Foundation Online – Amateur Radio Training Course

As part of our quest to make it easier for new people to get into the hobby, Essex Ham offers a free Foundation Online Amateur Radio Training Course. Please take a look at the following short video to find out more about our course:

Our Internet-based amateur radio training course launched in 2015 and is designed to help newcomers to get started in the hobby.

Online Amateur Radio Training?

  • Do you want to study at home? Distance-learning course could be for you
  • Want to know what the exam is like? Have a dry run of a course before taking the plunge
  • Already on a club’s course? Great – our online course can help with revision
  • Need extra help? Struggling with a particular topic? Perhaps our videos or handouts can help
  • Struggle to learn from a book? Our course is a little more interactive.
  • Can’t find a local club to help? Our UK online courses run every month
  • The course is also useful for you if you can’t make regular courses, want to study at your own pace, or have a limited budget. Our course is free.

Note – Those looking to get an amateur radio licence will need to complete the Foundation practicals with a registered assessor, and sit the Foundation multiple-choice exam at one of the many centres in the UK. Clubs and assessors around the UK can help with training courses, practicals and exams. This course is intended to compliment other training in the UK, not to replace it.

The Foundation Online Course

Our online course is split into nine modules, each one with a full walkthrough of what you need to know for the syllabus, plus a short test at the end to make sure it’s all going in.

Essex Ham's Online Foundation Training Course

Essex Ham’s Foundation Online Training Course

The online Foundation course is supplemented by downloadable material, videos and training slides, and much of the content is based on our popular (and free) Foundation Training Slides, as used by several clubs across the UK.

We’re using an industry-standard Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver the course. Foundation Online has been designed by an RSGB Registered Trainer who has been involved with training for multiple amateur radio groups.

Courses currently run once a month, starting in the first week.
They typically run for 3 weeks.
Current Course: Started early August
Next Course: Starts 1st week in September

Enrolling on Foundation Online

We’re not charging for our online amateur radio training course. It’s free to join, and you don’t need to be a member of an amateur radio club to sign up.

If you’re currently studying for your Foundation, or are planning to start learning, please enter your details below, and we’ll be in touch with details of the next course.

Apply for Foundation Online
If you are interested in joining an upcoming Foundation Online course, please complete the following form. We will then send you our course summary, and ask you to confirm when you’d like to start.

Your Full Name
Your Email
Location (Town, City)
First half of postcode
When & where are you planning to take your Foundation exam?
Why are you interested in amateur radio?
Where did you hear about this course?
(if online, which site?)
Are you under 16?
(Supply email address for parent/guardian)
Under 16 
Any other information?
I confirm that I am genuinely intending to sit the UK Foundation Exam
in the next six months, and can commit to 2 hours of study a week

Foundation Online Amateur Radio Training Promo

Foundation Online – Your Questions:

Q: Is the Foundation Online course suitable for under 16s?

Our amateur radio training course has been created with adult learners in mind, however the course material is child-safe. Note that the online software used to deliver the course does have an unmoderated forum where students can discuss the course. The course organiser, Pete M0PSX is a RSGB-registered assessor and holds a current DBS Enhanced Certificate. Under 16s are welcome to join, but we require a parent or guardian’s consent

Foundation Licence Now BookQ: Is there anything I need as part of the course?

You’ll need a web browser, an Internet connection, and at least 2 hours free time to study each week. We’d strongly recommend you get a copy of the RSGB’s “Foundation Licence Now”, which costs around £5 from Amazon. This is the official book that supports the course, and our online course broadly follows the structure of this book. Foundation Licence Now at Amazon

Q: I’m an existing trainer… would this course be useful?

Very possibly. Whether you’re a stand-alone independent trainer, or involved with training for a club, this could be useful. Your students sign up (for free) and can learn at their own pace in parallel with your own training programme.

If you’re a trainer and are curious about our online amateur radio training course, please contact us and we’ll let you have a look at our test area, so you can see how it all works.

Q: I am outside the UK, can I apply?

The course covers the UK amateur radio Foundation syllabus. If you are intending to visit the UK to sit the Foundation Exam in the next six months, you are welcome to apply, otherwise we would ask you not to apply, so that we can allocate spaces to those in the UK intending to sit an exam.

Q: Do I need to be in front of my computer at a set time for a live lesson?

