VHF – SRC Radio Course

Course Details

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

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

It is obtained by successfully completing an SRC exam conducted at an RYA Recognised Training Centre

  • The basics of VHF 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 Transponder (SART)

The VHF-SRC Radio course is ideal for:

  • Those with their own boats keen to ensure they are ‘legal’ but are also of course well versed in all of the means of issuing a distress message from their vessel. Whilst of course the distress element is a key factor knowing which channels to use and how to use the radio properly when out boating increases confidence and enjoyment.
  • Those without a boat yet and keen to ensure they are acquiring the right qualifications either because they intend buying or for when they are chartering or hiring. The course is also a great way to enhance your knowledge about boating generally and helps when deciding what radios to buy.
  • Those who have boated a while and are perhaps are already using their VHF but want to learn both how to use the radio to full effect and of course also to be legal.
  • Kayakers and dinghy sailors are increasingly carrying personal hand held VHFs and are very sensible to do so. We have welcomed a good number of kayakers and sailors to our courses – don’t let our company name put you off we love boating in all of its forms!
  • Sailing clubs, Fire & Rescue Services, Police Forces, Military units and government bodies often ask us to come and train a group of their people in-house. As we have a portable kit including 8 radios plus examples of various EPIRBs, SARTs, PLBs etc so can ensure a really fun and informative course even if we are not running the course in our classroom.

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

The SRC exam fee is £60 and covers the cost of the examiner and the administration of processing and issuing the certificate exam. This fee is payable to the RYA and is separate to the fee that you pay for the training course.

You MUST register online prior to attending the course using this link https://www.rya.org.uk/exam-payments/Pages/hub.aspx   Prior to attending your course, use the RYA online exam payment system to pay for the exam and receive a personalised exam application form.Print this out and take it with you to the exam, together with your eligibility documents and passport sized photo.

Practical Exam – This part of the exam simply involves students demonstrating that they can make the various radio calls that they will have practiced during the course.  A maximum of 4 candidates will be examined at any one time with each candidate required to demonstrate correct understanding and practical application of:

  • Distress Situations
  • Urgency Situations
  • Safety Situation
  • Routine Communications

Theory Exam

  • Students will undertake a 30 min theory assessment with questions taken from all of the topics in the VHF Handbook.  
  • The pass mark for each exam is clearly marked on each exam paper. 
  • The written exam is a ‘closed book ‘exam.
  • Additional time may be allowed for candidates with reading problems such as dyslexia – please inform your examiner if you require additional support/time. The MCA has set specific guidance on the additional time that may be allowed.

Prices, Booking and Special Offers


£99 per person;

Book for 2 people at £89 p/p or book for 3 or more at £85p/p

New Skipper ~ Essentials – £350 – This package offers 10% off the total price for the following courses :

  • RYA Level 2 Powerboat Course (RRP £285) and,
  • VHF-SRC Radio Classroom course (RRP £99) – NOTE package does not include the VHF-SRC Exam fee of £60

What you need to bring, What’s Included and What’s Not!

  • A passport photograph is required to issue your certificate.
  • Your completed RYA Exam application form
  • Your VHF-SRC Handbook or e-book
  • Pen and Notebook
  • Your VHF Handbook (Either a printed book or an E-Book)
  • Free parking at our Training Centre
  • Free hot drinks/biscuits at our Training Centre
  • Lunch/Meals are not provided but we do have a small tuckshop with snacks/cold drinks for purchase, we have a cafe onsite (open 0900-1600 daily) and there are several local shops/cafes within a short walk to purchase food.
  • Your exam fee of £60 unless you are a commercial customer by prior agreement
  • The SRC exam fee is £60 and covers the cost of the examiner and the administration of processing and issuing the certificate exam. This fee is payable to the RYA and is separate to the fee that you pay for the training course.
  • You MUST register online prior to attending the course using this link https://www.rya.org.uk/exam-payments/Pages/hub.aspx   Prior to attending your course, use the RYA online exam payment system to pay for the exam and receive a personalised exam application form.Print this out and take it with you to the exam, together with your eligibility documents and passport sized photo.

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