This classroom-based course is aimed at anyone who owns or operates a fixed or handheld marine VHF radio. On successful completion of the course and a separate assessment, candidates will receive the Short Range Certificate.

The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio.

Not only is it a legal requirement to have this qualification but more importantly, the VHF radio is a key piece of safety equipment. Therefore everyone that uses one must have an understanding of the correct procedures for both routine communications and emergency situations.

During the course, students will have access to marine VHF training radios, allowing plenty of ‘hands-on’ practical experience.

None. This is an entry-level course and can be undertaken regardless of experience level. There is no age limit for the training course but candidates for the assessment must be aged 16 or over.

In advance of the course, you will be sent a copy of the RYA VHF Handbook. There is 3 hours of pre-course reading to prepare for the course.


1 day (8 hours)

On completion of the training course, candidates are required to sit a separate RYA/MCA assessment. This will either take place immediately after the course for small groups or more likely the following day and should take around 1.5 hours (see Assessment).

The course will take place at a venue within 30 minutes’ drive of Inverness (see Dates).

This course can also be run on demand at any suitable venue in the North of Scotland. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

  • Detailed tuition from an experienced RYA SRC Instructor, using VHF training radios
  • Copy of the RYA VHF Handbook
  • A comfortable classroom environment
  • Tea, coffee & biscuits
  • Pen and notebook
  • Your RYA VHF Handbook
  • Passport photo for licence application
  • Packed lunch or money for the local convenience store
  • Routine operation of marine VHF radio including Digital Selective Calling
  • Correct VHF channels (frequencies) to be used for each type of communication
  • Distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures
  • Ship to shore communication
  • Practical use of Marine VHF DSC radios
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB)
  • Search and Rescue Transponders (SART)

On completion of the training course, candidates are required to sit a separate RYA/MCA assessment. This will either take place immediately after the course for small groups or more likely the following day.

The assessment consists of a short written paper, followed by a practical assessment using VHF training radios and will take around 1.5 hours. On successful completion of these two elements, the student will be recommended for the award of the Short Range Certificate. This should arrive in the post 2-3 weeks later.

You will receive a copy of the of the RYA VHF Handbook in advance of the course. This provides all the additional information you may need.


Please note, there is a separate £60 exam fee, payable direct to the RYA. This is done online, in advance of the face-to-face assessment and details of the process will be contained in the joining instructions.

There are currently no courses scheduled.

This course can be run on demand for groups (min. 3 people). Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

On successful completion of the course and assessment, you will have a good understanding of all the functions available on marine VHF radios. You should feel confident making both voice and DSC calls, in routine and emergency situations.

The Short Range Certificate is valid for life and qualifies you to operate a Class D marine band VHF radio on British flagged vessels under 300grt, voluntarily fitted with GMDSS equipment.

It is crucial to put theory into practice. The skills you will acquire on this course will be consolidated when used in context on the water. You should aim to use live marine VHF radios at the earliest opportunity.

Please contact us to book and pay for this course.

A 20% deposit is required to secure a place and the full balance of payment will be required no later than 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

On receipt of full payment, we will provide you with joining instructions and the course handbook (for the pre-course reading).

Please note, due to the ongoing restrictions still in place in Scotland, face-to-face training continues to be suspended until further notice. 

We look forward to getting back out on the water and in the classroom as soon as possible. In the meantime, please get in touch for information or advice and check out the online courses we have available.