There are no ‘live’ classroom sessions. We release between 2 and 3 modules a week via our online classroom. The classroom will email you to let you know that a new lesson is available, and you can complete them whenever’s suitable.

Q: Why do I have to wait for a set start date? Can’t I start today? Can’t I do it in a day?

We find that many people learn better if they can study in chunks, not all at once. By splitting the course into 9 sections, we encourage you to tackle the course in small sessions. We also find it helps to have others on the course who also start at the same time, so the modules can be discussed as a group. It’s also easier for us to run.

Foundation Exam Questions:

Q: What practicals do I need to do?

You’ll need to complete five basic practical exercises – they’re straightforward and don’t take long. See our Foundation Practicals Information page for full details, and some videos showing what’s involved.

Q: How do I take my practicals and exam?

You will need to go to a physical location to complete the practical exercises, and you will need to take the Foundation exam at a registered exam centre – local amateur radio clubs can help with this. There is a fee for sitting the exam (currently £27.50), and clubs usually charge a nominal fee to help cover room hire costs. Normally you will not need to join a club in order to take the exam. To find your nearest club, go to RSGB Club Finder

Q: I’m struggling to find a venue for my exam. Can you help?

See our guide to finding a venue for practicals and exam

If you have an imminent exam and can’t wait for our next course to start, we may be able to arrange fast-track access to our online course material. Contact us if you require this service.

If you don’t want to use our structured course, there are plenty of other options. You can buy the Foundation Licence Now book or download our Foundation course slides and study the course material at your own pace, and there are other online courses that offer an instant start, such as Hamtests.

Got a question? Add it in the comments section below, or send us an email

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Foundation Online – Amateur Radio Training Course — 31 Comments

  1. Hi, I’m Steph G4XKH and I’m a trainer/assessor at the Riviera club in Torquay. We love the idea you’ve come up with as we were thinking along similar lines ourseves as a way to bring training in to the 21st century. Could I get a look at your test area to see how you’ve done your material.
    I’m hoping it would give our training team some ideas.

    Best 73,

    Steph Foster G4XKH

  2. Hi there, I’m Mike M0AZE one of the trainers for Sutton Coldfield Amataeur Radio. Our pace of people wishing to enrol for the Foundation exam with the nice issue of following on for the Intermediate. I must confess to using your slides and apologise for not letting you know, I hope this corrects that issue now. I did notice in today’s Radcom you have introduced a distance learning package and I’d be interested to see if that is an alternative we could utilise to those who cannot attend our club?

    Congratulations on being proactive and promoting this great hobby



    • Hi Mike and thanks for getting in touch. Now worries re. the slides – great to hear that you’re finding them useful.

      Happy to let you have a look at our demo area and see if the course could be handy for you and/or your students. Drop me a mail via and we’ll set you up with access.

  3. I Think this is a great idea as all my local clubs are having problems with the foundation training courses at the moment and it will really help my training kjust hope i can get some local help with the practical side now many thanks Graham.

  4. I would be interested in seeing the material if possible as I am looking at ways to align training with the Sea Cadets to enable cadets to take the Foundation Exam if they wish to do so. Our radio training is very close to the RCF syllabus already.

    Many thanks, wish this was around when I was doing my foundation licence!

  5. I’m new(ish) to the hobby and had given up on the idea of ever getting my foundation. I couldn’t do the course at my local club as I work away and they only run the course over a series of consecutive week nights and being away I cant attend. I was looking for somewhere that ran the course over a few days but this seems to be an ideal solution. Now just need to get through it and find somewhere to take the exam – Thanks a lot for this.

  6. Hi Pete,

    I’ve just finished the final module and the end-of-course mock with success. Thank you for letting me take this excellent Foundation Online Course 3.

    I intend to continue studying the materials of this course and some books that I orded a few days ago, such as Foundation Licence – Now!, Intermediate Licence, Advanced – The Full Licence, and Amateur Radio Exam Secrets, all published by the RSGB that I’ll be receiving them soon.

    Remember that I’m very interested in taking the Intermediate Course. Let me know, please.

    Antonio Ubirajara

  7. Hi im been on cc b radio for long time now like to get radioham now im disabled here in ddevon uk thankyou

    • Hi Barry,

      Our course allows you to study the material online in your own home at a time to suit you. You will need to sit some practical exercises and take the exam, normally with the help of a local club.

