Background Information: 

If you operate a marine VHF radio on a British flagged boat you are legally required to hold an operators licence, unless under the supervision of a qualified operator. The Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the operator’s licence required for Class D radios including handheld VHF radios fitted with DSC the type used by most leisure craft.

SRC VHF Radio courses are conducted by RYA training centres on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency MCA and the syllabus conforms to the requirements of the International and European Telecommunications Unions.

You must be 16 years of age or older to take the RYA SRC Exam.

The SRC is not suitable for those working on larger commercial vessels, where a more advanced qualification is demanded.

The SRC is generally accepted internationally for operators on British flagged boat. To operate radios on foreign craft you should contact the appropriate national authority.

 Pre Course Reading:

Once you have purchased your RYA VHF Radio course with Seavoice Training the RYA VHF Radio handbook (R-G31) or eBook will be posted/emailed out to.vhf-book

Before coming on the course you must have a good working knowledge of the Phonetic Alphabet and also a good understanding of Distress procedures using DSC and voice.


Phonetic Alphabet












Mnemonic M.I.P.D.A.N.I.O 


M – MAYDAY x 3

I – Identity = Vessesls Name x3 – Callsign / T Number – MMSI 



I – Identity

P – Position

D – Distress

A – Assistance

N – Number

I – Information

O – Over


FREE – VHF Radio procedure cards:

Download VHF Mayday Distress cards – DSC

Download VHF Mayday Relay Card – DSC

Download VHF Urgency Pan Pan – DSC

Download VHF Routine calling – Voice

Download VHF Routine calling – DSC


Important changes to the Distress Relay procedure

changes to the Distress Relay procedure. An Urgency all ships announcement (DSC) should no longer be sent prior to transmitting a voice ‘Mayday Relay’ call and message.

In addition there has been a small change in terminology when referring to urgency, safety and routine DSC calls. The correct terms are now ‘Urgency Announcement’, ‘Safety Announcement‘ and ‘Routine Announcement‘. Previously these were referred to as ‘Alerts’, a term which is now reserved for DSC Distress calls only.


Recommended Reading: 

We also recommend that you read up on the Marine VHF Radio protocols, we have the following publications we recommend available.


VHF Radio inc GMDSS (G22)

RYA VHF Radio Syllabus

VHF Radio procedure – Flip Cards

Purchase and download a VHF radio procedure card only £2.50

01704 539578

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