Direct to Full License

A place to discuss the amateur radio licence, training and examination.
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Mikel
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Direct to Full License

Post by Mikel »

Want to go direct to the full licence without messing about with Foundation and Intermediate just like they used to in the ‘good old days’?

Well that’s the proposal, and I have heard from people in the know, who are high up the RSGB food chain, that it may be similar to old City and Guild RAE, that was discontinued in 2003!

The ‘discussion’ is in an advanced state apparently and the conversation I had with someone who’s name and callsign I can’t disclose sorry, informed me that this proposal has a lot of support from many quarters (OFCOM?), especially with the introduction of the web based exam system and could save a lot of time and money for all concerned.

And no it’s not April 1st, and to prove it, the RSGB consultation on the new Direct-To-Full Amateur Radio exam is now live on the RSGB website:

http://rsgb.org/direct-to-full
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Mikel
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Mikel »

For those that have not had time to look at this,these are the key points:

• A single 75-question multiple-choice exam (2.5 hours)
• You can take the exam online at home
• No need to take Foundation or Intermediate exams
• Theory-only, no practicals required
• Pass mark 50/75 (67%)
• UK Full callsign within a about week
• An exam pass will give you the internationally recognised HAREC qualification so will most likely attract overseas interest.

I wish this had been available in the past as I would have gone for this instead of the 3 tier approach - just my luck.
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EssexHam
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by EssexHam »

That looks surprisingly like our summary Mike! Our full look at the proposal, plus comments we've had so far, can be found here:

https://www.essexham.co.uk/direct-to-full.html

The consultation on this runs until the 14th of March, so make sure you respond by then.

Pete
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Mikel »

EssexHam wrote: 18 Feb 2021, 11:46 That looks surprisingly like our summary Mike! Our full look at the proposal, plus comments we've had so far, can be found here:

https://www.essexham.co.uk/direct-to-full.html

The consultation on this runs until the 14th of March, so make sure you respond by then.

Pete
Your looks like mine you mean obviously :thumbup:

Yes respond to the consultation but this will be going ahead - trust me ;)
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by EssexHam »

Agreed - this will be happening, and probably fairly soon.
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Mikel »

It is crazy really, almost like going back to square one.

Many complain that no notice was taken of opinions given in the infamous Litmus test, so perhaps this time notice has been taken of what many wanted all along.

Whatever the reason, I think there is definitely a place for this provision, it won't be for suitable everyone obviously, but it will be good to have it available.
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Whisky1 »

It seems a good idea, why make someone sit 3 exams if they are capable of 1 that covers the lot.
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by bigpimp347 »

Whisky1 wrote: 20 Feb 2021, 12:11 It seems a good idea, why make someone sit 3 exams if they are capable of 1 that covers the lot.
i've known people who thought they were capable of passing the dimwits foundation and failed.
how does anyone know they are capable..
that's why there's a tier system.
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Metradio »

Many years ago I took the single exam RAE, I was doubtful if I would pass but ended up passing no problem..

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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Mikel »

Some people just don't deal with exams very well and there is nothing they can do about it.

There is a woman I used to sit next to in work who got so stressed out the night before the exams we had to sit for work, that her doctor prescribed her with Benzodiazepines (formally known as Valium) to calm her down and help her sleep.

Didn't do her any harm mind you, she is my manager now.
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by paulears »

I'm 100% in favour. I note that the exam I took in 1980 had the same formulii - and it seems a well put together proposal - but one thing worries me. I'm an ex-college lecturer, and ex-examiner and towards the end of my education career I worked for a couple of exam boards and wrote qualifications at Levels 2 through 6. What really worries me is the suitability of on-line exam taking once you get above level 2 - and a rough read of the spec places it at Level 3+ So A Level and a bit in terms of breadth of content and difficulty, plus the requirement to not just remember facts but be able to process them.

