09 – Carrying out the Foundation and Intermediate practical assessments

BYouth1111Some trainers build these into the training sessions whilst others run specific assessment sessions in addition to classroom training, or where candidates are self-taught by private study.

The only requirements are for them to be completed to the standard required before the examination; and for the Candidate’s Practical Assessment Record to be signed off as completed by the RSGB Registered Assessor. Supplies of the Candidate Practical Assessment Record forms are only available in hard copy from the RSGB Examination Department.

Foundation and/or Intermediate candidates must be issued with a Candidate’s practical assessment record before the assessments begin. These are completed task by task.

Any suitably qualified Trainer can carry out the Assessments and sign off each task, but only an RSGB Registered Assessor is empowered to sign off the final completion statement.

Where ‘deputy’ assessors are used it is for the RSGB Registered Assessor to satisfy themselves that the standard attained by each candidate is sufficient before signing the bottom of the Record to confirm the Assessments are complete. If there is any doubt, more training/mentoring should be given to the candidate concerned.

Additional guidance on the syllabus requirements and how to carry out the assessments is available on the RSGB website.

The completed Candidate’s Practical Assessment Record is to be handed to the candidate once signed off by the Registered Assessor. A completed Candidate’s Practical Assessment Record is a pre-requisite for candidates sitting the relevant Amateur Radio Examination. Candidates must be instructed to keep the completed form in a safe place, and to take it to the examination.

The Registered Assessor is also required to complete an Instructors Practical Assessment Record, which is available to download from the Exam Forms page of the RSGB website. The completed form should either be sent direct to the RSGB Examination Department, or handed to the First Named Invigilator for return with the relevant completed examination scripts. Where candidates from an assessment session are sitting exams at different times or venues it is best to send the completed Instructors Practical Assessment Record to the RSGB Examination Department.

Foundation levelspecific requirements

The Foundation Practical Assessments require:

  • A Full Licence holder to supervise the use of Radio Equipment in accordance with the UK Licence for on-air contacts and for tuning an antenna. This person does not necessarily have to be an Instructor directly involved in the training.
  • A Morse Assessor. This person does not necessarily have to be an Instructor directly involved in the training, but must have demonstrated competence in sending and receiving Morse Code, by ear, at a speed of at least 5 words per minute
  • A Registered Assessor to oversee the assessment process and sign off the candidate’s record

The issue of the Foundation Candidate’s Practical Assessment Record by an RSGB Registered Assessor is sufficient for the Course to be designated as a ‘Recognised Foundation Training Course’ under the terms of the UK Amateur Radio Licence; so allowing the candidates to operate Radio Equipment under the supervision of a UK Full Licence Holder.

There is no limit on the number of supervised QSOs a candidate can make during the approved training course. Several sessions may be necessary before a candidate feels comfortable. Trainers/Assessors should take particular care to ensure that their candidates are competent to hold a QSO before signing off any of the relevant assessments.

NOTE: A group ‘mock QSO’ without radios before the assessment training can be very useful in overcoming the ‘microphone shyness’ that seems to afflict so many! The use of licence-free PMR446 radios is another good way to introduce newcomers to good radio operating techniques.

Intermediate levelspecific requirements

The Intermediate Practical Assessments require:

  • A Registered Assessor to oversee the assessment process and sign off the candidate’s record

The Trainers/Assessors involved in the Intermediate Practical Assessments must be competent to do so. Those holding Full Licences and those with work-based experience in a relevant field (e.g. a school physics teacher) are automatically deemed competent.

It is acceptable for Intermediate Practical Assessment tasks to be completed away from the direct supervision of the Trainer/Assessor (e.g. at home). However, the assessor must take reasonable steps to ensure that the candidate has completed the task(s) before signing them off. Asking for a repeat or partial repeat under supervision may be necessary to demonstrate competence.

For the construction project, Trainers/Assessors must be careful to ensure that it is the candidates who have actually completed the bulk of the construction work themselves. Where the project is completed without direct supervision, careful questioning on how the work was done, what problems they encountered, etc. can assist in this.

Candidates with special needs

See general requirements for Training and Assessment

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updated 2016-07-17 G5FM