Marine VHF Radio (RYA Short Range Certificate) Course

Four dates are currently available for this course:

  • Saturday 22nd January 2022
  • Saturday 26th February 2022
  • Saturday 12th March 2022
  • Saturday 23rd April 2022

A radio is an important piece of safety equipment on board and it is vital to understand the correct procedures. Unnecessary transmissions could block out a Mayday distress call. An Operator’s Licence is required to use a Marine VHF radio.

The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio. This includes both fixed and hand held equipment using International channels. This qualification is backed by the MCA and is recognised internationally. 


  • Candidates must be 16 years or older to be issued with an operator’s licence.

Course topics include:

  • the basics of radio operation 
  • the correct frequencies (channels) to be used 
  • distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures  
  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC) 
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) 
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) 
  • Search and Rescue (SART) 

The course will be taught and examined using ICOM radio simulators. At the conclusion of the course an exam by an independent assessor will consist of the practical use of a radio making and receiving calls and also a short written test.

The course requires 10 hours study made up of 3 hour pre course self learning followed by a 7 hour practical and instructional period. 

Course Fee

£60 payable at time of booking to Carrickfergus Sailing Club RTC. This fee includes the latest VHF Course Handbook which contains information essential to the Course. Booking must be made at least two weeks prior to Course to allow essential pre course administration and classroom preparation including Covid secure measures.

Exam Fee

The course will conclude with a short written and practical assessment for which a £60 fee is payable directly to the Royal Yachting Association before the test can be undertaken. This fee is in addition to the course fee charged by the Carrickfergus RTC.