RYA VHF Marine Radio
Online Course

"This project has it all" e-Learning Awards Winner

Course pack


Many flotilla and charter companies now require this radio qualification.

The VHF online course is the quickest way to get your VHF Radio Operator Certificate of Competence. All you have to do is complete the online course, then book a convenient time to do the short practical exam and written paper in person at a training centre. Bay Sea School have two radio assessors so it should be fairly easy to arrange a time.

Please note:

1. The online radio course runs on iPads, PCs and Macs. It does NOT work on Android tablets.

2. Before the final exam you'll need to pay the RYA a separate fee of £60 for the actual license. 


The Online Course
After you've purchased your online course, you'll receive a link from us to login & download the course from the 'RYA Interactive' website. We will also send you the RYA VHF Handbook, paperback or eBook, whichever you prefer.

You can work through the various modules offline as many times as you want. Part of the course includes a realistic VHF Radio simulator which lets you record and playback your radio conversations.

Pre-exam knowledge check
Do this after you've completed all the modules. You get three attempts and the pass mark is 60%. Once you've passed, print off your certificate. You'll need it at the final exam to complete the license application form.

Should you need any help during the course, our award-winning RYA Yachtmaster Instructor is available by email or phone to guide you.

The Final Exam
Don't be nervous, we want you to do well! It usually takes about two hours to complete everything. You'll have time to familiarise yourself with our real VHF radios first. The written paper is short, with mostly multiple choice questions that are very similar to the pre-exam knowledge check. The practical assessment involves choosing the right kind of call to make in different situations and then making some calls on a real radio. To make things easier on the day why not familiarise yourself with the menu structure of the ICOM radio just like the one you'll use at the exam? Here are some useful links. 

Sending a Routine Alert by DSC

Manually inputting another boat's MMSI number

Manually entering a position 
(It's much easier to have your radio permanently connected to GPS!)

Sending a DSC distress Alert


Can I do a traditional classroom VHF Radio course at Bay Sea School?

Yes, click here for more information.

Is my device compatible with the online course?

There's an "Taster" course here that you can download free of charge. If this works on your device, the full course will too.

Download for Windows - Open the Zip file and run the exe program

Download for Mac 10.7 or later - From the App Store

Download for iPad - From the App Store

What if my internet connection goes down?

No problem, once you've installed the course on your device, you will study the course offline.

Is there an age limit?

Although there is no age limit to do the course, the minimum age for the assessment is 16.

I have an RYA/MCA 'VHF Restricted Operator's Certificate'. Can I update it to the GMDSS Short Range Certificate?

You can buy an RYA course pack from us to refresh your knowledge and learn about the new Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. When you feel ready, contact us to arrange a direct assessment.

However, we strongly recommend you take the online course. Especially if it's been a few years since you last used a VHF radio.