2024 Licence Changes – Guidance for Students

Ofcom Licence ConsultationThis page is intended for students studying for a UK amateur radio licence before September 2024.

In February 2024, we saw some changes to the amateur radio licence, which will affect amateur radio exam questions. Here is what you need to know.

What’s happening?

Ofcom has recently allowed some exciting changes to the licence to give amateurs more freedom and more power.

These changes came into effect on the 21st of February 2024 with the release of a new licence.


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.


How does this affect my study?

The RSGB had planned to bring in an updated exam syllabus shortly after the new licence was released, but due to various planning “issues” at the RSGB, the new exams have slipped and now won’t be ready until September 2024.

This means that although the new licence conditions are now live, you won’t be examined on the new licence conditions until 1st September 2024.

This is not an ideal situation, as it means that we have to teach you out-of-date licence information for several months until the RSGB is able to catch up. It also means that we can’t recommend their Foundation Training Manual. as this is also out-of-date.

How this affects you depends on when you are planning to take your exam:

Taking the exam before 1st September 2024?

  • You will still be examined on the OLD licence conditions. As we’re here to help you pass the exam, that means that our online course is having to teach you the old licence conditions. Not ideal, but we’re here to help you to pass the CURRENT exam, even though there have been recent Ofcom changes.

Taking the exam on or after 1st September 2024?

  • You will be examined on the NEW licence conditions. Courses from August 2024 will be updated to cover the NEW syllabus to line up with RSGB’s delayed new exams.

What are the licence changes?

From 21st February, here’s what’s changed – these items won’t be examinable until September 2024, to allow the RSGB 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
  • Foundation licence holders can now build their own transmitters
  • Foundation now have access to 2.4GHz and 5GHz (max 2 watts)

Watch our video summary of the Feb 2024 changes:


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…


  1. Stephen Berry 16 February 2024 Reply
    • Spoon! / SarahC 29 March 2024 Reply
  2. Scott Groves 15 April 2024 Reply
    • Pete Sipple Pete M0PSX 15 April 2024 Reply
  3. Scott Groves 16 April 2024 Reply
  4. Tanya Lindsay 12 June 2024 Reply
    • Pete Sipple Pete SippleAuthor 13 June 2024 Reply

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