Full Licence

Two men assembling a radio antenna tower

You have worked hard to get your amateur radio licence, and have progressed through to being an Intermediate Licence holder

Maybe you are ready now to take on the UK’s ultimate amateur radio qualification: the top exam leading to the issuing of a Full Licence!

Many privileges and responsibilities come with a Full Licence, including a higher power limit and operating in many other countries without further formal application.

Operator standing by transmitterThe course

We are not going to pretend that getting a Full Licence will be trivial.

A technical exam has to be passed that requires serious study for success, so you must be prepared to invest a good amount of time and effort in your studies.

When studying for this top level exam there is no requirement to take a formal training course, but we would strongly recommend doing so.

It is possible to study at home on your own or at a local amateur radio club or at a college; many run courses or offer exam venues specifically for this examination. There are also distance learning courses available of programmed study, tutor marked assignments and YouTube videos. A list of online courses can be found on our Online Training Resources page. You can also use our Course and Exam Finder to find a club that will provide the Full course near you.

The clubs and training organisations may or may not charge for their services, the RSGB recommends you check thoroughly before committing to sign up to a course.

The exam

Assessment is by a written or online examination paper of 58 multiple choice questions each with four possible responses.

The examination lasts two hours and is available with 10 days’ notice

For the Full exam there is a fee of £45.00. You must have passed the Intermediate exam before taking it.

Note that following the implementation of the updated 2019 Syllabus the “Advanced” examination was renamed the “Full” Licence Examination


What happens after the exam?

Exam supervisor with candidateUnlike the Foundation and Intermediate, Full examinations completed on paper are not locally marked but sent to RSGB headquarters for electronic marking. Those candidates sitting the examination online will receive their results at the end of the examination together with detailed feedback upon their performance.

Results for paper based exams will be issued six working days after receipt, and also sent to Ofcom.

Your certificate of success and HAREC certificate will be issued a few days later. In the case of online exams these will be issued within 6 working days from the date of the examination.

You may apply for your Full Licence on the Ofcom website free of charge.

Visit the Ofcom amateur radio pages to find out more about applying for an amateur radio licence.

Ofcom will then issue you with your new, upgraded radio licence and you can get started immediately on the Full Licence frequency allocations.

For radio amateurs receiving a Full Licence is a very proud moment, indicating as it does that their skills and knowledge of amateur radio have been tested to the highest level possible in the UK.

A whole new world awaits of global operating, contesting and expeditions.

Finding help where you live

The RSGB is organised in regions and there are volunteer Regional and District Representatives across the UK. To find out who is your nearest representative take a look at our Regional Team information. They will be very happy to answer questions or give you advice on your next steps.

To find out more about the Full licence call the RSGB Examinations Department on 01234 832 700 and we will be pleased to answer your questions.

The RSGB wishes you the best of luck as you start the final leg of the journey towards being a Full licence holder.