VHF Radio Training Options

The RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the minimum qualification required to operate both fixed and handheld marine VHF radio equipment on a UK flagged vessel. 

This includes equipment with and without Digital Selective Calling (DSC).

Classroom Course & Exam

A 1 day session comprising of the course and the exam.

3 hours of pre-reading is required.

Hands on experience using our training radios


Online Course

Study online at your own pace.

Course takes approx 8-12 hours study

In person exam required for certification



A written theory exam and practical assessment

Conducted in person – duration approx 2 hours

Exam fee £60 payable to the RYA


  • 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 training radios
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Beacons (EPIRBs)
  • AIS-SART (Search and Rescue Transmitter) and RADAR-SART (Search and Rescue Transponders) 

No prior experience is necessary.

9am-4:30pm with approximately 45 mins for lunch

Exams are conducted after the course by a separate VHF-SRC Assessor,

  • The written assessment will take about 20/30 minutes and the practical assessment will take between an hour and two hours. 
  • This means we expect a typical combined course/assessment to start at 9am and finish between 6pm and 7pm.

Minimum Duration: 1 day including exams

Minimum age 12 years old however you must be 16 years old to take the exam.

Classroom Course: The course operates with a maximum of 12 students per instructor – although our courses usually run with 6 students.

Exams: Exams are conducted for a maximum of 4 candidates

Classroom Course: Book for 2 people or more and save 10% off the total price

Online Course & Exam: No discounts are available

The RYA VHF Handbook is supplied for both the classroom and online course.

Course Handbook Delegates are given a choice of receiving the printed book or an e-book. E-books include animations, videos and interactive tools and are accessible through the RYA Books App. For more details see: https://www.rya.org.uk/shop/ebook-info/epacks

Classroom Course: Delegates are required to conduct the required 3 hours of pre-reading and will be supplied with a handbook prior approximately one week prior to the course. If booking within a week of the course you will be supplied with an e-book to ensure that you are able to access the relevant sections as postage can not be relied upon to get a printed book to you in time for your course.

Online Course: WE aim to make our online courses as sustainable as possible and include the RYA E-Book in the cost. If you wish to study using a printed book you will be required to pay an additional fee to cover the postage and packaging.

Our range of VHF Radio Training Tips guidance and videos have been developed by our expert instructors to offer some great bite size help and guidance. If you operate a VHF Radio afloat you are legally required to hold a VHF License.