The entry Level is the Foundation licence. This is a new licence that was introduced in January 2002. The Foundation licence is designed to get you involved in amateur radio as quickly as possible. But before you are allowed to transmit 'live' it is important that you know a little bit about how your radio works, the dangers of interfering with other radio users, how not to upset your neighbours or your parents (if you are a young person) and the rules and regulations of holding a radio transmitting licence.
How do you learn these new skills, by taking the Foundation licence training course, which is an integral part of of obtaining a Foundation licence. Most of the training is practical. There is a small amount of radio and electronics theory but only enough for your to appreciate things like using the correct fuses in your equipment and how to build an antenna to get the most out of your radio station.
Don't be afraid of the thought of having to undertake a training course. The course are run in a friendly informal atmosphere by experienced radio amateurs. The course will take about 10-12 hours to complete at the end of which you will sit a twenty five multiple-choice examination. Your exam paper will be marked on the spot and in the unlikely event of failing the exam you are able to sit it again after a short break and some reassuring words from your tutors. Courses are normally conducted at your local amateur radio club or if you're a younger entrant you may be able to take it at your school. Some clubs run the course over a weekend and some over a number of weeks. Once you have passed the exam you get your 'Pass' certificate and you are on your way! When you have been issued with your own individual M3 series callsign you will be able to operate on all bands with the exception of the 28MHz band without supervision but with a power restriction of 10 Watts. This is a fairly low level of power but with the experience you will quickly gain this will enable you to communicate around the world.