GMDSS General Operator's Certificate (GOC)


10 day taught course. MCA / STCW approved.

NAFC Course Code: N34



The GMDSS General Operator's Certificate (GOC) is the qualification required by persons operating radio systems on GMDSS-equipped ships and mobile offshore platforms operating anywhere in the world. This course is suitable for merchant navy deck officers, commercial yachtmasters and other professional radio operators.

(The appropriate qualification for persons operating radios on vessels not equipped with GMDSS radio equipment and operating in coastal waters is the Short Range Radio Operator's Certificate.)

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) is an internationally agreed system of communications equipment and procedures to ensure that vessels anywhere in the world will be able to receive assistance when they are in distress.

Larger ships (> 300 GT) sailing on international voyages are obliged to carry specific types of radios and other communication equipment that are specified in the GMDSS (including satellite communications equipment and emergency beacons).

GMDSS systems are not compulsory for smaller vessels (including fishing boats and recreational craft) but GMDSS-compatible systems are recommended. Most modern radio equipment incorporates GMDSS features, such as as Digital Selective Calling. All radio courses, therefore, cover aspects of the GMDS System.


Entry Requirements




The course includes both theoretical (classroom) work and practical exercises using radio simulators and covers the following topics:

  • Practical operation of GMDSS communication systems.
  • Radiotelephone procedures.
  • Regulations and procedures, including those relating to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations.

The course is assessed by a written exam paper and several practical tests, all of which must be passed.



This is a 10 day course delivered at the NAFC Marine Centre. Some self-study outside of classroom hours is also required.

100% course attendance is required.



Please contact us for dates.



  • £1,160 + £160 exam fee

(Fees are subject to change without notice.)


Booking / Queries

To book a course please download an application form, or contact NAFC.

If you have any questions or need any more information please contact NAFC.