Lowestoft District & Pye Amateur Radio Club
The Foundation course
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 recognized 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 25 multiple choice questions which you have 45 minutes to answer. Your exam paper is marked on the spot by the invigilator straight after the exam so there is no long wait to know whether you have passed or not. What happens after the Foundation exam? If you have passed the Foundation exam you will receive an official result sheet confirming the pass from the invigilator on the day of the exam. The next step is to register your Foundation exam pass with the UK communications regulator Ofcom, who are responsible for issuing amateur radio licences. 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. Once you have your Foundation licence and have chosen a callsign, you are ready to make your first transmission on the amateur radio bands; an exciting moment. You are now free to operate on all the 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 anywhere in the world.
The UKs Most Easterly Radio Club