RYA SRC VHF-GMDSS – Online Course

RYA SRC VHF-GMDSS – Online Course

The Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the operator’s licence required for Class D radios, the type fitted to most leisure craft. The SRC is not suitable for those working on larger commercial craft, when a more advanced qualification is demanded. The SRC is generally accepted internationally for operators on British flagged boats. To operate radios on foreign craft you should contact the appropriate national authority.

This RYA Online SRC/VHF Radio Course uses straight-forward language and descriptions, helping you to understand important legal concepts and maritime SRC/VHF regulations and how they affect you whilst out on the water.

On this online course you will be using, and talking about the latest in fixed and handheld VHF and DSC (Digital Selective Calling) radio units. You will learn about the correct channel usage, the correct Safety, Urgent and Distress procedures to use, and what is meant by GMDSS (Global Marine Distress and Safety System) and how it can help you out on the water.  Unnecessary transmissions could block out a Mayday distress call. The course will be taught and examined using radio simulators.

Why Should you do your SRC Course and achieve your License!

It is a legal requirement and worthwhile to have a personal licence if you are going out on the water and have a VHF (Very High Frequency) radio. The Short Range Certificate (SRC) 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 a key piece of safety equipment on board and it is vital to understand the correct procedures.

This RYA Online SRC/VHF Radio Course includes a wide variety of real-life situations – both routine and distress. The new and innovative radio simulator helps you feel comfortable with handling a radio in a real-life situation.

When you have completed your online course you eligible to attend SRC/VHF exam. Prior to sitting your exam you will have the opportunity to practice with the radio equipment before commencing your exam.

Course Content

  •  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).

As described above, the course is split into two distinctive separate sections:

Part 1 Complete the RYA SRC/VHF Radio operator course online – 6-8 hours.

Part 2 Once you have completed your online course, your eligible to attend the SRC/VHF exam. This 1 hour session needs to legally take place at an RYA Recognised Training School. You can sit this exam at our training facility based in Falmouth, Cornwall or at any other RYA Registered Centre that may be closer to you. As you have booked your VHF/GMDSS SRC online course with us and you book your VHF SRC exam with us too, you will be entitled have the opportunity to practice with the radio equipment and ask any questions about the radios for an hour before you start your exam at no extra charge.

We have our VHF/GMDSS Exam run twice a month on set dates. Please visit our direct assessment page of our website for these dates. Upcoming Date for VHF/GMDSS Exams @ Falmouth School of Sailing

If you can’t make these please contact the office as we might be able to arranged others at a time to suit your diary. 


The Assessment – is split into two distinctive parts:

Part 1 Complete a 25 questions written paper and achieve 16 or more out of 25

Part 2 Complete practical radio operation exam.


Try The Taster Course

Download The Taster Course:

Windows taster  Download for Windows

As you download the file choose Run. You may be asked again if your computer doesn’t recognise the download. If so, click Run again and the installation should start.

Download for Mac 10.7 or later from the App Store
App Store  Download for iPads from the App Store


The online SRC course and taster have the following minimum technical requirements:

Internet connection (broadband or 3G). Charges may apply for 3G
1024 x 768 screen resolution – this must be available screen space (menu bars, docks or task bars may conceal part of the course window on smaller screens)
Microphone and speakers/headphones

Platform specific minimum requirements:

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

Windows Vista Service Pack 2
1 GHz (x86) processor 512 MB RAM
Sound card.
Quicktime (for viewing videos) available here.

Netbooks are not supported due to the reduced screen resolution.

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

Other ways of doing your VHF/GMDSS Short Range Radio Course

Costs & Dates


Up to 6 months




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