Amateur – Standard Licence

Your Second Step Into Amateur Radio

When we say “Amateur Radio” many people instantly think of the old Morse code. They think that to get involved in amateur radio you have to learn Morse code, it is not necessary to learn or have knowledge of Morse code to obtain a standard or any other grade of amateur licence.

Learning some pretty heavy electronics theory and put in many months of study to pass a pretty difficult exam. Well that’s the way it used to be, but not any more. October 2005 saw the introduction of the new standard grade syllabus and it is easier than the old novice license. It is now in line with the world standard for the middle grade licence and you can use your standard grade licence in many countries that have reciprocal licensing with Australia . A current list of countries with reciprocal licensing agreements with Australia can be found on the ACMA website.

Just complete a training course with as little as 20 hours training and at the end of the course a 50 question multiple choice examination, a multiple choice regulations examination and if you do not hold a foundation licence, practical test and a few days later yours on the air with your new standard grade licence.

The Standard Licence provides a great opportunity for young people to expand an interest in communications technology and can be a solid launching base to a rewarding career in science, electronics, and communications.

But most importantly standard licence will expand your horizons if you are upgrading from a foundation licence. It provides an opportunity to communicate with people all over the world as it allows for the use of more bands and higher power than the foundation licence. You will also be able to make and or modify your own equipment, as a foundation licensee must only use standard, unmodified commercial amateur radio equipment. The standard grade licensee can use the 20-meter band and can therefore join one of the several very popular maritime nets.

The standard Licence makes an amateur radio Licence upgrade from the foundation licence very achievable with around 20 hours study

Things You Will Need To Know

You will need to be able to correctly answer correctly 35 of 50 multiple-choice questions based on the standard syllabus, a copy of the syllabus can be downloaded from the link on the right hand menu bar of this page and a similar regulations assessment based on the LCD (Licence Conditions Determination), a copy of which can be also downloaded from the link on the right hand menu bar of this page. Alternatively if you already hold qualifications, which would allow you exemptions in training, then you can apply for recognition of prior learning from the WIA, details are on the WIA website under Become A Radio Amateur > Australian Amateur Licensing And Callsigns > Recognition Of Prior Learning Assessment.

Radio Bands You Can Use

The standard licence operator can operate in the bands listed below using
the modes listed in the right hand column.

Frequency Permitted Emission Modes
80 Metres 3.500 – 3.700 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 8 kHz
40 Metres 7.000 – 7.300 MHz
20 Metres 14.000 – 14.350 MHz
15 Metres 21.000 – 21.450 MHz
10 Metres 28.000 – 29.700 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 16 kHz
6 Metres 52 – 54 MHz
2 Metres 144 – 148 MHz
70 Centimetres 430 – 450 MHz
23 Centimetres 1240 – 1300 MHz
13 Centimetres 2400 – 2450 MHz
6 Centimetres 5650 – 5850 MHz


You will also need to complete an assessment as soon as you feel you have completed the training. The price for the standard assessment, regulations assessment and practical assessments are $70.00 for each assessment. ($35.00 each if you are under the age of 18), if you this licence is your entry point into amateur radio you will need to complete a practical assessment as well. The SRESU can provide assessors or a full list of assessors can be found on the WIA webpage. The Standard amateur radio license is issued by ACMA and the license cost is currently $73.00 per year, or $49.00 for a license variation fee if transitioning from an existing license.

The new licence structure introduces a practical assessment that is common to the three grades of licence. The practical assessment is required not only for foundation but also for standard and advanced licence grades. However a practical assessment only needs to be completed once, so by successfully completing a practical assessment as part of your foundation licence you will not be required to repeat it should you decide to upgrade to the standard or advanced licence grades. Even if you are an existing licenced amateur who received your licence before the requirement for a practical assessment was introduced and you wish to upgrade your licence, then you too will need to complete a practical assessment if you have not already done so.

Upgrade from Foundation to Standard License

Many Foundation Operators find the upgrade path relatively easy after only a short period of operation.  The increased power and frequencies alone are worth the effort.  The fun of working the digital modes is also worthy of consideration.  Yes you can start at the Standard License if you are a little tech savy.

The SRESU suggests that you consider the Standard Cram course offered via the Radio and Electronics School. This training is offered via two CD’s and will run on most Windows PC’s.  if you spend a little time each night you can achieve the required knowledge in 4-6 weeks.  Many of our Standard Cram and Exam Course students use this material to prepare for the standard assessment.

See: if you wish to purchase these. CD’s.
For more general info on these CD’s or to discuss booking an assessment, please  contact the training officer via the contact us page on this web site.

The costs associated with the assessment is governed by agreement between the ACMA and Australian Maritime College (AMC). The Standard licence is issued by ACMA.. This is reviewed annually.  Multi-year licences are available.