RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate

RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate

Learn to use a DSC VHF radio

This course is aimed at anyone who owns or operates vhfa fixed or handheld marine VHF radio and on successful completion of this course and a separate assessment, candidates will receive the Short Range Certificate. This 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 the VHF radio is an important piece of safety equipment, so everyone that uses one must have an understanding of the correct procedures for both routine communications and emergency situations.

This 1-day classroom based course covers the following topics:

  • Basic functions of a marine radio
  • Most common channels (frequencies) in use
  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC)
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Routine voice communications
  • Sending DSC and voice distress, urgency and safety messages
  • Maritime Safety Information (and NAVTEX)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)
  • Search and Rescue Transponders (SARTs)

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During the course, students will have access to marine VHF training radios, allowing plenty of ‘hands-on’ practical experience. Following the course, students will be required to sit a short MCA/RYA assessment, composed of a written and practical element. On successful completion of the assessment, students will be awarded the Short Range Certificate.


10 hours (inc. 3hrs pre-course study) + assessment


None (no age limit for training course but candidates for exam must be aged 16 or over)

Please note, if you hold the ‘old’ VHF licence (pre-1999) you need to upgrade your qualification if you purchase new VHF (DSC) equipment. To upgrade a Restricted VHF licence to a GMDSS Short Range Certificate you will need to do update training, followed by the SRC examination. Please contact us to discuss this.

Knowledge after course

By the end of this course, students should feel confident using a marine VHF radio for routine communication and emergency situations, including the use of Digital Selective Calling.

On successful completion of the SRC exam, students will be awarded the Short Range Certificate, qualifying them to operate a marine band VHF radio on British flagged vessels under 300grt, voluntarily fitted with GMDSS equipment.

Client Feedback

“Course content good. Trainer excellent. Will consider using again for further training.”

Meirion, February 2016

“I found the course very informative. Thank you for being flexible and fitting me in.”

David, February 2016

“Relaxed and pressure free!”

Hughie, February 2016

“Clear information, not at all as dull as expected!! Great to have a lot of hands-on experience. Superb venue!”

Sarah, September 2016

“Very useful, enjoyable and informative”

Calum, September 2016

“Good instruction. Good company. Slightly nervous during examination but put at ease”

Rauiri, November 2016

“Great, most interesting”

Rebecca, November 2016

“Good pace to course. A lot to take in but broken up nicely”

Mark, February 2018

“As ever, Rob is instructive, patient and knowledgable. The course was very informative”

Stuart, February 2018

“Really clear, authoritative delivery. Excellent response to questions/issues. Very supportive. Good course. Thanks”

Doug, February 2018

What’s included?

  • Detailed tuition from an RYA SRC Instructor/Assessor
  • Use of dedicated VHF training radios
  • A copy of the RYA VHF Handbook (G31), which accompanies this course (sent out in advance)
  • A comfortable classroom environment
  • Tea and coffee

What you need to bring

  • Pen and paper
  • Packed lunch


TBC- the course will run at a venue within 30mins drive of Inverness.

Dates Winter 2019/20

Saturday 2nd November 2019

Wednesday 4th December 2019

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Saturday 15th February 2020

Saturday 4th April 2020

This course can also be run on demand, at any suitable venue (minimum 3 people required). Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Please note, the training course is followed by a short assessment, which will either be conducted immediately following the course or the following day, by an independent assessor. Please allow up to 2hrs for this process.


£100pp (+£60 assessment fee payable to the RYA before the assessment)


To book a place on this course, please contact us by email or phone. Please state the course and date you are interested in and we will provide you with a booking form to complete.

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.