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  RYA VHF Radio GMDSS Short Range Course  
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Course Info At A Glance
1 Day / 2 Evenings    


Minimum Age

The VHF Marine Radio has evolved in recent times, coming into the 21st Century with new features making it easier to use. 

Previously there was only one channel (Channel 16) used for calling other boats or for distress calls.  Due to increased boat traffic a new system was needed - GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) became fully operational in 1999.

This latest development in marine communications has added a new feature to the VHF radio with the introduction of Digital Selective Calling (DSC). 


This digital system is similar to mobile phone technology, enabling the user to select whoever you wish to call in one simple step.  In emergency situations just one button can be utilised to contact the coastguard.  In conjunction with a GPS unit your position at sea will also be transmitted within seconds, enhancing the assistance the emergency services can provide.

This one day course is designed for people wishing to obtain the Maritime Radio Operator Certificate of Competence - Short Range Certificate.


The SRC course replaces the previous VHF Operator's Certificate and is now the minimum radio qualification required in the UK.  If you're thinking of buying a modern marine VHF radio you'll need to complete this course to fully operate it.  

Existing holders of the VHF Operator's Certificate are still legal to operate but must complete an upgrade course if they fit or operate GMDSS equipment.  Details of the upgrade course can be found below.


The course covers: ......back to Top


  • Requirements & regulations
  • Channel selection
  • Equipment
  • Routine & emergency procedures


During the course you use real radio units in conjunction with PC simulations.  Some role playing is necessary as part of the course.

To conclude the course you will sit a written exam.


Prerequisites ......back to Top

Participants must have prior knowledge of the phonetic alphabet and emergency procedures.  This can be achieved by reading the two publications listed below.


Course cost ......back to Top

The course costs £50 which includes all tuition.

The RYA publications G22 VHF Radio incl. GMDSS & G26 VHF Radio SRC Assessments are required reading prior to attending the course.  These are available to buy from us at a cost of £12.00.

There is a final application fee of £22 payable direct to the RYA.


Course schedule ......back to Top

The course can be taken in one whole day lasting from 9am-5pm or over two evenings from 6pm-9.30pm.  We like a maximum of 4 people to allow for more personalised tuition.


Alternatively we can offer tuition on your own boat, home or club for a minimum of three people.


For course dates see above or please contact us to arrange mutually convenient dates.


Upgrade course ......back to Top

If you already hold a VHF Operator's Certificate (Restricted Licence) and wish to upgrade to the GMDSS certificate then you need to attend the second half of the full course (ie one afternoon or one evening).


You must bring your current VHF certificate as we need to get important information from it to apply for the upgrade certificate.


The upgrade course costs £30.  The same RYA publications mentioned above are required reading and are available to buy from us where needed.  The final application fee of £22 is payable direct to the RYA.



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