The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the Very High Frequency (VHF) radio licence issued to someone who has completed both SRC training and assessment.  The certificate has replaced the old VHF Restricted Licence and is the qualification required to operate a marine VHF Radio.    Even if you have completed the course online, you must still sit the exam, which has two sections: a written paper and practical use of a marine VHF Radio / Digital Selective Calling (DSC) set.

The training modules

Progress tracking
Once installed, the training modules can be completed online or offline. The student must be online at the point when they start the modules to enable the tracking of their progress through the modules to start. Subsequently, each time they go back online their progress will be updated and the training centre administrator will be able to view their progress through RYA Interactive (see Getting Started notes). If modules are completed offline, when they are all complete, and while still in the modules, the student must go online in order for the completion to be synced to RYA Interactive.

In-module quizzes
There are a number of questions and quizzes included in the training modules to check students’ understanding along the way. The students’ responses to these are not recorded, do not contribute to the students’ final assessment, and Assessors will be not able to interrogate the answers given.

One user on multiple devices
One user can download the training modules onto multiple supported devices. On each device they will need to log in using their RYA Interactive user name and password. Provided they go online, their progress on the various devices should be synced to RYA Interactive.

Multiple users on one device
Multiple students can complete the training modules on one device provided each student is a registered user on RYA Interactive and has been enrolled on the course. It will be necessary for one user to logout of the modules before the other user can log in. If one student completes modules while the other student is still logged in, progress will be attributed to wrong user account. We strongly recommend that multiple users on one device remain online for the duration of the training modules to ensure progress tracking is carried out accurately.

Practice scenarios
When students have completed the first seven modules of the training course, the practice scenarios will become available to them for further practice making distress, urgency and routine alerts, calls and messages. These are optional, so do not form part of the progress tracking on RYA Interactive, and do not have to be completed before the Pre-exam Knowledge Check is taken.

Pre-exam knowledge check
The Pre-exam Knowledge Check will be unlocked when a student completes the training modules. Students are allowed three attempts at the knowledge check and there is no time limit. If a student needs more than three attempts, your Assessor should review their knowledge check answers (see Getting Started notes) before offering help on any areas they are struggling with. When the Assessor is satisfied that the student is ready to try the knowledge check again, email to request a further three attempts.
Include in your email the student’s name, the name of your training centre, the Assessor’s name and reference number, and confirmation that the student has been offered help. Please allow up to two working days for the knowledge check to be reset for the further attempts.

There are three levels of automatic feedback for students completing the knowledge check:

Feedback for students scoring over 80%:
Well done. You scored between 80% and 100% in the knowledge check which suggests you should be ready for your exam. Remember, your practical use of a radio needs to be as good as your theory knowledge, so make good use of the radio simulations in the course. You can now download
your course completion certificate.

Feedback for students scoring between 60% and 80%:
Your score shows that there are some areas that could do with more study. Before downloading your course completion certificate you are advised to review your answers and revisit the course material and have another go at the knowledge check. You are allowed three attempts. Don’t forget you can contact your instructor if you need help.

Feedback for student scoring less than 60%:
You have scored less than 60% so you should review your answers and revisit the course material before having another go at the knowledge check. You are allowed three attempts. Don’t forget you can contact your instructor if you need help.

Course completion certificate
The certificate will be unlocked when the student scores 60% or more in their knowledge check although, as shown above, unless they scored over 80% they are advised to spend more time studying before their final exam. Students must take their certificate to their final exam.

Final exam
Students who have completed the online course are required to sit the final exam at a training centre. They must take their course completion certificate and exam application form to the exam. Assessors can check the validity of their own students’ certificates (see Getting Started notes).

How to take the course

You have the following options open to you:

  1. Take an online course followed by the practical exam. With Arrow Yacht Enterprises, if you have a quorum of four or more, this exam may be arranged near where you live.
  2. Take a course in the classroom followed by the practical exam.  Normally this will be in Cheltenham, but it could be arranged near where you live, dependent on distance, and providing you have a quorum of four or more candidates.  Your assessor for both written and practical parts of the course is not the same person as your instructor who will be Sticky Stapylton (see )

What it costs

Either an online course                    £70.00


A classroom course                            £120.00

The exam                                              £60.00

Online Course (PC or iPad).   When you register with Arrow Yacht Enterprises for the online course, you will be sent a login and a password to the interactive site. The course could take up to 8 hours to complete online. After the course, you must take the exam to gain the SRC; this cannot be completed online.

Classroom Course   This is a one day course from 9.30am to 5.30 pm plus an exam at the end.  An hour’s break  is given for lunch.

For Both Courses You will be asked to learn in advance the phonetic alphabet and familiarise yourself with the distress procedure. Whilst those aged under 16 can take the course, they must be at least 16 years old to go on to take the exam and be issued the certificate by the RYA.

If you have already completed either the on line or classroom course, you can take the exam with Arrow Yacht Enterprises.  You must have either a completion number from the on line course or the signature of your classroom course instructor on your exam application form.   You will be given time to familiarise yourself with the simulator radios prior to the practical assessment.

If you hold an old RYA VHF authority to operate or an aviation radio licence, you are strongly advised to attend the full on line or classroom course before taking the exam.  If you so wish, you can study on your own and turn up for the exam.

Assessment    For the practical assessment you must be able to:

  1. Define a distress situation
  2. Activate a DSC distress alert, with position and time input manually or automatically
  3. Send a Mayday message by voice
  4. Respond appropriately to a DSC distress alert and to a Mayday message, including relay of a distress message
  5. Know how to deploy an Emergency  Position  Indicating  Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and Search and Rescue Transponder (SART)
  6. Know the procedure for cancellation of a distress message sent in error
  1. Define an urgency situation
  2. Initiate a DSC Urgency alert
  3. Send an Urgency message by voice
  4. Respond appropriately to an urgency message
  1. Identify a situation in which a safety message is appropriate
  2. Initiate a DSC Safety alert
  3. Send a Safety message by voice
  4. Receive Maritime Safety Information by NAVTEX
  1. Initiate a routine call using DSC
  2. Establish communication and exchange voice messages
  3. Check  the radio by making a test call
  4. Enter Maritime Mobile Service Identities (MMSI) into the radio directory
  5. Maintain a radio listening watch
  6. Use the phonetic alphabet


We can take your booking by email, by phone or by the form here . Payment can be made by PayPal or bank transfer. On clearance of your payment you will be sent your login to the online course and administrative instructions by email.

Please call the office on 01242 572 680 or email for more information, or to book either of these courses use the links above.