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VHF Marine Radio (SRC)

The VHF Radio Course is also known as a Short Range Certificate (SRC) Radio Course.

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. This includes both fixed and hand held equipment using International channels.

A radio is an important piece of safety equipment on board and it is vital to understand the correct procedures. Unnecessary transmissions could block out a Mayday distress call.

All new VHF sets are either fitted, or can be interfaced, with DSC allowing calls to specific vessels. If you hold the ‘old’ VHF licence (pre-1999) you need to upgrade your qualification if you purchase new equipment. This can be done by attending this one-day course or, if no tuition is required, you can enter for the direct examination.

Course topics include:

  • the basics of radio operation
  • the correct frequencies (channels) to be used
  • distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures
  • making ship to shore telephone calls
  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC) using simulators
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB)
  • Search and Rescue (SART)

The course is taught using the latest Digital Selective Calling (DSC) training radios, the Simrad RD 68's, along with computer based radio simulators and will be examined by a short written test.

Essential reading prior to attending this course is available via our On-Line shop here

Many of the courses we offer are available both On-line or in the classroom and normally we would tend to recommend the classroom version if it is feasible, but with this course we actually suggest the On-line version is the best option and we tend to find that the majority of students prefer to take this.

Our rationale is simply that the RYA has done such a great job with it, the subjects covered are pretty straightforward, and so it is just a matter of working through the various modules. You can track your progress and understanding as you go along.

As a result we find that we only now run Classroom events subject to demand. To be kept informed of the dates when they are scheduled you can use our Course Registration form here.

The course is taught over 8 hours with up to 3 hours pre course work required before you attend. This is followed by a 1.5 hour Assessment by another RYA Instructor either the same day or the following day.

Maximum Class size = 8 students per Instructor.

The Classroom course costs £110 and includes comprehensive Course notes. Light refreshments (water, tea, coffee and biscuits) are available throughout the day.


Should you decide that the On-line course is for you it can be previewed below.

And then try before you buy by downloading a taster of the course using the button below


The On-line VHF Radio Course allows you to take the course at your own pace, when it suits you, where it suits you. As from Jan 2014 to get a VHF (SRC) Licence you must:

  1. Attend the VHF Radio Classroom Course OR
  2. Take the On-line Course AND in both cases
  3. Attend and pass a separate written and practical assessment session.

If you opt for the Online course you must still attend an assessment session in person. Unfortunately you cannot take the assessment online.

You do not have to book the assessment at the same time as booking a course.

Book your On-line course using the button below



Last Updated on Thursday, 06 June 2019 13:31

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