Updated: October 4th, 2019
If you would like to become a Volunteer Examiner (VE) with the Anchorage ARC VEC, here is how to go about becoming certified.
If you meet the following list of requirements, then you can make application to become a VE:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must hold a valid FCC-issued Amateur Radio license of General, Advanced, or Extra class
- Your license must have never been revoked or suspended for cause
- You must agree to abide by the policies and procedures set forth by the Anchorage ARC VEC
Testing privileges by license class
- EXTRA class license holders can give tests for everything (Elements 2, 3, and 4)
- ADVANCED class licensees can give tests for Technician and General class only (Elements 2 and 3)
- GENERAL class licensees can give tests for Technician class only (Element 2)
- TECHNICIAN, NOVICE, and CONDITIONAL class licensees are NOT permitted to be Volunteer Examiners with the Anchorage ARC VECNote: As of April 15, 2000, no new tests are being administered for ADVANCED or NOVICE class licenses. Individuals holding such licenses may renew them as long as they wish. Also, testing for Morse Code is no longer required.
Applying to become a Volunteer Examiner
You apply to become a volunteer examiner by entering some personal data, such as your name, Amateur call sign, mailing address, and contact information on a standard application form. You must certify that certain statements on the form are correct and that you agree with the terms and conditions detailed on the application form.
The application for becoming a Volunteer Examiner is available as a web or paper form. Paper forms are included in exam kits that have been mailed out for those who are interested. Use the provided form to apply to become a VE with the Anchorage ARC VEC. Be sure you read the form and agree to the conditions it contains before signing and submitting it. If you do not agree with these conditions, we cannot accept your application.
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the Anchorage ARC VEC Chairman to confirm you are indeed eligible to become a VE. As soon as your application is approved, you will be sent a link to take the online examination.
There is a 30 question, open-book examination that must be completed which can be taken online through a link provided by the VEC Chairman, or if an applicant does not have access to the internet, a paper application package can be mailed out. This examination is intended to make sure new volunteer examiners are familiar with the basic requirements and procedures of the volunteer examiner program. A score of 80% is required to pass and missed questions will be reviewed with the applicant prior to being accredited.
Effective September 1st, 2019 you MUST reside within any of the regions where we currently offer exam sessions prior to submitting an application. At this time, we are offering testing in Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts. If you live in an adjacent state or Canadian province/territory that is within reasonable driving distance to assist a team in any of the states we serve, you may also apply to become a volunteer examiner in our program. Amateur radio clubs and individuals with testing teams elsewhere are required to contact the Chairman directly if interested in joining our VEC program.
Important information on maintaining your accreditation with the Anchorage ARC VEC
To maintain your status as an active volunteer examiner in our program, you are required to participate in two examination sessions every 18 months. Those sessions do not have to be done immediately after becoming accredited. Your accreditation as a volunteer examiner will need to be renewed every 18 months.
Our renewal process is simple. The volunteer examiner will be contacted by the VEC Chairman within 30 days of expiration date via email or postal mail verifying contact information, indicating the number of exam sessions they have participated in and also asking if they want to remain in our program. If the intent is to remain in our program, the VEC Chairman will send a letter via postal mail indicating such and also provide a date when their accreditation is up for renewal. This will apply to all volunteer examiners, including Lead VE’s. If there is no reply within ten (10) days after expiration date, the volunteer examiner will be immediately dis-accredited from our VEC program and must undergo the process again if the intent is to become accredited, as outlined in Part 10, Sec. B. of the VE Guide.
There are a few exceptions to the rule. One pertains to military personnel. If you are on active duty military service, national guard or reserves and have been given orders to transfer out of our service area, a signed letter must be sent to the VEC Chairman within 60 days of PCS date indicating a change of location. In that letter, the service member shall notify the VEC Chairman of their intent to remain in our program upon returning to Alaska or another area in the Lower 48 States where we offer testing.
If the intent is given to remain in our program, the VEC Chairman will list that individual on an “unavailable“ status, thus indicating that the person is still actively accredited but currently out of area. Upon return to Alaska or another area in the Lower 48 States where we provide testing, a letter to the VEC Chairman indicating the return date shall be included. No re-accreditation process shall be necessary and the 18 month rule does not apply in this case. The volunteer examiner will be allowed to serve without restriction immediately upon their return to our testing service area.
The other exception to the 18 month rule applies to seasonal residents. Many amateur radio operators have a home in Alaska and spend a portion of the year outside the state during the colder months. In our effort to keep the interest of our volunteer examiners and maintain an active list, our policy is that the VEC Chairman must be contacted in writing, whether it be email or postal mail within 30 days of departing.
In that letter, the volunteer examiner shall indicate a return date, if applicable or an estimated time of return to Alaska or another area in the Lower 48 States where we provide testing to ensure the VEC knows when to place you on an active status again. Upon the return of a seasonal resident, they shall notify the VEC Chairman and reinstatement of active volunteer examiner status shall be granted.
There will always be a possibility where other situations come up and a volunteer examiner may not have availability to serve, regardless of circumstance. The Anchorage ARC VEC understands that a person may need to step away for a while, whether it be medical related, family related or anything else we can imagine. In situations where any volunteer examiner needs to be placed on an “unavailable“ status for a while, a brief letter to the VEC Chairman needs to be provided.
All that is asked is for a brief explanation as to the reason to be placed on an “unavailable“ status and your intended date to resume serving. If the return date is beyond the expiration date of accreditation, the VEC Chairman will, after review of the circumstances, issue a letter indicating that the volunteer examiner will remain accredited with the understanding given that contact must be made with the VEC Chairman to be placed on an active status again.