RYA VHF Marine Radio

The Marine Radio Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment.

Applicable on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio, this includes both fixed and hand held equipment using International channels.

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.

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 to this qualification if you purchase new equipment. This course is also a pre-requisite for the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Exam.

The course content includes;

  • The basics of radio operation
  • 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)


Online Self-study plus classroom exam.

On booking you will receive a VHF text book in the post, as well as log-on details for the self-study module which should take 4-8 hours. On successful completion you will print your own certificate which you must bring with you to the practical exam.

The practical exam will be held at our classroom based in Port Hamble Marina. The exam should take less than one hour and you can can choose your preferred time slot.


£100 per person + exam fee payable directly to the RYA examiner by cheque or card.  Private examinations on your choice of date can be arranged on request (subject to availability of examiner).

The exam fee is payable direct to the Royal Yachting Association via their online Payment Service  and should be done before you attend the exam

·          Step 1  – Login to your RYA website account, if you do not have one you can register here

·          Step 2  – Choose the VHF exam and confirm acceptance of any declaration or terms

·          Step 3  – Confirm your details

·          Step 4  – Make payment by MasterCard or VISA Debit / Credit

·          Step 5  – You will receive your order confirmation, and in a separate email your 

Exam Voucher to be taken with you as a printed copy to your exam at an RYA Recognised Training Centr

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£100 + £60 exam fee


No previous experience needed.

What's included?

Text book, login details, certificate on completion

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