03 – Training and practical assessments

YOTA6There are no formal requirements for the training of candidates leading up to the Amateur Radio Examinations. Training can range from individuals self-training, to formal classroom sessions.

Whilst there is nothing to stop anyone delivering amateur radio training to others, some of the roles in the training/assessment process can only be carried out by Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) Registered Assessors. Everyone who intends to deliver training to others is therefore encouraged to register as a Registered Assessor. RSGB Registered Assessors do not need to be members of the RSGB, but all are encouraged to join the Society.

For Foundation and Intermediate level, formal training courses for ‘competent’ students may actually be limited to the conduct of the Practical Assessments.

There are a number of practical assessments that must be completed by all candidates prior to sitting the Foundation and Intermediate Amateur Radio Examinations; and these have to be signed off by an RSGB Registered Assessor prior to the exam being taken.

The practical assessments are specified in the relevant Examination Syllabus and include tasks such as operating radio equipment, making measurements and some electronic construction. There are no practical assessments at the Advanced level.

Clubs or Independent Training Providers normally deliver the training and the associated practical assessments. Some Clubs provide the training and send candidates elsewhere for assessment/examination.

If the practical assessments have not been completed before the examination fee is due to be paid, Trainers/Assessors/Examination Secretaries must remind candidates that a failure to complete the Practical Assessments prior to the Examination will prevent them from sitting the paper and the Examination fee will be lost.

Clubs and Independent Training Providers must follow the RSGB guidance on Child Protection. In essence, the training provider must carry out a risk assessment and if the activity falls within the criteria explained in the policy the Trainers/Assessors must be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly CRB checks) or equivalents where applicable. The RSGB will pay for any member to be checked where the need is identified.

Training Providers are advised to invite a parent or guardian of children to accompany them at all times during training.

Candidates with special needs

When training, Trainers should make reasonable adjustments for candidates with special needs according to their individual requirements.

When it comes to the Practical Assessments, Assessors must seek approval for reasonable adjustment to the Assessment from the RSGB Examination Office. At least 28 days’ notice is required.

Adjustments to the practical assessments will entail a discussion between the Examination Standards Manager (or an appropriate person nominated by the ESM) and the candidate in order to determine what is required by that individual. This may also involve seeking advice from the candidate’s professional adviser. It is the candidate’s responsibility to obtain this. A template letter requesting details of what reasonable adjustments would be appropriate is available from the RSGB Headquarters Examination Secretary on request.

The need is not for a certificate of the candidate’s disability, but proper advice from a competent person on what to do about it in order to provide the candidate with a fair assessment. An existing certificate or letter from an appropriate professional adviser and issued within the last year will be acceptable, if the candidate accepts that their needs have not changed substantially in that time.

Once the requirement is known, the RSGB will seek to meet the requirement so far as is reasonable. If the requirement cannot be met, alternative suggestions will be offered.

This process is not quick and it is vital that any candidates that are likely to require reasonable adjustments are made known at an early stage; 6 to 8 weeks is typical for this process to run its course.

It is essential that Registered Assessors do not make their own judgements as this may not be in the candidate’s best interests and could also invalidate the subsequent examination.  The RSGB Examination Office will not issue special examination papers or recognise adjusted practical assessments unless they have agreed them following receipt of the professional advice.

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updated 2016-07-17 G5FM