Established in 1984​

Early in 1984, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to terminate their testing in the Amateur Radio Service and turn the function over to the amateurs themselves. Thus, the VEC Program was born, appropriate rules were written, permitting Volunteer-Examiners (VEs) to conduct the testing. To reduce their span of control, the Volunteer-Examiner Coordinator (VEC) function was established to act as an intermediary between the VEs and the FCC. At the outset, there were 21 VECs. Currently, there are 14.

The Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio Group (GLAARG) was formed as a nonprofit organization in May 1984, dedicated to the coordination of amateur radio license examinations at minimum cost to the examine. We signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the FCC, at that time, and coordinated our first examination on June 6, 1984 (55 examinees).

The VEC accredits amateurs as VEs. It approves VE teams to administer exams for new and upgraded applicants for Amateur Radio licenses. It prepares and distributes examination materials, provides instruction and training materials to VE teams, reviews the results of examination sessions, maintains records, and electronically files the results with the FCC. The FCC grants the privileges earned.

The VEs have the lion’s share of the task. They establish a test facility, proctor the examinations, maintain order, resolve disputes, collect fees, grade papers, issue certificates, decide when accommodations are in order, verify identification documents, and deal with the public. Without them, the program would come to a shuddering halt! As of 2020, due to the pandemic, we now have remote exam session managers. They must manage an online sharing system – like Zoom, have good internet access, and of course, must be accredited by our VEC. They must be computer savvy and be able to be comfortable using the website – exam.tools (patent Richard Bateman). Session managers are no longer limited to GLAARG VEs who are able to be in-person at their sessions. With use of a system like Zoom and the online testing platform, we are able to use VEs across multiple states or even stationed internationally in the same session, fully remote or hybrid. Our remote testing is available in all states.

In 1988, the FCC allowed each VEC to recover their expenses in conducting and processing an exam session. Currently, GLAARG charges each examinee the same amount regardless of class of license or how many successful exams are taken in one sitting. Applicants may be allowed to retest 1 time after a failing grade at the discretion of the Session Manager. This retest will incur an additional exam fee including those who qualified for a waiver on the initial exam. Our exam fee is currently $10 except for qualifying waivers.

At the end of each year, our VEC will determine whether these fees are matching our expenses. Fees can be changed yearly.

1 47 CFR, PART 97, SUBPART F, “Qualifying Examining Systems”

GLAARG is a member of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators


GLAARG VEC administers amateur radio exams dedicated to the coordination of amateur radio license examinations at minimum cost to the examine.


Since April 2020, most of our exams have been online (remote) – our exam teams have done 1000s of them. We have teams of VEs that hold remote, in-person, and hybrid sessions across the county and the world.