Training & Exams

Amateur Radio (Ham radio) in the UK is controlled by the UK Government through Ofcom. If you want to become an Amateur and gain a UK
Amateur callsign you need to sit an amateur exam. The exams are set at three levels : Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced.

You would start off by passing the Foundation level exam which is the entrance level. It is not possible to skip a level and go for a higher level.
This requirement is laid down by Ofcom and is out of our control.

The exam papers come from the national body, the Radio Society of Great Britain who handle exams on behalf of Ofcom. Riviera Amateur Radio Club can provide training for the Foundation and Intermediate licence exams.
The exams also have practical elements which must be completed prior to sitting the exam. These are assessed by our RSGB registered assessors. The Club also has two RSGB-registered Exam Centres.
Please note that training is run by volunteers and as such times & dates need to fit in with those involved.

Exam costs

Foundation exam          £27.50
Intermediate exam       £32.50
Advanced exam             £37.50

Evening training sessions.

We usually run training as a number of evening sessions on club nights at the club venue. Assessments and Exams are again taken on an evening session.

At this time, Riviera ARC makes no fee for providing training to full club members.  All they pay is the RSGB exam fees (which are out of our control and subject to change) and a share of the venue hire fee for training evenings and the evening of the exam.

The club has limited resources, training & exams are run by volunteers. We can provide training, assessments & exams for non members but they will have to be charged an administration fee of £20 on top of the RSGB exam fees. Regrettably this is non negotiable.

Weekend training sessions

A weekend course & exam requires at least two trainers, two invigilators, an assessor and the exam secretary.

Please make sure that you have read and understood the Foundation NOW handbook before the weekend as many people who approach the course without having done so often find the material difficult and statistically speaking do not fare as well at the exam.

We can organise weekend training courses for the Foundation licence exam however the venue hire costs need to be met by the candidates, a minimum of six candidates would be necessary.

Please enquire about the costs to

Self training

It is possible to train yourself by following the Foundation Licence NOW manual but we would only recommend this to people with some form of relevant background experience. You should double check your level of Maths ability if you intend to go it alone.

You will need to get your practical assessments signed off by an RSGB registered assessor. You can not take the exam without a properly signed off practical assessment record sheet.

For this please contact either the RSGB South West Regional Manager (Martin Sables) or the Riviera club at rivieraarc DOT gmail DOT com to find out where the closest assessor is.

Pass or Fail ?

After you have sat the exam, the invigilators will check your paper on the night and tell you your mark (Foundation and Intermediate only). This is only an indicative mark which has to be confirmed when the papers get marked at RSGB headquarters.
If you have passed then you will receive your pass certificate in the post a little while afterwards. RSGB take a minimum of 10 working days to process exam papers starting from the date they receive them.

Once you have your certificate you can apply for your callsign on the Ofcom website. We will tell you more about how to do this later.

Intermediate Licence training

We can provide Intermediate training for club members on a number of evenings on club nights. Regrettably it is unlikely that we could provide weekend courses for the Intermediate due to the amount & complexity of material involved in the course.
We simply do not have the resources to do so.

We are evaluating the use of an online virtual training environment (Edmodo) to make handouts, videos and quizzes available to supplement classroom sessions. Your instructor would give you an access code when you join your course.

You will need a scientific calculator for use in the Intermediate training. We recommend the Casio FX-83 or FX 85. Your instructor will demonstrate how to use it during the training. Please direct any enquiries about Intermediate courses to

It is unlikely that there will be any new Intermediate courses before mid 2018 due to club committments with other events. Please enquire via email to for more info.

Advanced Licence training

At the current time, we are not running formal training for the Advanced courses but we do recommend the Advanced Distance Learning course for the Advanced exam run by Steve Hartley G0FUW and the Bath & District Amateur Radio Club. His email is

We can administer the Advanced exams in Torquay, they are now bookable on one months notice, this is an RSGB requirement not ours.

For more information or to register your interest in a course, please email the club.

Please note you cannot skip a level and go straight into a higher level exam without having first passing the lower level(s). This is a requirement from Ofcom and therefore we cannot do anything about this.

RSGB Resources – You can download the syllabus from the RSGB and/or buy the course books from the RSGB shop. The course books are also available elsewhere but please make sure to get the most up to date version. You will need a copy of the relevant book.

Your trainer may have copies of the relevant book and/or calculator for sale at the start of your course.

Foundation Licence
Intermediate Licence
Full Licence

Riviera ARC has adopted the RSGB Child Protection Guidelines in regard to Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Exams can be held at our exam centre at the Precinct Centre, St Marychurch which is RSGB-registered.

Exams passed with Riviera ARC

Year Foundation Intermediate Advanced Year Total
2013 2 2
2014 2 2
2015 2 2 2 6
2016 4 2 1 7
2017 5 3 1 9
Total 15 7 4 26

The following have gained their amateur radio licence with Riviera ARC

Year Licence Name Callsign Formerly
2013 Foundation Lobster M6HFD SWL
2013 Foundation Bob M6DFY SWL
2014 Foundation Ann M6RWJ SWL
2014 Foundation Ian M6IDP SWL
2015 Foundation Connor M6XTK SWL
2015 Intermediate Ian 2E0IDP M6IDP
2015 Intermediate John 2E0JNP M6GSW
2015 Foundation Trevor M6XON SWL
2015 Advanced John M0JNP 2E0JNP
2015 Advanced Ian M0IDP 2E0IDP
2016 Intermediate Trevor 2E0XOL M6XON
2016 Foundation Ted M6OSM SWL
2016 Foundation Jay M6TQY SWL
2016 Advanced Trevor M0XOL 2E0XOL
2016 Foundation Andy M6KFO SWL
2016 Foundation Sebastian M6HNH SWL
2016 Intermediate Ed 2E0OSM M6OSM
2017 Foundation Roy M6XDV SWL
2017 Intermediate Andy 2E0IVB M6KFO
2017 Intermediate Phil 2E0WZP M6HTD
2017 Advanced Ted M0WTA 2E0OSM
2017 Foundation Debbie M6IXR SWL
2017 Foundation Stewart M6XXS SWL
2017 Foundation Rick M6PZT SWL
2017 Intermediate Stewart 2E0XXS M6XXS
2017 Foundation Mark M6XXY SWL