Official Observer (OO)
Please note: The ARRL and the FCC are currently working together to update and to make changes to the Official Observer/Amateur Auxiliary program. Because of these expected upcoming revisions and changes, ARRL has placed a moratorium on applications for new Official Observers and new Official Observer Coordinators at this time.
The Official Observer (OO) program has been sponsored by the ARRL for more than 85 years to help Amateur Radio operators assist each other to operate their stations in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
Official Observer appointees have assisted thousands of Amateur Radio operators to maintain their transmitting equipment and comply with operating procedures and regulations. The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs of operating and technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC and to recognize good operating practices.
The OO program serves as the first line of "eyes and ears" for the FCC. It is the backbone of the Amateur Auxiliary. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.
The OO performs his/her function by observing rather than transmitting. They keep watch for such things as frequency instability, harmonics, hum, key clicks, broad signals, distorted audio, over deviation, out-of-band operation and other potential problems. The OO completes his/her task once the notification card is sent.
In substantive rule violations cases, OOs refer problems to ARRL HQ. After review by HQ staff, the OO may be requested to provide additional information that may be forwarded to the FCC for possible enforcement action.
- Reporting to the ARRL Section OO Coordinator monthly on Form FSD-23.
- Sending out advisory notices as needed.
- Submitting good operator reports as warranted.
- Recommendation of ARRL Section Manager
- Pass an examination based on study of the ARRL's Amateur Auxiliary Training Manual
- Full ARRL membership
- Technician class license or higher for at least four years
Recruitment of new hams and ARRL members is an integral part of the job of every ARRL appointee. Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster growth of Field Organization programs, and our abilities to serve the public.