VHF Radio

VHF Radio

The Short Range Certificate 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.

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 your qualification if you purchase new equipment. This can be done by attending this course.

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)


Previous experience needed:        None

Course duration:                              8 – 10 hours online done in own time

1 – hour exam

Minimum age:                                  16


The course will be taught and examined using radio simulators. The exam will also include a short written test.


How to book + more information

All the current course dates can be seen on our calendar, alternatively if you want to book other dates then this can be arranged subject to availability. To make a booking or to get more information on any of our courses, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via phone and email, or simply pop in and have a chat.


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