Is the VE Licence exams here in Australia the new Kellogg’s licence scam? Let’s look at how the VE reciprocal licence works. For a start it is NOT reciprocal as an Australian Advanced Licensee cannot apply for a VE Extra Licence. Yet a US Extra Licensee can apply and be granted an Australian Advanced Amateur Radio Licence.
That aside the procedure is a candidate must sit three exams, Technician, General and Extra for a total of $AU22 as long as they are each passed in order. There is a bank of 712 questions that are all available online to be ‘recognised’ for a total of 50 questions in the Extra exam. Once the three exams are passed in order a US licence is granted and the licensee can then approach the ACMA and be given an Advanced Australian Licence.
Here’s where it starts to get interesting, once somebody has passed the US Extra exam they can the automatically apply and be granted VE Examiner status. There are three Examiners required to hold an exam but they are multiplying like rabbits without any oversight as every US Extra Class Licensee in Australia is an examiner, along with the question bank available online puts us back exactly where we were with the WIA Kellogg’s Licences that ACMA have endeavoured to shut down.
How do we stop the VE Kellogg’s licences from taking over Australian Amateur Radio? ACMA should only recognise VE Licences from US Citizen’s or permanent Residents of the US. Why should an Australian citizen that will NEVER travel outside of Australia have the need to get an foreign licence?
Also is it time for Australia look into multi year or life time licences like many other countries around the world? The Australian Amateur yearly licence fee is the most expensive in the world.