VHF Courses


The VHF Radio Course also known as the SRC (Short Range Certificate) Radio Course is essential training if you want to take a yacht out to sea. Marine VHF Radio usage has changed with the advent of Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and everyone who goes to sea should be fully capable of operating a VHF radio.

Successful completion of the course and assessment results in the issue of your VHF Licence. It is a legal requirement that to use a VHF set you must hold a VHF licence, or be under the supervision of someone who does. These days practically all charter companies require you to have a VHF license before they let you charter one of their yachts.

VHF Radios enable yachts and ships to communicate with each other and with the people on shore like the coast guard, primarily for the safety of human life and the protection of vessels. But they are also useful when it comes to calling up a marina to see if they have a berth for your yacht.

If you dive then it is also a useful course as it is very necessary for someone on the surface to know how to use a VHF set correctly.

On successfully completing the VHF Radio Course and Assessment; you will receive the Short Range Certificate (SRC) or Short Range Radio Licence from the RYA.

Take a look at this introductory Video


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.
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 one-day course or, if no tuition is required, you can enter for direct examination.

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)

The course will be taught and examined using radio simulators. The exam will also include a short written test.
The SRC course can be taken online with Langkawi Sailing School. The exam must be taken at the training centre.

Marine Radio Short Range Certificate
For this course you will need:

Internet connection (broadband or 3G). Charges may apply for 3G.
JavaScript enabled in your web browser.
Microphone and speakers/headphones.
Pop-ups enabled
We strongly recommend trying the SRC Taster Course before buying the full course to check that it will work on your device.

Web-based training modules
The web-based training is designed to work across the devices and operating systems shown below. It is optimized for the latest technology, fully responsive, suitable for high definition screens and provides an improved user experience.

Minimum requirements for the web-based training:
PC running Windows 10 minimum with the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Firefox.
Mac running 10.13 minimum with the latest version of Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox
iPad running iOS 11 minimum using Safari.
Android tablet running 4.1 minimum using Google Chrome.

Try the web-based taster course here

How to enable the mic on your PC
Legacy app training modules
If you are unable to use the web-based modules you may be able to use the legacy app instead, which you can download from a link shown within the course. While this is an older format, the content of the training is the same but it requires installation onto your PC, Mac or iPad (not available for Android tablets).

If you are able to use both the web-based training modules and the legacy app, please choose just one option and stick with it throughout your course as your progress cannot be recorded correctly if you swap between the two formats.

Minimum requirements for the legacy app:
1024 x 768 screen resolution - this must be the available screen space (menu bars, docks or task bars may conceal part of the course window on smaller screens).

For 4k screens the scaling will need to be adjusted in order for the course to be displayed at a usable size. In Windows 10 this is done by going to Settings > System > Display and moving the slider labelled 'Change the size of text, apps and other items'. Once you have changed the slider you may need to log out and log back in to make the change take effect.

Platform specific minimum requirements:

Mac Intel processor OS X 10.7 (Lion) or above.

PC Windows Vista Service Pack 2 1 GHz (x86) processor 512 MB RAM Sound card. Windows XP and earlier operating systems are not compatible with this course.

Netbooks are not supported due to the reduced screen resolution.

iPad/iPad Mini using iOS 6 or above.
Older generation iPads may have performance issues.

Try the legacy app taster course here


Updated Sep 2018