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 you 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 courses 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 an examination comprising of twenty six multiple choice questions. 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 taken the exam you get your indicative result, which will be confirmed by the RSGB, When you have been issued with your pass certificate, you can then apply for your own individual M6 series callsign and you will be able to operate on all bands 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.