I returned to Perth late on Friday evening having spent the week with my colleague Glenn VK4DU and the staff of The Australian Maritime College in Launceston Tasmania: the new supplier of Amateur Radio Assessment and Call Sign Services.
The College is part of the University of Tasmania and holds full educational accreditation at all levels.
The college has an 18 year history of successfully and with almost no complaints delivering assessments and call signs for marine communications.
- Amateur Radio Assessments and call sign allocations will continue with only a minor interruption.
- There will be little initial change in the delivery of assessments and the AMC will be in contact with all the current assessors as soon as it can to explain how the process will occur. Goodwill of the current team is considered critical.
- Despite rumours, there will not be a significant increase in cost for those wishing to obtain a certificate of proficiency or call signs.
- The current tiered structure of licences and call signs together with the underlying educational syllabus will not change in the short term and the ACMA through the College has outlined a methodology for engagement with the sector so that there will be engagement in any changes that may be proposed for the future.
Finally and perhaps most importantly for those directly engaged with assessment and call sign allocation is that the previous excessively onerous and bureaucratic business rules developed by the previous provider have been swept away in the new deal. This allows the College far greater degrees of freedom to introduce modern methodology for assessment and call sign management with the full approval of the regulator.
This can only be of benefit to the hobby and is probably the most exciting development in the last 20 years. I hope that you will be supportive of The Australian Maritime College and its advisors and faculty made up of radio amateurs such as yourselves but also with people who have professional experience in delivery and assessment in technical fields.
This is Andrew VK6AS