amateur operators, maintain continuity of amateur qualification and call sign arrangements, and will reduce regulatory burden and minimise licensing costs for amateur radio operators.
These new arrangements were made following extensive consultation and careful consideration of comments received in response to numerous reviews and consultations on proposed changes.
On February 19, 2024, the following aspects of the new arrangements will commence:
- the Radiocommunications (Amateur Stations) Class Licence 2023 (amateur class licence)
- revised qualifications framework
- new call sign arrangements
- ACMA allocating qualification and call sign services
- ACMA receiving accredited assessor applications
- revised arrangements for overseas visiting amateurs.
The remaining aspects of the new arrangements have commenced.
These are the arrangements that allow the ACMA to accredit current Australian Maritime College (AMC) amateur examination assessors with the ACMA. We are working with the AMC assessors to transition them to ACMA arrangements ahead of February 19, 2024, when we will commence administering examination services.
More details on transition arrangements are outlined on our website.
For most amateur operators, no action is needed to transition to the new arrangements. Upon the commencement of the amateur class licence on February 19, 2024, non-assigned amateur apparatus licensees may wish to surrender their licence, and some will be eligible for a pro-rata refund.
In January 2024, we will write to current non-assigned amateur apparatus licensees to outline the transition arrangements and confirm their highest qualification level and call sign(s). More details on refund eligibility and the confirmation letters are available on the transition arrangements webpage.
The ACMA has been working closely with the AMC to ensure a smooth transition of qualification and call sign services, which the ACMA will administer from February 19, 2024. Details of AMC cut-off times are outlined on the AMC’s website.
With the new arrangements now made, the various reviews that informed the new arrangements are concluded. Outcomes and responses to submissions to those reviews are available on our website:
- Proposed new amateur radio assessor accreditation and qualification framework
- Proposed amateur class licensing arrangements and higher power operation – consultation 31/2022
- Review of non-assigned amateur and outpost regulatory arrangements – consultation 01/2021
- Proposed 2023–24 fees for service.
The legislative instruments that underpin the new framework are the:
- Radiocommunications (Amateur Stations) Class Licence 2023 (amateur class licence)
- Radiocommunication (Amateur Licences – Renewal Statement) Determination 2023
- Radiocommunications (Amateur Licences) Amendment Instrument 2023 (No.1)
- Radiocommunications Accreditation (Amateur Radio Examinations) Rules 2023