RYA VHF Radio Short Range Certificate

This VHF course includes one full day of training and the VHF exam. The training will take place on Saturday with the exam taking place on Sunday.

The Short Range Certificate is the qualification required by law if you operate a VHF radio fitted with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) on any British vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio.

It is an important piece of safety equipment on board and this intensive one day course covers all aspects of using VHF including the most up-to-date changes of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System.

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 communication
  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC) using simulators
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB)
  • Search and Rescue (SART)

Radio simulators are used to teach and examine the course.  The exam also includes a short written test.

Training time for the RYA Short Range Certificate Course must be a minimum of 10 hours which may include up to 3 hours of guided self-learning.

When you have booked your course you will be sent the accompanying SRC pack which includes the VHF Handbook G31 and exam application form. A list of topics that you must cover, using the VHF handbook, prior to attending the course will be included in your joining information.

Please be aware, if you hold the ‘old’ VHF licence (pre-1999) you need to upgrade your qualification if you purchase new equipment.

18th June 2022

16-17th July 2022

24 – 25 Sep 2022

19-20th Nov 2022

1 ½ days


*additional administration fee for a VHF licence is payable directly to the RYA:  £60

(please note that you must now register and pay this examination fee online with the RYA prior to attending your course. The RYA will then send you an exam report form with a barcode on it. This can then be completed by the assessor on the day of your actual exam).

Included in your course fee:

In addition to the course fee, there is an administration fee of £60 for the issue of the VHF radio licence, which is payable directly to the RYA. Please bring a cheque made payable to the Royal Yachting Association with you to the course.

Please note this course is non-residential. If you would like to arrange accommodation nearby, please see our information page for some suggestions.

Ability after course

This course will give you the ability to be able to operate the radio and know the procedures required to use the radio.

VHF radio set

Minimum entry standard:  no prior knowledge required.  Minimum age:  16 years old