About the Course

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)

Assumed Knowledge

No previous knowledge is required for this course.


Min age: 16


09:00 – 18:00 + Exam


On successful completion of the exam you will be awarded with a RYA Marine Short Range Certificate and have the ability to operate a marine short range radio and know the procedures required to use it. 


15th February 
9th May
8th August
7th November


Members £75 + Exam payment to RYA 60
Non Member £90 + Exam payment to RYA £60