Short Range (VHF) Radio Operator's Certificate (SRC)


NAFC Course Code: N39



The Short Range Radio Operator's Certificate (SRC) is the basic marine VHF radio operators' course and is the minimum qualification required by any person operating (or supervising the operation of) a marine VHF radio, whether fixed or hand-held.

The Short Range Radio Operator's Certificate (SRC) is for persons operating radios on vessels that are not required to be fitted with GMDSS systems and that are operating only in coastal waters (sea area A1).

(Persons operating radios on GMDSS-equipped ships sailing outside coastal waters required a GMDSS General 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




This course includes a mixture of classroom work and practical exercises, covering:

  • Routine operation of marine VHF radios, including Digital Selective Calling.
  • Correct VHF channels (frequencies) to be used for each type of communication.
  • Distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures,
  • Ship to shore communication.
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB).
  • Search and Rescue Transponders (SART).

Assessment includes both written and practical tests.



This is a 2 day course delivered at the NAFC Marine Centre. Some self-study outside of classroom hours is also required.



Please contact the NAFC Marine Centre for dates.



  • £170 + £60 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.