Marine radio operator's certificate of proficiency – preparation and exam.

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All sailors, skipper and crew, should be confident to operate the radio equipment on any boat. You never know when you may be called upon to issue that important distress call or coordinate radio communication while your skipper comes to the aid of another vessel. The first step is to obtain your Marine Radio  Certificate of Proficiency. To obtain the certificate you will need to sit a multiple choice exam set by the Australian Maritime College, Office of Maritime Communication.

This course is provided by Sail Escapade, an ORCV training partner.


Operators of marine VHF and MF/HF radios are required to be certified in accordance with international conventions and agreements to which Australia is a party. There are two levels of internationally recognised certification relevant to recreational sailors -

  • The Short Range Certificate (SRC) for VHF operation, known in Australia as the Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP).

  • The Long Range Certificate (LRC) for VHF and MF/HF operations, known in Australia as the Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP).

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), as the government regulatory body, has recently approved a new qualifications called the Australian Waters Qualification (AWQ). The AWQ is only valid for VHF operation in inland and territorial waters. It is not valid beyond the 12nm territorial waters limit nor is it recognised outside Australia. With these restrictions in mind the ORCV recommends recreational sailors obtain the LROCP or as a minimum, the SROCP.


The course culminates in a supervised examination.

  • The exam is prepared by the Office of Maritime Communication at the Australian Maritime College (OMC); a division of the University of Tasmania.

  • The exam is 25 multiple choice question for the SROCP or 50 multiple choice questions for the LROCP.

  • The pass mark is 70%

  • Upon successful completion of the examination, the candidate will receive their certificate in the mail directly from the OMC.

This course will result in participants acquiring the knowledge required to participate in marine radio communications. However, there is little practical content or hands on operation of radios as the emphasis is on understanding the regulations, protocols and land based stations. The ORCV has developed a complementary training session, “Practical hands-on marine radio workshop”, which is recommended as a supplement to provide practice and confidence in using marine radios. This practical training includes routine communication, group skeds and distress situations as well as understanding the capability of the ORCV mobile communications van which is used to support our our on-water events.


No prior knowledge or reading is required.

Minimum age to sit the exam is 16. Younger candidates may attend the course but must wait until their 16th birthday before sitting the exam.

What to bring

Notepad, highlighter pen and pen or pencil.

Course Outline.

This course provides a guide to the topics covered in the exam and provides a program of coaching, self study and pre-exam revision which is designed to both increase your knowledge and allow you to approach the examination with confidence. The course is run over two sessions by Sail Escapade, an ORCV training partner, and consists of a training night followed by a revision exercise and the exam approximately one week later.

Candidates will become to familiar with -

  • Basic radio components and controls.

  • Distress, calling and working frequencies.

  • Maritime communication stations and coast radio stations.

  • Marine repeater channels, simplex, duplex channels and the Victorian/Tasmanian repeater network.

  • Simple electrical circuits and related fault diagnosis

  • Standard radio usage protocols

  • Distress, urgency and safety protocols

  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC) distress procedures.

  • EPIRB operation and SART Operation


Closed book, 25 or 50 questions, multiple choice exam.

The exam is marked by the OMC, result is not available immediately.


Upon successful completion of the examination, participants will receive the relevant certificate (LROCP or SROCP) directly from the OMC. The certificate is valid for life and there is no further assessment or renewal process. OMC charges a small fee for replacing lost certificates.

ORCV requires that at least one, and for Category 2 and above events and double handed entries, two members of the crew to hold the relevant certificate of proficiency.

Course Materials

All participants will be provided with -

  • A 48 page study guide.

  • A number of handouts relevant to certain topics.

  • References to supporting information online.

  • Access to the online practice examination.

Dates, Location, Time, Duration

The course comprises two sessions with a self study period in between

  Next course Following date  Location Time Duration
Session 1 - Training and study guidance

Friday, May 6th

Friday, June 24th

Quay Boulevard
Wyndham Harbour
South Werribee

6:30pm - 10:15pm



Self Study period


May 7th - 12th

June 25th - 30th
    6 - 10 hrs
Session 2 - revision and exam.

Friday, May 13th

Friday, July 1st

Quay Boulevard
Wyndham Harbour
South Werribee

6:30pm - 9:30pm 3hrs


ORCV members, full time students $180

Non-ORCV members $210

Sail Escapade supports the ORCV policy of encouraging youth members to partake in important safety training.  Limited places are available at a further reduced cost for YA registered members who are full time students 16 - 18 years.  Please contact Robert at Sail Escapade on 0418574360 before booking.

Cost includes printed study guide and OMC examination sitting fee.

The full Marine Radio Operators Handbook can be ordered for an additional $40. It is only required by boat owners who have a MF/HF radio fitted and do not already have a copy.


Online enrolment is available through the registration link below. Course numbers are limited, payment in advance of at least 5 days is required to secure your place and ensure your study guide is ordered.

For further information please contact Robert Bradley at Sail Escapade on 0418574360 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To register click here