To be eligible to book the RYA VHF exam students will be required to have successfully completed one of the following:

  • An online RYA VHF course and obtained an unique certificate number
  • Attended a classroom course and obtained a signature of completion from your instructor

Candidates may be of any Nationality or residency, although the exam will be conducted in English. The minimum age for examination is 16 years old on the day of the exam.

On the day of the exam you will be required to bring either:

  • A copy of your online course certificate and application form
  • An application form signed by your course instructor

All students are required to provide a passport photograph and payment of £60 which is paid directly to the RYA. Payment can be made by cheque, debit or credit card- cheques should be made payable to the RYA. You will not be able to sit your exam unless payment is made.

The RYA VHF exam will include a practical and a theory assessment. Students will be given 20-30 minutes to familiarise themselves with the radio simulators before the exam commences.

Practical Assessment
The practical section of the exam will be based on scenarios given to you by the assessor and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The practical assessment is designed to test the students knowledge of the following:

Distress Situations:
The ability to identify a distress situation
The ability to initiate a DSC distress alert with position and time input manually or automatically
The ability to send a distress call and message by voice
The ability to respond to a distress alert, call and message, including relay of a distress message
Know the procedure for cancelling a DSC distress alert sent in error.

Urgency Situations:
The ability to identify an urgency situation
The ability to initiate a DSC urgency alert
The ability to send and urgency message by voice
The ability to respond to an urgency message.

Safety Situations:
The ability to identify a situation in which a safety message is appropriate
The ability to initiate a DSC safety alert.

Routine Communications:
The ability to initiate a routine call using DSC and select an appropriate working channel
The ability to establish communications and exchange messages with other stations by voice
The ability to enter a group or individual MMSI number
The ability to use the international Phonetic Alphabet.

In addition students should be aware of the following:
How to deploy and EPIRB and SART
Know how to test a VHF radio by use of a radio check
How to maintain an appropriate watch on DSC and working channels.

Theory Paper:
The theory paper is a 30 minute closed book exam.

If a period of time has elapsed since the completion of the RYA VHF course and taking the exam students are advised to refresh their knowledge prior to attending the exam. The examiner will be unable to teach or coach any aspect of the RYA VHF course.

Available dates

Booking form

Unsure which course is right for you? We will attempt to explain the broad, and sometimes confusing, range of sailing courses available.

If you are new to sailing have a look at what other practical and theory courses we offer or if your interested in brushing up you sailing skills why not have a look at what refresher courses we offer.