05 – Paperwork and payments

The Amateur Radio Examinations scheme requires some administrative paperwork. The main forms required are:

  • Exam Centre Registration (covered in specific guide)
  • Registered Assessor Application (covered in specific guide)
  • Foundation/Intermediate Candidate Practical Assessment Record (covered in specific guide)
  • Foundation/Intermediate Instructors Practical Assessment Record (covered in specific guide)
  • Candidate Application Form (covered below)
  • Request for Examination Papers (covered below)

Candidate registration

Candidates undergoing training, even if self-taught, must be registered with the RSGB to receive their individually named examination papers; and to facilitate Licence application once they have (hopefully) passed.

Foundation candidates must also be registered onto the training course to allow them to operate radio equipment under supervision.

For all levels of examination, registration is by the Candidate Application Form (CAF), which is available in paper format, or can be downloaded from the RSGB website.

Candidates should be requested to fill out these forms. Parents or guardians of candidates under 16 must also sign the form to indicate their consent.

Under normal circumstances completed CAF forms are to be given to the local Examination Secretary, NOT sent direct to the RSGB. The only exception is where a member of RSGB Headquarters Staff acts as Exam Secretary (e.g. at the RSGB Convention).

Ensuring that candidates know what to expect

In order to minimise the chance of any misunderstanding, it is good practice to provide candidates with written details of the dates, times and venue for all classes, assessments, and examinations.

Some Training Providers do this by drawing up a formal contract; others do this through a joining letter. There is no mandatory requirement to do either; but experience shows that some form of written notification does reduce the likelihood of any misunderstandings. It also provides an opportunity to check if the candidate has any special needs, and that they are not a ‘disqualified person’.

If a Training Provider wishes to have candidates sign a separate form for such purposes they may of course do so; but duplication of the information on the CAF should be kept to a minimum.

Request for Examination Papers

This is done using the Request for Examination Papers (REP) form which is completed by the Examination Secretary.

The completed REP form is sent to RSGB Headquarters together with all of the CAF forms received from candidates, and the appropriate payment/details of prepaid exams. Payment of RSGB Examination fee is required at this stage; applications received without payment details of prepaid exams will not be processed.

The REP and CAF forms must arrive at RSGB Headquarters no later than 10 working days before your Foundation or Intermediate exam date, or one month before your Advanced exam date. Where exams have been prepaid, e-mail copies of the CAF and REP forms are acceptable. If the examination application includes a candidate(s) with special needs then at least 6 weeks notice is desirable to ensure that any necessary support is available.

For short courses this means that the RSGB forms and payment may need to be despatched well before the course begins. This means that there is no opportunity to gauge whether a candidate will be ready for the examination.

For courses taking place over a longer period of time, examination fees may be collected and despatched nearer to the examination date, in order to spread the costs to the candidates, and to allow the Trainer to gauge exam readiness. This is more likely to be applicable to Intermediate and Advanced rather than Foundation training courses, due to the longer run of the courses.

Payments, fees, discounts and expenses

The RSGB publishes a scale of fees for each exam level, available on their website. These are payable per candidate at the same time as the Candidate Application Forms and Request for Examination Papers are sent in. There are no discounts for age or RSGB membership, etc.

Different Exam Centres take payment in different ways. Some will take in fees from candidates and send a single combined cheque to Headquarters, others will require candidates to provide cheques/postal orders made payable to the RSGB with no need for the Exam Centre to make any separate payment.

Candidates may pay for examinations online from the RSGB Shop. Candidates are issued with an invoice/receipt number which they must provide to the Examination Secretary with their Candidate Application Form.

Examination Secretaries may collect payment from candidates and then purchase multiple exams on line. This allows for credit/debit card payment in a single transaction.

Trainers, Examination Secretaries and Invigilators normally carry out the training, assessments and examinations as volunteers, and do not accept any payment for their services other than appropriate out-of-pocket expenses, if any. However, there is nothing to stop a commercial organisation marketing professional training for profit if the market will support it.

Training Providers may include a small fee per candidate “for club funds” or similar, but this should be kept at a low level. The intention is to ensure that there are minimal financial barriers for candidates to train for and sit the Amateur Radio Examinations.

Some Training Providers may have costs that need to be reimbursed by the candidates; for example:

  • Hire of training and exam venues
  • Teas and coffees
  • RSGB books; and perhaps other training materials
  • Instructor incidental expenses

Some Training Providers may choose to subsidise all or part of these and similar costs from other activities or funds, but for many this will not be possible. Where any such costs need to be reimbursed by candidates, they should of course be totalled and divided equally among the total number of candidates. Such arrangements are between the candidates and the Training Providers; RSGB Headquarters Staff do not get involved unless they are hosting the examinations.

Trainers are entitled to a discount of 35% on bulk purchases of ten or more training textbooks. The numbers can be made up of any combination of Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced books so long as ten or more are purchased together. This is not shown on the RSGB Bookshop website so it is worth ordering over the telephone.

Some Training Providers require candidates to obtain their own textbooks in advance of the course so they can read through the material in advance, particularly for short ‘weekend’ courses. This removes the opportunity for students to benefit from the trainers’ discount for bulk buying, but it does mean that candidates are not rushing through the book.

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updated 2016-07-17 G5FM