RYA VHF / SRC marine Radio Classroom Course Poole

RYA VHF Course Poole

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.

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.

Without a radio operators certificate, a VHF radio may be monitored for safety purposes or used to summon assistance in a distress situation, but it may not be used for general transmissions. These can only be made by a licenced operator or by someone under the direct supervision of a licenced operator, this is a legal requirement on a British Flagged boat. 

If you hold the old VHF licence (pre-1999) and you operate a VHF with DSC (digital selective calling) integrated then you need to complete an update course to be issued with a new Short range certificate (SRC). 

Find out more about the Marine Radio (SRC) course on the RYA website.

Duration:  1 day (7-8hrs) + theory/practical assessment (Duration: approx 1-2hrs)

Cost: Classroom VHF course: £100.00 + SRC Exam Fee: £70.00

Prior knowledge: Up to 3 hours guided self-learning

Minimum age: 12

Under 16's: Will recieve a Certificate of Competency on successful completion of the course. When they turn 16 they will beable to take the theory & practical assessment in order to gain their Authority to Operate radio licence, they will not need to repeat the course. 

Certificate valid for: Life

Maximum classroom course size: 8

Before continuing reading this page may wish to consider looking at the online RYA VHF course?

Though there are lots of benefits to attending the classroom VHF course, you may wish to look at the online course? Not only has the RYA VHF Online course won two gold awards for eLearning it is both more time efficient (online course 4-8hrs vs. classroom course 8hrs), less expensive (online £65 vs classroom £100), doesn't have 'set dates' you need to attend and gives you the choice to complete it at your own pace. Our RYA VHF instructors are still available at the end of the phone, Skype and email if you have any questions as you go through the online course. The RYA Online course has now been available for coming up to 5 years and 'to date' the feedback from our clients regarding this course has been 100% positive. Learn more by clicking here: RYA VHF / SRC Online Course

What's Involved?

  • Operating a VHF/DSC set
  • Correct frequencies (channels to be used)
  • Rules, regulations and licences
  • Phonetic alphabet & pro-words
  • Routine, Urgency, Distress alerts & Calls
  • Safety alerts
  • Search & Rescue procedures, systems & kit (SART)
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB)

What you need to bring:

  • Pen & Paper
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Any pre-course work you have done



On successful completion of the SRC exam assessment (practical & written paper) the VHF application form will be sent to the RYA along with your passport photo and certificate fee. The RYA certification department will then post your RYA VHF certificate directly to you. 

The operators licence (Short Range Certificate) you will receive is for Class D radios, the type fitted to most leisure craft. It is generally accepted internationally for operators on British flagged boats, but to operate a radio on a foreign craft you should contact the appropriate national authority. 

Pre-course Reading

Regulations require that an SRC course is 10 hours in duration, this includes up to 2-3 hours of guided self-learning, thus shortening the classroom course to 8 hours, which is then managed in a single day. 

It is necessary for you to go through the items we advise prior to your course, in order for you to get the most out of your day. 

Recommended Reading

There are also books available that support the course - if you would like some reference material then the RYA VHF Radio (inc. GMDSS) has all the course notes in it. If you are considering just completing the exam without any tuition that we would recommend that your purchase the VHF Syllabus & Sample questions book - these can all be purchased from the RYA shop by clicking the link below. 

This book is included in your course fee.

Further information on Licencing onboard electronics: 

Automatic Identification Systems:

Contact us:


Tel: +44 (0) 1202 406066

Our Location:

Powerboat & Jetski Courses: Port of Poole Marina

Follow us on Facebook:

RYA Training Centre

Marine Education

'The Superyacht Jetski Specialists'

Superyacht PWC

Superyacht Marine Store

Marine Store EU