The person operating GMDSS equipment is required under IMO SOLAS convention to hold a certificate. These certificates prove that the holder has competences (knowledge and practical skills) and give the right to operate GMDSS equipment. In maritime sector, operators can hold one of the following radio certificates:
  • GOC (General Operator’s Certificate): required on SOLAS vessels operating also outside GMDSS Sea Area A1,
  • ROC (Restricted Operator’s Certificate): required on SOLAS vessels operating only within GMDSS Sea Area A1,
  • LRC (Long Range Certificate): required on non SOLAS vessels operating also outside GMDSS Sea Area A1,
  • SRC (Short Range Certificate): required on non SOLAS vessels operating only within GMDSS Sea Area A1,
There is also a Restricted VHF radiotelephone operator's certificate: a certificate similar to SRC that proves only the competence to operate a VHF radio. This is an old certificate, which is no longer issued, and holders are urged to update it to one of the above.
Certificates are issued by national agencies (in Ireland, the Department of Transport) based on examination. Examinations include written papers and oral / practical tests.Certificates are issued without time limit, except higher certificates (GOC, ROC), that are required on SOLAS vessels which need periodic refreshment. It is a requirement that you attend an approved course of study before attending the examinations.

VHF & Chartplotter Training (a division of Moher Technologies Ltd) is the only private sector organisation in Ireland approved to deliver all of the above courses. This approval is granted by the Department of Transport (Marine Survey Office).
Last modified: Saturday, 25 April 2020, 7:50 PM