This is a RYA VHF course online for anyone who owns a fixed or hand-held marine VHF radio.

The Marine Radio VHF (Short Range Certificate) course costs £59.

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

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

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 completing this course and taking your final exam.




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)

This Online distance learning course can be undertaken at the candidates own pace in the comfort of their own home. The course is web-based and compatible with PC, Mac, iPads and Android tablets.



The cost of the Online course is £59 (including a free copy of the RYA VHF Handbook, shown opposite, worth £15.99*).

After you book the course you will receive a separate email from us within two working days containing the web address for the interactive site, and your unique login details  with a temporary password.   You will be prompted to change the password to something memorable at your first login.  If you forget your password then please contact us to reset it.

You will find all the material online to complete the course, but if you have any difficulties or would like to ask questions then you can contact us using the details in the ‘help’ section on the Interactive site.



For any RYA online course that requires you to be sent additional literature to complete the course (Essential Navigation and Seamanship and Marine VHF), or if you purchase additional literature through our online shop then you will be sent this by Royal Mail.  Please allow 5 working days for this to arrive with you, and if you do not receive it within 7 working days of booking then please contact us for an update.



After you have completed your Online VHF Marine Radio course then you can sit the exam. Please contact the centre to arrange this.  The examiner will meet you at Fowey Maritime Centre at the appointed time, which is usually at about 1600.

The exam consists of a 30 minute theory paper, and then a practical exam which is usually 30 mins per person.  For your exam please bring the following items to give/show the examiner:

Passport Photo

Completed Exam application.  The exam application can be found here on the RYA website.  Please note that there is a fee of £60 which is payable directly to the RYA to cover the certification and exam costs incurred.  Please ensure that you print out the completed application form and bring with you.

Online VHF course completion certificate

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