The ARRL Code Proficiency certificate has been around for decades. In fact, it's been around longer than the four decades that I have been licensed. But starting next month, there's a new twist. In addition to getting the certificate for successfully copying the W1AW Qualifying Runs, now you'll get your name published in QST.
From the ARRL:
Starting with the August issue, QST will list the recipients of W1AW Code Proficiency certificates. Key manufacturer Vibroplex now is sponsoring the certificates, which debut a new design. The Code Proficiency program has been an ARRL staple for decades. Participants who copy a W1AW qualifying run and submit 1 minute of legible solid copy and the $10 certificate fee can qualify.
Send submissions to W1AW Qualifying Run, 225 Main St, Newington, CT USA 06111. These are checked directly against the official W1AW text, and those demonstrating solid copy will receive an initial Code Proficiency certificate. Endorsement stickers, which cost $7.50, are issued for speeds up to 40 WPM.
The W1AW Code Proficiency Program is open to hams and non-hams alike. Those seeking to attain a Code Proficiency certificate can listen to W1AW daily code practice sessions, in which the text is taken directly from QST, as announced before each practice run.
Cynics will of course, think that this is just another means of the ARRL boosting income generation. They may be right, who am I to argue? But I do think it's kind of neat seeing your name in QST for persevering in acquiring a skill that is not the easiest to attain.
For some people with intrinsic musical talent, learning Morse Code is as easy as falling off a log. For the rest of us, it wasn't or isn't nearly that easy. Personally, it took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to the 25 WPM level that I am at. At least that's what my last certificate shows from some 20 years ago. This newly designed certificate and the ego boost of being able to see my name in QST has me wanting to get at least to the 30 WPM level, if not higher.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!