Yesterday (May 15, 2020) the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (Anchorage ARC VEC) coordinated its 100th remote amateur radio examination/session since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. The first examination under the new remote examination system was administered on 3/24/2020 to KD9OML located in Chicago, IL, and was an upgrade from General Class to Extra Class. Volunteer Examiners (VEs) on that inaugural session where Kent Petty (KL5T in Anchorage, AK), Lara Baker (AL2R in Anchorage, AK), Keith Clark (KL7MM in Anchorage, AK), Brandin Hess (AL6I in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick), and Charles Andrews (W5AD in Sealy, TX). Our on-site proctor was Mr. Jared Smith.
Since administering that very first remote exam, the Anchorage ARC VEC has been hard at work expanding its team of VEs, modifying and streamlining its processes and procedures, and coordinating with the FCC to ensure that their program passes muster. They are committed to running a clean, solid, reputable program, and are confident that the only way to conduct these exams to ensure the integrity of our process and to comply with Part 97 of the FCC rules is to indeed have on-site proctors. Their proctors are vetted and held to high standards because they view them as trusted agents and the linchpins of their remote testing program. They believe they need on-site proctors so that the entire examination area can be monitored for the duration of the examination. The remote VEs observe the examinee and the area immediately behind the examinee through the computer’s webcam, but the proctor has eyes on the remainder of the room or area for the entire examination.
They have received applications from 40 states, Puerto Rico, Antarctica, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Jordan, Germany, and Spain, they administered the very first remote examination to a visually impaired examinee, and they are extremely pleased to serve our U.S. military and DoD personnel whether stationed in the U.S. or overseas. It is the intention of the Anchorage ARC VEC to focus services in the future on our active duty service personnel, veterans, and on those with special needs. They currently have a team of 17 highly trained “remote” VEs who administer remote examinations almost every day.
The Anchorage ARC receives many generous requests from HAMs wishing to assist as proctors. Their advice to the HAMS is to simply have anyone they know who wants to take a remote examination to name/nominate them (the HAM who wants to help) on the application for remote testing. The Anchorage ARC VEC will then reach out to nominated HAM with a simple proctor application/agreement and request a government-issued photo-ID and a signed, official copy of their amateur radio license. Unfortunately, Novice and Technician license class holders are not eligible to be proctors.