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 the Intermediate Licence. This 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. You can find a course near you here. 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. Your exam paper is marked by the invigilator straight after the exam so, as with the Foundation, you have a good idea whether you passed or not.
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!
What happens after the 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.
If you apply for your Foundation licence on the Ofcom website, your licence is free of charge.
Visit the Ofcom website to find out more about applying for an amateur radio licence.
Once you have your Intermediate 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 50 watts.
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.
To find out more call the RSGB Examinations Department on 01234 832 700. Their advisors will be pleased to answer any question you may have about obtaining a Foundation licence.