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Royal Yachting Association

VHF Marine Radio Course - Online

  • £ 45.00
  • Save £ 45.00

Course Aims

The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and DSC equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio. This includes both fixed and handheld sets.

Course Content

This course is taken as an online course, however one of our RYA instructor's is on hand to provide as much support as you require, this is done predominately by email, but we can also offer telephone support at a mutually convenient time.

The course covers:

  • Basic radio operation
  • Correct frequencies (channels) to be used
  • Distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures
  • Ship to shore calls
  • Digital Selective calling (DSC) using simulators
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBS)
  • Search and Rescue (SART)


Course duration: approx. 8 hours (online)

More information about the course is available on the RYA Website:


Minimum IT Requirements:

  • Internet connection (WiFi or 3G)
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • Netbooks are NOT supported due to the reduced screen resolution.
  • iPads & android tablets are now supported!
  • Mac 2008 models or above with OS X 10.7 (Lion) or above.
  • PC Windows Vista Service Pack 2 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) processor with 512 MB RAM sound card.

Technical support is available from our offices and as part of the RYA Interaction Help Section.


PLEASE NOTE: The course cost does not include the exam fee, the exam costs £60 and is payable direct to the examiner.

What do I need to bring:

  • A completed Exam application form
  • A recent passport photograph with your name printed on the reverse
  • Evidence of SRC course completion (Online - completion certificate OR an exam application signed by your classroom course instructor)
  • Cheque or card payment method for the assessment & certificate fee (£60-00 - payable to RYA)
  • Pen & paper
  • Drinks & snacks

What does the exam include:

Practical Exam

Duration: Approx 30 minutes per student (Max 4 students)

Utilising 'real' training radios.

You will be given an opportunity (minimum 15mins) to familiarise yourself with the sets prior to your exam commencing and your assessor will be on-hand to guide you through 'dials and buttons', but will be unable to guide you on any other aspects.

The items you will want to familiarise yourself with are:

  • Power switch
  • Volume / Squelch
  • High/Low Power
  • Channel control
  • Distress button and menus
  • DSC call menus and buttons

The practical exam will include all or a selection of the following (see Practical exam details in RYA Book G26 for further details):

  • Distress situations
  • Urgency situations
  • Safety situations
  • Routine Communications

Theory exam:

Duration: Approx 30 mins

Question paper: approximately 50% of the questions are multiple choice.

 Re-taking the theory exam: It is possible to re-take the theory exam on the same day should you not reach the required grade. Please be aware that you will not sit the same exam paper twice.

However if you do not pass within these 2 papers, you will need to re-attend on a separate day and an additional charge will apply.

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