Getting a Canadian amateur radio certificate

At the ARRL Centennial convention, Connie pointed me toward the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) table after she spent some time talking to them. I spoke to George/VE3YV about RAC and amateur radio in Canada, and in the process learned that because I’m still a Canadian citizen and not a US citizen, reciprocity doesn’t apply to me so I can’t play radio while I’m in Canada.

We talked about me getting a Canadian amateur radio certificate (it’s not a license anymore) while I’m back home in Edmonton in September. Certification exams are given by Designated Examiners (DEs) and if I can find one while I’m home, I should be able to take the test.

Canadian amateur radio certificates come in two flavours: Basic and Advanced. The Basic test is 100 questions with a pass mark of 70%. If you get over 80%, you’re awarded a Basic with Honours (or Basic Plus) certificate. The Advanced test is 50 questions with a pass mark of 70% and gives you the full privileges.

Like the VEC program in the US, Industry Canada publishes the question pool for both tests so preparing for the tests would be a matter of collecting the appropriate materials and reviewing them and the questions.

I’ve had a very quick look at a few of the questions in both pools, and it seems to me the level of knowledge required for the Basic certificate is about the same or maybe a little bit more than the General class license in the US, while getting an Advanced certificate requires a little more electrical and radio theory than the Amateur Extra class.

I’ve got a couple of months to study and get ready. Piece of cake.