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October 31, 2014
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VE Manual : 1.3 The Volunteer Examiner (VE)

Under the several VEC organizations are the thousands of amateurs who make up the Volunteer Examiners of the VE/VEC System. These are amateurs accredited by the VECs to administer Amateur Radio examinations.

VEs must meet certain minimum criteria established by the FCC (see 97.509) and any additional criteria established by their VEC. Accreditation by one VEC does not automatically guarantee accreditation by other VECs (since each VEC program is a separate entity with its own rules for accrediting). Some VEC programs (including the W5YI-VEC) allow VEs from other VECs to be used under certain conditions. (See Section 2.2 in the next chapter for complete details.)

Minimum FCC requirements for VEs in the VE/VEC System as specified in Part 97.509 are:

A VE must be 18 years of age or older. (See 97.509(b))
A VE cannot administer an exam to any relative by blood or marriage (See 97.509(d))
A VE cannot accept compensation for examination services but may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses up to a predetermined maximum. ( 97.527)
A VE must be accredited by a VEC. (See 97.509(b))
A VE must never have had an amateur radio station or operator license revoked or suspended. (See 97.509(b)(4))
VEs must accommodate an examinee whose physical disabilities require a special examination procedure. (See 97.509(k))
Amateur Extra, Advanced and General Class VEs may administer operator license examinations. General Class VEs may administer Element 2. Advanced Class VE's may administer Elements 2 and 3. Extra Class VE's may administer Elements 2, 3 and 4. (See 97.509(b)(3))
A VE session manager (Contact VE or CVE) acts as the team leader, organizes activities at an examination session and carries on liaison between the VE team and the coordinating VEC. (See 97.513)
Volunteer Examiners must be present and observe the examinee throughout the entire examination. It is on this basis that we do not permit blind Contact VEs. A CVE may use discretion on whether they wish to utilize the services of blind VEs to assist. (See 97.509(c))
Volunteer Examiners may limit the number of examinees at a specific exam session. (See 97.509(a))

Volunteer examiners are under no obligation to test anyone should they desire not to for any reason. VEs are not considered employees or agents of the government or the VEC. They have no licensing or enforcement authority. They merely volunteer their services as a private citizen.

VEs agree to hold their VEC harmless in all disputes that might arise and agree to abide by VEC decisions which are final without appeal.

Guidance concerning the activities of volunteer examiners can be found in Part 97, Subpart F. Every Volunteer Examiner must be thoroughly familiar with these Rules.


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