Online course



This does not include the processing fees payable directly to the RYA. Please visit the RYA exam fees page for more details or the Examination information below.

The VHF radio is an important piece of safety equipment on board a small craft and can be used under the supervision of a licensed operator. It is important to note that any person operating a VHF radio without the correct certification is liable for prosecution and can have the equipment confiscated.

The online RYA SRC/VHF Radio course teaches the basics of VHF radio operation, the correct frequencies (channels) to be used and distress, emergency & medical assistance procedures. The VHF radio network has undergone great change with the implementation of the Global Maritime Distress System (G.M.D.S.S.) and these changes are looked at in-depth.

We are also happy to advise on the best radio equipment for your vessel, just get in touch to discuss.


At the end of the RYA SRC (VHF) Radio online course, you will be prepared to take an exam by an independent examiner. Once the online course is finished, you will be issued with a unique completion code for presentation prior to taking the exam. The exam is not difficult and has a high pass rate.

You cannot take the exam online, it has to be taken at an RYA Training Centre authorised to undertake SRC Certificate assessments. There is a separate processing fee, payable directly to the RYA for the assessment and issuing the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Certificate of Competence and Authority to Operate”.  See more details in the Examination tab above.

Booking process

Once you’ve booked the online course, you will receive a voucher code to book a discounted exam slot. The exam slots cost £20 (discounted to £10 if you booked the online course with us) and are 3 hours allowing you plenty of time to get familiar with the radios being used for assessment.

You can change the date and time up to 2 weeks prior to the exam should you feel you are not ready to do it.

SRC (VHF) Marine Radio Course Syllabus

  1. Background information on the GMDSS system and its equipment and licensing requirements
  2. Radio rules and regulations
  3. Operation of marine VHF equipment including DSC functions
  4. The phonetic alphabet
  5. Basic radio language and protocols including pro words such as over, say again, out etc.
  6. Correct use of the various channels
  7. How to make calls to other stations
  8. How to send a Distress Alert and Distress Message (Mayday)
  9. How to send an urgency alert and a safety call
  10. Sit the short written exam upon successful completion of which you will be issued with the ” United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Certificate of Competence and Authority to Operate”

SRC (VHF) Examination

To be issued with a VHF Short Range Certificate (license to operate a VHF Marine Radio), you need to pass a short examination. This cannot be done online & you will need to attend a recognised RYA Training Centre.

Examination Process

Online course 2

The SRC exam is carried out by an independent assessor and consist of a written theory exam (multiple choice) and assessment in the practical use of marine VHF radios. The exam fee is payable directly to the RYA. (See the section on the examination fees for more details.)

Each of our bookable exam slots is 3 hours allowing you plenty of time to get familiar with the training radios being used and prepare for the examination. We recommend a little revision before attending your exam, however, should the worst happen, you can take one re-sit on the day should you have a bad day! (Note: any re-sit is a different exam paper from the first.)

You can complete the online course with us and book the exam with another Training Centre. You will have to check the details with them for more information.

Examination Fees

Our Fees

  • FREE with our classroom SRC (VHF) Marine Radio course
  • £10 with our online SRC (VHF) Marine Radio course
  • £20 if you have completed the course via another RYA Training Centre or for any of the other qualifying criteria (see below)

RYA Fees

The SRC exam fee is £60 and covers the cost of the examiner and the administration of processing and issuing the certificate. This fee is payable to the RYA and is separate from the fee that you pay for the training course and Exam Slot.

The fee for the examination is £60 and is payable directly to the RYA prior to taking the exam. This covered the costs of the external assessor and the issuing of the license once you have successfully completed the exam. We will send a reminder and links to make payment prior to your booked examination slot, however, you can pay in advance now by clicking here should you choose. You will need to create an RYA online account, just follow the guided process on the Exams payment page.

Exam eligibility

To be eligible for the exam, on the day of the exam all candidates must:

  1. be 16 years old or older, and
  2. present one of the following eligibility documents:
  • evidence of completing an RYA SRC training course through an RYA Recognised Training Centre,
    (You don’t have to have done the SRC (VHF) Marine Radio course with us to book an exam slot, however, you will need to provide the certificate of completion from whoever you have taken the course with), or
  • an RYA Restricted VHF certificate, or
  • a suitable aviation radio operator’s certificate.

You cannot just turn up and take the exam without one of the eligibility documents above. Failure to provide will result in the loss of your exam slot. We will not refund the Exam Slot fee.



  1. Online course 4

    James T. (verified owner)

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    Good course, very informative and provides a strong grounding for the exam.

  2. Online course 5

    Mark Jonkergouw (verified owner)

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    Excellent course content – really interesting and informative, while being clear and understandable. Also really appreciated your (Marcus) flexibility in the arrangements for certificate applications and submissions, especially with the recent RYA processing long return times. It all worked out fine in the end!

  3. Online course 6

    Tom Jones (verified owner)

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    The online course was very intuitive and provided an excellent introduction to the VHF radio with excellent simulations. The practical assessment was very enjoyable and Marcus really settled the nerves before we were assessed. An excellent course and incredibly helpful trainer.

  4. Online course 7

    David W. (verified owner)

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  5. Online course 8

    Larry Pelling (verified owner)

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    I did this course via Marcus at Polka Sailing who I had previously completed my Day Skipper course with. Usual great tuition, resources and pragmatic approach from Polka and would recommend.