The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the branch of the United States of America federal government responsible for the implementation of laws and the development and enforcement of rules and regulations governing the use of communications technologies, especially those involving radiating energy.  This includes the licensing of individuals for all licensed radio services.  Amateur Radio falls under Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs), Part 97 (97.1 to 97.527).

As specified in Part 97 Section 1, “The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

As described in Subpart F (Sections 501 through 527) responsibility for the actual testing of applicants for amateur radio licences is handled by a small group of organizations known as Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs), one of which is the ARRL.  These organizations in turn qualify individuals to serve as Volunteer Examiners (VEs) who then conduct testing sessions.  SLAARC participates in this volunteer testing process through the ARRL.  See the SLAARC License Exams page for more details.