2024 Licence Changes – Guidance for Students

Ofcom Licence ConsultationThis page is intended for students studying for a UK amateur radio licence in the first half of 2024.

From February 2024, we’ve seen some changes to the amateur radio licence, which will affect amateur radio exam questions.

What’s happening?

In 2023, Ofcom ran a public consultation asking amateurs about some possible changes to the licence. On the 21st of February 2024, new licence conditions took effect.

How does this affect my study?

There is going to be an overlap period for exams between February and September 2024 where the new licence conditions take effect but the exam questions and syllabus haven’t quite caught up. (See below)

Watch our video summary of the Feb 2024 changes:

What has changed:

From 21st February, here’s what’s changed – these items won;t be examinable until Setpember 2024, to allow training material to catch up.

Most amateurs regard the changes as very positive. Here is a short summary of the highlights:

  • RSLs (e.g. MW7, MM7, MI7, etc) become optional – Except for Intermediate 2x, where the letter will still be mandatory
  • Those in England can add an optional “E” to their callsign at Foundation and Full (e.g. ME7QQQ)
  • Ofcom to cease issuing 2x Intermediate calls – they will be replaced with M8 and M9
  • Any suffix will now be allowed after a callsign (e.g. “M7QQQ/Garden”)
  • Power increases:
    • Foundation: 25 watts (most bands)
    • Intermediate: 100 watts (most bands)
    • Full: 1,000 watts (primary bands)
  • Airborne permitted to a maximum of 0.5 watts EIRP (only on primary bands)
  • Supervision of unlicensed people allowed at all 3 licence levels
  • More flexibility for Beacons, Gateways and Repeaters, and updates to remote and unattended operation
  • A new “Data Station” mode has been added (mainly for machine-to-machine modes)
  • Foundation licence holders can now build their own transmitters
  • Foundation now have access to 2.4GHz and 5GHz (max 2 watts)
  • Other minor tweaks and tidy-ups

When will the licence change?

Now. This changed on the 21st of February 2024

When will the exams change?

The RSGB has announced that exams on or after the 1st of September 2024 will be following the new licence conditions. If you are taking your exam between now and the end of August, the 2023 licence conditions, training material and manuals will be fine.


Keep an eye on this page, sign up to the Essex Ham Newsletter or follow us on the HamHub Patreon community for updates on the changes.

Any questions? Add them as a comment below…

One Comment

  1. Stephen Berry 16 February 2024 Reply

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