New users of VHF face 10 hours training + written exam

Yachtsmen sitting the VHF radio licence course will, from next year, have to sit a minimum 10 hours of study to meet European standards. The new RYA course must also include practical and written assessments. The new format comes into effect on the 2nd January 2014.

The standards for training and assessment for the SRC are set by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT), which require a separation between training and examination.

Three of the 10-hours study time may be home study, using the course pack and RYA VHF radio handbook. This will leave seven hours of classroom training which candidates will undertake with a RYA instructor. To meet the new regulations, the practical and written assessments will then be taken with a separate instructor.

Alternatively, candidates can undertake training via a new online VHF radio course provided by the RYA. With this format, they will also receive a course pack to assist learning online. Upon completion of the course, students will be issued with a unique candidate number that verifies their eligibility to attend both practical and written assessments at an approved RYA centre.

An Icom spokesman said: ‘We recommend, that those customers who only have a VHF licence, should refresh themselves of the changes in this area of safety via either of these new course formats.’

Ocean yachtsman, Max Libersen, said: ‘Anybody would think using a marine radio is as complex as rocket science.’

If you have any questions about these changes or would like details of your local RYA centre please visit: .