Education Department – Course Information 2023

Course Name: Preparing for the Canadian Amateur Radio Examinations (page updated 2023-02-23)

For more info and registration contact us: Contact Form

The next in person course is scheduled for 2023-03-01, Wednesday evenings from 18:00 to 21:00 in Colwood at Emery Hall. The official exam will take place on 2023-04-19 at 18:30.

At this time we have one spot remaining with 31 students against a maximum of 32 (Eight 2 meter tables with 4 people to a table). We plan to run another course in 2023 September – October.

Our examiner says: “Taking an amateur course is a good idea but not mandatory.” He does perform examinations for self studied students. An option for anyone who does not wish to wait until 2023 October, is to order the study guide discussed below, and practice with the exam questions available at: When you believe you are ready, send an email using the above Contact Form and our examiner will make arrangements with you. You could also become a WARA member and participate in our Public Service activities (such as the Victoria Marathon radio safety communications) to gain some practice by pairing up with some of our experienced operators before your examination.

In person course details:

Take Victoria’s amateur radio course, sponsored by the Westcoast Amateur Radio Association, and become a qualified Amateur Radio Operator. This course will guide you through the process of learning the material required to pass the Canadian Amateur Radio Certificate Exam Basic Level. You will have access to a variety of different forms of radio communications including, voice, digital voice, Morse code, packet and many more on VHF and UHF bands.

In addition, a passing grade of 80% or more will also get you the designation of Basic with Honors, giving you the privileges of operating a ham radio station on the long distance HF frequencies (30 MHz and below).

Some of the more exotic things a ham operator can do include:

  • Talking to the International Space Station
  • Use internet-via-radio to talk to Antarctica, Australia, Asia, or Europe
  • Practice Moon bounce and satellite communication
  • Explore solar flux
  • Contact Japan / Australia / Brazil / Western Europe / all of the US and Canada using just 5 Watts with the FT8 digital modulation
  • or just talk to friends in Victoria, Canada, and the whole wide world!

Most of the local municipalities and cities within the Victoria area have emergency amateur radio communication groups.  This is a great place to make connections with fellow ham operators, learn new skills related to the hobby and to provide a valuable service to the community in the event of significant emergency in the area.

Our course will be a guided tour of the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Guide– 9th Edition 4th printing produced by Coax Publications (green book). Over an 8-week period we will have classroom sessions once per week where we will have qualified radio operators guide you through the learning sessions. There will be hands-on opportunities to operate and learn with ham radio equipment. There will always be time for questions during each class. We encourage students to take advantage of the experience of the instructors.  If they don’t know the answer to your questions, they will certainly be able to help find it.

Our classroom sessions will include review of the readings from the book and on the requirements and regulations surrounding the operation and use of Ham radio stations.  We hope to provide a comfortable and friendly learning environment. We encourage participants to get to know each other as this will give you a small group of friends who will be going on the air at the same time as you. Consequently, you need never wonder who you can call to test out your brand-new radio – simply call one of your classmates or instructors! The connections you will make during the course can follow you for many years as this is a hobby that promotes interactions with fellow operators.

During the course, we will also be arranging opportunities to visit ham radio operators in their home “shacks” as well as ride-a-longs to experience operating in a mobile environment. Each student should get an opportunity to listen and talk on some various types of equipment and bands.

The examinations come around all too soon. The last of the 8-week sessions will include a brief and last-minute review period and then onto the examination.  Each student will write the Basic exam and will know the results shortly after.  Once you pass your exam and get a call sign you are good to go on the air and start enjoying this exciting new hobby. Although we will not be covering any of the Advanced Certificate material in our course there will be an opportunity for those who are interested, and prepared, to write the Advanced exam or the Morse code exam. Additional requirements to study for the Advanced level and Morse code exam can be discussed with the instructors.


  • Individual $100 per person (2022 August rates)

Tuition Includes:

  • 8 evening classroom sessions
  • Visits to home and mobile stations with local hams
  • Examination fees for Basic and optional Advanced examinations taken on exam day
  • Associate Membership in WARA (valid up to renewal time in December)

Note: Students are required to purchase the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Guide – 9th Edition  (available from for 45 CAD plus shipping).

As well, they should download the following documents from Government of Canada Web site.