How would security be established? It's a hundred quid for the exam, so not a small sum - so how do they stop an enterprising ham taking the test for thicker people? On-line exams are always abused. A family member has to take an on-line exam for work. They sit at home with their partner/children/parents and do a communal exam, and what they don't know, they Google - or phone a friend. This must NOT be allowed to happen, but I fail to see how? So I'm fully in favour of this move, but fully against it without some element of security.
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by bigpimp347 »

here's a real crazy idea....

drop the foundation all together.
bring back a two part RAE style test.
limit the licence to above HF only.
to gain access to HF introduce a HF based only test,

and what about actually paying a yearly fee for a licence ??

i wonder if the numbers of passes will drop or the standards of the operators will increase ;)
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by NicolaJayne »

bigpimp347 wrote: 26 Feb 2021, 12:42 here's a real crazy idea....

drop the foundation all together.
bring back a two part RAE style test.
limit the licence to above HF only.
to gain access to HF introduce a HF based only test,

and what about actually paying a yearly fee for a licence ??

i wonder if the numbers of passes will drop or the standards of the operators will increase ;)
given the 'standards' of operation from some who are clearly 'A' licence holders it might actually be more pertinent to bring in assessment based revalidation , especially given the number of RAE holders who give very poor advice to Neophytes and don;t understand the difference between ERP / back of the set power/ PEP and power/ PEP at the feedpoint
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Tim Tom »

paulears wrote: 25 Feb 2021, 23:14 I'm 100% in favour. I note that the exam I took in 1980 had the same formulii - and it seems a well put together proposal - but one thing worries me. I'm an ex-college lecturer, and ex-examiner and towards the end of my education career I worked for a couple of exam boards and wrote qualifications at Levels 2 through 6. What really worries me is the suitability of on-line exam taking once you get above level 2 - and a rough read of the spec places it at Level 3+ So A Level and a bit in terms of breadth of content and difficulty, plus the requirement to not just remember facts but be able to process them.

How would security be established? It's a hundred quid for the exam, so not a small sum - so how do they stop an enterprising ham taking the test for thicker people? On-line exams are always abused. A family member has to take an on-line exam for work. They sit at home with their partner/children/parents and do a communal exam, and what they don't know, they Google - or phone a friend. This must NOT be allowed to happen, but I fail to see how? So I'm fully in favour of this move, but fully against it without some element of security.

Did my online foundation exam the other week (and passed) you have to present your drivers licence or passport as a form of ID. Along with using the Web cam to scan the room to show nobody else or no notes stuck on the walls etc.

Also, it's a radio exam, not the entrance exam into the marines, they're not going to go over the top with security and there's only so much they can do
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Re: Direct to Full License

Post by Mikel »

Tim Tom wrote: 26 Feb 2021, 23:16 Did my online foundation exam the other week (and passed) you have to present your drivers licence or passport as a form of ID. Along with using the Web cam to scan the room to show nobody else or no notes stuck on the walls etc.

Also, it's a radio exam, not the entrance exam into the marines, they're not going to go over the top with security and there's only so much they can do
Yes, I think your right and in fact as you probably know, to sit the Intermediate and Full at home it is even more strict as you must have 2 computers with 2 web cams running, one that needs to be set up off to the side which allows the invigilator to see you seated at your desk or table as well as you having to scan the room and provide photographic ID prior to starting the exam and on top of that, for all levels two or three days before their exam candidates will receive an invitation to join the Invigilator on a video call.

I assume that a similar setup will be in place for the new exam.

I sat an online a few years ago for work purposes, the Level 3 certificate in IT user skills (ECDL Advanced)

The final exam took place in a local examination centre run by the the local college and there were strict exam protocols in place and constant supervision so unless you were telepathic it was pretty much impossible to cheat!

However the courses and exam cost my company a hell of a lot of money and if you want to attract a wide range of people into the radio hobby then perhaps things have to be done slightly differently?

Only my opinion obviously and some will disagree, but that is what debate is all about.

The RSGB Candidate instructions which describe the strict requirement for the present remote invigilation system are in the document below:

https://rsgb.services/public/exams/docu ... ctions.pdf

Congratulations on achieving your Foundation by the way, but if you want to go for your Intermediate and need another computer with a web cam, then I can't help you i'm afraid because all my machines run on Linux and you can't use Linux to sit the exam at home and I don't intend on going back to Windows any time soon.

In fact this is the only criticism I have of the whole process and I assume this will be the same for the new Direct to Full exam.
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