      If you want to join our online course, please fill in the details in our signup forum.

      Otherwise, see for details of clubs and training courses in your area.

      If you have any questions, please ask! Pete

  8. hi my name is Helen and at the moment I am studying to take the exam but I am disabled with cerapalsy which mean’s my memory isn’t that good and I can easy forget certain stuff that I have learned. is there a way I can remember what I have learned ready for the exam which I’m hoping to take very shortly.

    • Hi Helen,

      From our experience, everyone learns (and remembers) in different ways. There are a number ways that you can study for your Foundation, including:

      1. Reading from the Foundation book
      2. Attending a training session at a local club
      3. Watching online videos (part of our course)
      4. Studying the key points (as seen on our training slides)
      5. Taking mock tests (part of our course, and also at
      6. Working with a mentor one-to-one

      I’m not sure which ones would work best for you – I learnt using a combination of three of the above. It may be a case of trying a few different ways and seeing what works best for you.

      If you’re struggling with any particular aspect, let us know and we may be able to help with a way of remembering it (like the ohms law triangle, or some catchy ways of remembering the callsigns)


      • hi pete Helen here thankyou for your reply I do most of the way’s you have said which are
        1 reading my foundation book
        2 take mock test’s all the time
        3 work with a mentor one on one

        the only problem I have because of my condition not understanding the question they ask on a exam properly mainly ones that’s got to do with numbers or graphs.

  9. Hi all

    Would just like to say a big thanks to Pete M0PSX for running the online foundation course over the last couple of months. I passed my foundation exam on Oct 1st just after the course finished and I must say this course really did help, plus you had on-line materials to help you do a bit of re-visioning.
    Will let you know my call sign when I have it..


  10. Hi, for my sins I am President of the Cornish Radio Amateur Club. We have recently held another Foundation trtaining course with an 80% success rate with just one failing to make the grade by one point!

    Out chief trained is now in his 70’s and, to have a premises suitable for training costs us £50 a session at the weekend so not feasible to offer a refresher for one candidate prior to the re take.

    I suggester to her that she should register with you but there sdeems to be some reluctance to do so, goodness knows why the more poractice the better.

    anywy, would it be possible to have a look at the course (don’t want to register personally as I have been g4usb for 30 years plus)to allay fears? Our chief trainer has been working on a course for training via disc but I think you idea would be more 21st Century.

    Many thanks – Norman G4USB President of Cornish Radio Amateur Club

    • Hi Norman. You’re very welcome to have a look round our test course to get a feeling for if it could work for you and your student(s). Email just about to be sent. Would love your feedback. Pete

  11. Hello,

    I applied for the online course yesterday but got no reply. Can you please let me know how to register for the online course and the time tables?


    • Sorry… We’ve pretty busy with enquiries in the last couple of days, so couldn’t reply instantly. You now should have the details. Any questions, please get in touch.

  12. Is there any recommendation for classrooms with lab based training course on HAM radio certification for mid and advanced levels. I will be delighted if you can send me full details.

  13. Hi recently completed Essex Ham Course.

    Would like to make a donation to Essex Ham in appreciation.

    How do I do this please?

  14. your system looks really useful (good) we are getting more people with disabilities turning up at our club (worksop ammature radio society) particularly with poor vision and some with dyslexia. I would appreciate a look at your training aids which might be useful with the teaching of this type of student particularly any videos which could be downloaded. I hope this is not too cheeky, regards Gary Brotherhood

  15. I hold the call sign M3NDZ and looking to do an on line course for the intermediate licence, do you know of a club or college who might do an on line course or a tutor who is willing to help?
    I live in Stratford upon Avon and not a member of a radio club.

    • Hi Samuel,

      You filled in the form at 9:30pm and were sent an automatic email in reply with course details. Please have a read and let me know if you want to proceed. Pete

  16. I have tried to enrol on this course twice and entered details and don’t get a email which been told about starting training . What can I do I want to start in September .

    Thanks , matt read

    • Hi Matt,

      From our records, you applied first in April, and declined our May and June courses. You asked to join our July course, but didn’t start the course. We had no response to three chases from us in July. You have now registered 4 times in August. As other candidates seem to be receiving emails and have signed up to recent courses, this would seem to point to a possible issue with your email account. You may want to check your spam folder / settings to make sure we’re not being filtered out somewhere.


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