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Online Course Catalog

Online Course Catalog

Review the course descriptions for information about course content and for instructions on how to enroll.

Online Course Catalog

  • Click on the Course Title for a Full Description

    You''ll find information about pre-requisites, course fee, course length, course requirements, equipment or resources you'll need, as well as a course syllabus and examples of course activities. 

  • Introduction to Emergency Communication (EC-001)

    Course #: EC-001


    This is a revision of our former Emergency Communications Basic/Level 1 course. 


    Cost: Members $50               Non-Members/ Guests: $85


    Description. This course is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. The course has 6 sections with 29 lesson topics. It includes required student activities, a 35-question final assessment and is expected to take approximately 45 hours to complete over a 9-week period. You will have access to the course platform at any time of day during this 9-week period so you may work according to your own schedule. You must pace yourself to be sure you complete all the required material in the allotted time.


    Course Completion Requirements. At the end of the course an online final assessment is taken.  A score of 80% or better is required for successful course completion.  For the student to receive a "Pass," Mentors must also verify student completion by evaluating work on required activity assignments and notify the Continuing Education Program that the student has successfully completed both the course work and achieved a satisfactory score on the final assessment.


    Computer Requirements. This is an online course hosted on the Moodle online learning platform. This online learning platform is best accessed using the Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers.


    Prerequisites. Before you begin the course you should have completed the following prerequisites. These courses provide a foundation for the content of this course.  These are free mini-courses you can take online at

    Please note: When you enroll for this course you will be asked to provide your date of completion of these courses.  


    Course Requirements. This is a mentored course. You will be assigned to correspond with an experienced radio amateur who will be your resource for any questions you have about the course content. Please review the Student and Mentor Expectations included in our Policies for Online Courses.


    1. Complete the course pre-requisites noted above.


    2. Read each learning unit of this course, and test yourself with the questions at the end of each unit.


    3. Contact your mentor as you begin the course and share the work you have done for the designated course activities as you proceed through the course. Feel free to ask questions and engage in dialog with your mentor using the Moodle online learning platform communication and discussion tools.


    4. When you are ready, take the final exam at the end of this course. A passing score is 80% or better. Your mentor will decide if you have met  the requirements to successfully complete this course. This will depend on your completion of the course pre-requisites, assessment of your work on course activities, and successful completion of the final exam.


    Course Syllabus

    Section 1: The Framework: How You Fit In

    1. Introduction to Emergency Communications

    2. Amateurs as Professionals

    3. Network Theory and Design

    4. Emergency Communications Organizations and Systems

    5. Served Agency Communications Systems

         A. Served Agency Communications Systems

         B. Working Directly with the Public  


    Section 2: The Networks for Messages

    6. Basic Communications Skills

    7. Net Operations:

         A. Basic Net Operations

         B. Introduction to Emergency Nets

         C. Net Operating Guidelines

         D. The FCC Ruling on Drills and Employees

    8. The Net Control Station

    9. Net Control Station Operator Practices

    10. The Net Manager

    11. Introduction to the National Traffic System

    12. Specialized Net Operations

    13. Severe Weather Nets  


    Section 3: Message Handling

    14. Basic Message Handling – part 1

    15. More Basic Message Handling – Part 2


    Section 4: What Happens When Called

    16. The Incident Command System

    17. Preparing for Deployment

    18. Equipment Choices

    19. Emergency Activation

    20. Setting Up, Initial Operations and Shutdown


    Section 5: Considerations

    21. Operations & Logistics

    22. Safety & Survival

    23. ARES PIO: The Right Stuff

    24. Alternative Communication Methods

    25. What to Expect in Large Disasters

    26. Hazardous Materials Awareness

    27. Marine Communications  


    Section 6: Alternatives and Opportunities

    28. Modes, Methods and Applications

    29. Other Learning Opportunities

    Final Assessment    


    Student Activities 

    Here are a few examples of typical suggested student learning activities in the course.


    1. If you were asked to develop a Statement of Understanding (SOU) between your local emcomm group and a local served agency, what general topics would you include? Share your ideas with your mentor.


    2. Inquire as to the existence of a CERT or similar team in your area. Contact members and interview them about their role. Who would be the person in your area to contact to learn about local education and training opportunities available with their program? Share what you find with your mentor.


    3. Many nets open and close their sessions with a standard script.  Listen in your local net and discuss with your mentor the language fo the opening and closing script used


    4. Identify at least three emergency nets (days, times, frequencies) that operate in your area, including an NTS net if possible.    


    To register for the course

    For information about course sessions and to enroll go to our registration page.

  • Public Service and Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs (EC-016)

    Course #: EC-016


    Description. This course is designed to train licensed Amateur Radio operators who will be in leadership and managerial roles organizing other volunteers to support public service activities and communications emergencies. In this course you will learn how radio amateurs prepare and organize to support local community events, and, working in coordination with governmental and other emergency response organizations, deploy their services to provide communications when needed in an emergency.  


    This course is made available on our Web site to all ARRL members. It is a self-study course that you may complete at your own pace. 


    This is not a course which you can easily complete in a weekend - it is not intended to be. If you are currently serving in a leadership role in your local ARES organization or are training to assume more management responsibility, you may want to complete the final assessment for this course and earn the certificate of completion validating your study.   Students who successfully complete the curriculum activities and receive their certificates will indeed be ready for leadership roles in situations where lives and property are at stake. 


    We understand that you are volunteers and "amateurs." Your and our interest in this training is to provide the best possible assistance to our communities when our services are needed. Thank You! for all that you do. 


    Prerequisites. Before you begin the course you should have completed the following prerequisites. These courses provide a foundation for the content of this course. 


    • ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1/ Basic (EC-001)
    •  Skywarn Training

    And the following Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) courses: ·        

    Throughout this course you will find additional FEMA courses that are referenced as preparation for topics within the course.  The additional courses required are within the FEMA Professional Development Series, which includes the following:



    The following courses are recommended but not required:


    Course Syllabus.

    1. Amateur Radio Relevance in a Changing World

    2. Key ARES Management Positions

    3. ARRL Field Staff and Section Level Support Positions

    4. ARES Management and the Incident Command System

    5. Review of Basic Net Operations

    6. Health and Welfare Traffic Management

    7. Digital Options in Message Handling

    8. Working with Served Agencies

    9. Building Your ARES Organization

    10. Training

    11. ARES and the Media

    12. FCC Rules on Emergency Communication 


    Student Activities. Here are a few examples of typical suggested student learning activities in the course. Develop a list of topics or questions you would use to guide the post-emergency debriefing.  

    Consider the modes that do and do not have forward error correction or other ways to assure that their transmissions are correctly received. Match these modes' utility in deployments and activities in which you have participated in the past. Which ones could have worked out well? Why - or why not?  

    Prepare a presentation outline you could use in talking to public safety leaders about your own group.  

    To enter the course, click here.

    To apply for the final assessment and certificate  you will need to document completion of the prerequisites listed above, obtain a recommendation from your Section Manager and pay an administrative fee of $35. For more information on enrolling for the final assessment and certificate, click here.
    Learn More

  • PR-101: ARRL Public Relations (EC-015)

    Course #: EC-015

    Description. This is a basic training course for PIOs and anyone interacting with the media and promoting Amateur Radio.

    This course is designed to give hams a quick overview in public relations activities. It uses the skills of experts in various aspects of public relations to provide volunteer Public Information Officers with the basic skills and expectations that a PIO needs to know to be effective in their home region. PR-101 covers everything from the basic news release to Web sites and video work.

    This course is available--free!-- online, or can be purchased in CD format from the ARRL store.
    Learn More