General Rules for HF awards

The following general rules and conditions apply to HF certificates and awards issued by the Radio Society of Great Britain and should be read in conjunction with the conditions which govern the particular award programme.

Applicant eligibility

1. Claimants from the UK, Channel Is and Isle of Man must be members of the RSGB and, as proof of membership, should provide a recent address label from Radio Communication. Applicants from elsewhere need not be members.

2. Claimants may be either licensed radio amateurs or short wave listeners. All certificates, but not plaques, are available on a “heard” basis to listeners.

Claim eligibility

3. All claims must be submitted in a form acceptable to the Awards Manager. Where application forms are provided for particular award programmes, these should be used although a computer generated form including the same headings will generally be accepted. Each claim must include the following signed declaration: “I DECLARE THAT all the contacts were made by me personally from the same DXCC country and in accordance with the terms of my radio transmitting licence, and that none of the QSLs have been amended in any way since receipt. I accept that a breach of these rules may result in disqualification from the award programme. I further accept that the decision of the HF Committee shall be final in all cases of dispute.” 4. All claims from within the UK, Channel Is and Isle of Man must be accompanied by QSL cards. Claims from elsewhere must also be accompanied by QSL cards but only in the case of those categories of award attracting a plaque. In all other cases a statement from the applicant’s national society that the necessary cards have been checked will be accepted except that the HF Awards Manager reserves the right to ask to see some or all of the cards. For IOTA claims special rules apply (see the IOTA Directory). 5. Each claim must be accompanied by a fee of £3.00 or US$6.00 or 9 IRCs per certificate or class of certificate. Stickers are £1.00 or US$2.00 or 3 IRCs each. Applicants submitting cards for checking must include sufficient payment to cover their return. Cards will only be returned by air, recorded delivery (UK only) or registered mail (overseas) if adequate postage is enclosed. For registered mail add US$5.00 or 7 IRCs.

Contact eligibility

6. All contacts must be made by the holder of the callsign.

7. Contacts may be made from any location in the same DXCC country.

8. Except where otherwise indicated, credit will be given for contacts made on or after 15 November 1945 on any of the amateur bands below 30 MHz.

9. Contacts with land mobile stations will be accepted, provided the location at the time of contact is clearly stated on the QSL card.

10. Credit will be given for two way contacts on the same mode and band, ie not cross-mode or cross-band. Certificate endorsements for single mode transmission and/or single band may be made on the submission of cards clearly confirming the mode or frequency of transmission, but the request must be made at the time of application. Special rules apply for IOTA.


11. The submission for credit of any altered or forged confirmations or, equally, bad behaviour on or off the air which is judged by the HF Committee to bring a particular programme into disrepute may result in disqualification of the applicant from all RSGB’s award programmes. The decision of the HF Committee on this and other matters of dispute will be final.

Islands On The Air (IOTA)

The IOTA programme was created by Geoff Watts, a leading British short wave listener, in the mid-1960s. When it was taken over by the RSGB in 1985 it had already become for some a favourite award. Its popularity grows each year and it is highly regarded among amateurs worldwide.

Visit the IOTA site for details of the IOTA awards.

Applications for Awards (other than IOTA)

All claims, except for IOTA, should be sent to the RSGB HF Awards Manager.

Prepare your application in accordance with the requirements of the award being claimed. Send QSL cards when required and don’t forget to enclose details of your name, callsign and full address as well as the certificate fee and adequate postage for the return of cards. Payment may be made by a cheque drawn on a UK bank and made payable to RSGB.