Marine VHF Radio Certificate

MARC019 Transmit and receive information by marine VHF radio within Australian Territorial Waters

This unit involves the skills and knowledge required to transmit and receive information by marine very high frequency (VHF) radio on a vessel according to regulations and includes operating an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).

This unit applies to all boaters using marine VHF radio equipment to transmit and receive information to and from shore and vessel-based operators within Australian Territorial Waters – defined as all waters within 12 nautical miles from the coastal baseline.

This unit is consistent with the requirements of the Radiocommunications (Maritime Ship Station – 27 MHz and VHF) Class Licence 2001.

Course duration:

4 hours


Course content includes:

  • basic principles of and procedures for marine VHF radio communications
  • basic understanding of the Australian maritime search and rescue system, including satellite distress beacons
  • EPIRB frequencies:
  • 406 MHz
  • 5/MHz (homing)
  • marine VHF repeater stations
  • methods of communicating vessel position
  • procedures for transmitting and decoding the phonetic alphabet
  • purpose of monitoring the VHF Channel 70 used for DSC, including an awareness of the procedures used in making a DSC Distress Alert, Urgency and Safety Announcement
  • sections of relevant regulations related to marine VHF radio communications
  • VHF radio calling, replying and relaying procedures


After completing this course successfully learners will be able to:

  • Know how the use DSC (Digital Selective Calling).
  • Obtain a MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) number for DSC (Digital Selective Calling) use
  • Know the correct radio channels to use and when to use them
  • Receive updated weather and navigational information
  • Know distress and safety procedures
  • Know how to access search and rescue.
  • Know how to respond to an emergency call
  • Know how to send messages that are understood by others and how to respond
  • Know when and how to operate an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) in a distress situation


Competency field:

C – Equipment Operations



Students will be assessed through a written test, correct demonstration of radio usage and completion of a radio logbook.



On successful completion of this training course, students will be issued with up to date certification – a nationally recognized Statement of Attainment for MARC019 Transmit and receive information by marine VHF radio within Australian Territorial Waters.

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