Amateur EMF licence conditions requires that we control our use of RF to protect the public from exposure to EMF above the exposure limits defined by Ofcom in accordance with UK Health Security Agency recommendations that are based on ICNIRP guidelines.
The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (www.ICNIRP.org) issues guidelines for public exposure to electromagnetic fields. These guidelines are widely accepted by governments as the reference for controlling exposure to electric and magnetic fields. The latest edition was released in 2020, superseding the previous 1998 guidelines

It is each UK amateur’s responsibility to comply with their licence conditions. The RSGB EMC Committee (EMCC) has prepared a spreadsheet in which you can fill in the relevant station parameters for each band you use, which is on our EMF webpage. That would then give you the separation distances needed to areas where people are present while you are transmitting. The spreadsheet can be kept as a record that you have assessed your station. An online webpage version of this tool is also available at rsgb.org/emccalculator.

We will also be preparing and publishing a range of guidance notes for those who might want to carry out more detailed assessments for situations when the simple spreadsheet is insufficient for their station setup. In the near-field the simple spreadsheet calculations are inadequate, so we are also developing a set of pre-assessed equipment configurations that will help you meet the ICNIRP exposure limit requirements.

We recommend not to try measuring the field strengths yourselves as such measurements are very variable, require expensive calibrated equipment and careful following of measuring procedures. Do not try to measure EMF’s at full power / high gain antennas / open waveguides as this could expose you to EMF above recommended exposure limits. Do not use cheap meters available on the web as these are unlikely to measure RF exposure and might give incorrect or misleading readings.

Our EMF webpage has guidance articles, a downloadable spreadsheet for basic assessments and an online webpage version of this tool is also available. We plan to develop and make available further aids in due course. The EMF page also has additional background on the topic including our responses to the two Ofcom EMF consultations that were held in 2020.