view ARRL Online Course Catalog

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. 

Completion of the free ARRL EC-016 “Public Service & Emergency Communications Mgt” is required for completion of the Level 3  portion of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) Emergency Communicator Individual Task Book. To download a free copy of the Task Book:

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 Agency (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:  

Final Assessment & Certificate. Students must submit an application in order to take the Final Assessment and earn a Certificate. The application includes a reference from your Section Manager and documentation showing completion of the pre-requisite courses. For complete information and an application form:

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 register for the EC-016 course click here.