Jamie uses the VHF radio

RYA VHF Marine Radio

Short Range Certificate

1-day Classroom Course

This is the RYA training course you MUST do to get your VHF radio operators licence. If you use a fixed or handheld VHF marine band radio it's a legal requirement! Your licence is then valid for life.

RYA VHF Handbook

Your course pack includes the RYA's "VHF Radio Handbook", either the paperback version, or the eBook. The final qualifying exam will be held on the same day. Please note, there is a separate exam & certification fee of £60 payable to the RYA. 

If you hold a pre-1999 license you need to update to the new VHF SRC. There have been many significant changes since then. Contact us if you have any questions.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to book

In a hurry?  You can also do the radio course now, online  

Regardless of whether you choose the online or 1-day classroom course, there are two steps to gaining your VHF radio operator license.

Step 1. Study the course content: either Online or on a 1-day classroom course

Step 2. Complete the final written & practical exams in person at a training centre.

Pre-course Study
The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) requires candidates to do 3 hours pre-course study before attending the classroom course. You'll receive your course pack by post once payment is confirmed. You'll also have access to our free quiz & top tips for the practical exam.

Final Exam
This takes place at the end of the day's tuition. There's a mostly multiple choice question paper and a short practical assessment which involves making different kinds of DSC alerts. 

TOP TIP - Familiarise yourself with the ICOM Radio 
Make the final practical assessment easy for yourself by getting familiar with how to make DSC alerts right now. Like mobile phones, the menu structure of all VHF radios vary but they're not quite as intuitive as modern phones! The radio on these short videos is the same as the one you'll use for the exam. Worth a few minutes of your time!

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


I need to get the license soon. What's the quickest way?

The online course is the quickest way to obtain the license. Click here for more information.

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 would strongly recommend you do the course, especially if it's been a few years since you last used a VHF radio. The online course is perhaps a convenient option.

 Date  Time  Places Left

Sunday 3rd March 2019

9.30 8

Click here for course joining instructions