FAQ’s

1. Foundation Course

1. How Often Does MLARS Run Its Foundation Courses?

We plan to run two Foundation Courses every year – one in the spring and one in the autumn. A Foundation Course takes place over several Friday evenings (usually 5 or 6 depending on nature of the course the exam being on the last evening). Sometimes we will run additional courses if demand is high. However, we are all volunteers and arranging to be free at other times takes planning. Hence, we cannot provide courses on demand.

Our Foundation Course is designed for candidates who have no prior knowledge of the subject but who are keen to obtain a UK amateur call sign. Thus, the practical elements are integrated with the theory sessions over the duration of the course.

If you already possess a completed, signed assessment sheet which another, RSGB registered assessor has issued within the last year, then you may just sit the exam. However, you must produce this signed assessment before registering for the exam through MLARS. (We need to see the original document at least 14 days in advance to verify the validity of the document)

2 . Do I Have To Attend The Course – Can I Not Simply Take The Exam?

If you have a technical background and consider that, you are well versed in the technology you do not need to attend a course as such.

However, as about 50% of the Foundation Course comprises practical assessments. And you may not sit the exam unless a registered assessor has signed off these practical assessments

3 . I see online that the licence is free. How Much Does the Course Cost and why?

Yes, the licence is free. HOWEVER, the exam is not in order to obtain your licence from OFCOM you must pass and examination, this is administered by the RSGB (in the UK). The purpose of the exam is to ensure that the licensee has the relevant knowledge and understanding to operate within the legal term and conditions of amateur radio. The cost of the course comprises several elements:

A –   The RSGB/Ofcom examination fee (currently £27:50 at September 2018);

B –    You Must become a club Member (current fee is £20 per year)

C –   The club has a weekly fund, (£3.00 per attended meeting)

D –    Any books you choose to purchase

4 . Where Do You Run the Course?

We hold the course at the clubrooms, Courses at Newarthill Community Education Centre, High Street, Newarthill, ML1 5JU.  Friday evenings

5. What Are The Start And Finish Times?

We start at 19:00 hrs. We finish not later than 21:00. You get an indicative result by about 20:30 hrs on the exam day after we have marked the scripts.

6. How Soon Do I Obtain My Call Sign Following Success In The Exam?

The optical mark sheets and scripts go back to the RSGB for verification on the first working day following the examination.  Once your paper arrives at RSGB HQ they, will usually, be processed after 6 working days have elapsed and then your official result will be posted to you and uploaded to the Ofcom system.  Results are not available any sooner. You do have to validate your licence details every 5 years (or sooner – if you move house for example.) The Ofcom website will tell you all about the licence conditions.

7. May I “Have A Go” Before The Course?

Yes!  As you will be registered as a Foundation Candidate, we can let you operate under supervision as part of your training. This is also a good opportunity to ask questions and familiarise yourself with the protocols and procedures we use as well as learning a bit about the equipment itself.

8. Do I Have To Become A Member Of MLARS Before I Can Take The Course?

Yes, we require all candidates to be members of the club this helps offset the costs (room hire, equipment, etc.) the club offers more than the mandatory training.
As a new amateur, particularly if you do not have a technical background. A with every club it has a membership with years of collective knowledge and experience. Club members will always be very happy to help you choose your own equipment and assist you practically with “putting your new station on the air”. (Aerials, feeders, testing etc.) In the event that you have any problems then someone in your club has probably solved them before – you just have to ask.
If you intend to use the local repeaters (GB3KV for example) for mobile operations, then the etiquette is to join the repeater group to help fund the cost of running the repeaters.

9. Can I Take the Intermediate and Full Licence with MLARS Later On?

Yes, we do offer this facility. However, the process is slightly different. You will largely self-study within a framework of structured tutorials covering the syllabus. Because these two courses use significant club resources, we limit enrolment to paid up MLARS members. (i.e. you have to be a payed up member of MLARS.) By arrangement with your home club, members of the RSGB/ARRL temporary residents in area may attend training.

10. How Should I Prepare for The Foundation Course?

The course is based around the RSGB book “Foundation Licence Now!”  This will cost you about £5 from the RSGB online bookshop. It covers all the information you need to pass the exam.

11. How Do I Register To Attend A Foundation Course With MLARS?

The first step is to come along to a club night and find out more. The training team will be able to advise you on the likely start dates for courses and , if required, send you an e-mail about four weeks or so before the course commences. On the first night you are required to Complete an EX200 Form (This will be provided).

NB! If you are under 16 years of age your parent/carer/legal guardian must countersign the EX200 form.

12. I Am Registered as Disabled (Or I Have Special Needs) Is Taking The Course Still Practicable For Me?

We hope yes.

The RSGB recognizes that a different approach is more suitable for some candidates. Regrettably, the clubrooms are not accessible to wheelchair users. An alternative room is available by prior arrangement only. Readers, scribes and carers are recognised as essential help in gaining a licence for some candidates. Provided that the RSGB have received in advance written notice of the arrangements necessary for taking the exam and which are supported by a GP’s or doctor’s letter (or agreed equivalent) then the examination is available to you.

The MLARS team, by arrangement, will be happy to bring the practical assessment aspects of the course to a housebound candidate. Similarly, special arrangements for an examination at another location may be arranged by prior negotiation with the RSGB.

Please contact the MLARS in the first instance if you need special arrangements.

2. Intermediate Course

1. How Often Does MLARS Run Its Intermediate Courses?

3. Advanced Course

1. How Often Does MLARS Run Its Advanced Courses?