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Marine Radio Course

Covid-19 and marine radio training update

Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy – 17 September, 2020.

As Melbournians would be aware, we are still in Stage 4 lockdown conditions in the Melbourne metropolitan area. Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy is planning for the resumption of marine radio training and other courses as soon as we are permitted.

We are receiving many enquiries and bookings for courses in the remainder of 2020 (and beyond) and thank you for your interest. As we are a “non – essential” business we are working from home outside of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron at the present time.

At the moment we await further advice from the Victorian Government as to when we can travel outside of 5 km, go boating and have gatherings allowing for sail training would be permitted.

Based on the previous easing of Health restrictions say in May & June 2020 the following criteria is likely before we can resume radio training:

  • Gatherings allowed for up to five people or more inside with density limits observed
  • Use of masks as directed
  • Physical distancing of 1.5 metres 
  • Use of hand sanitising stations, temperature checks and session registration
  • A Covid safe plan being in place
  • The endorsement of Office of Maritime Communications, the national regulator.

The Victorian Government advised in its Covid roadmap on 6 Sept 2020 that Melbourne may be able to move out of Stage 4 restrictions (and curfew) by 28 October 2020, subject to infection health targets being met. A further easing of Stage 3 or lesser restrictions will be needed beyond this date for the above criteria to be met, leading to the resumption of many community activities including marine training. These decisions are for the Chief Health Officer and the Victorian Government. We remain optimistic and keen to resume training as soon as permitted to do so.

What can I do if I’m interested in radio courses now!

Please register your interest with us via an email or complete a booking form. By registering your interest we will prioritise your participation in the earliest possible training course. When we do get permission to resume, it’s likely to be closer to Xmas and may be rushed. We will prioritise contact with students who have booked or sent email with contact details such as their mobile phone number.

We are not requiring any payment at this stage. Payment is normally required once a specific course place has been organised for you and you have confirmed your participation, often in the few days prior to the start of your course.

If you have any questions, please consider ringing me on 0412 196301 first. In many cases it’s far easier for me to answer your specific questions  on the phone vs a long email response. It’s also an opportunity for me to suggest a pathway for your skills development. Either way I’m always up for a chat.

Remember there’s also 2021 if you can’t get started this side of Xmas.

Best regards and happy sailing,

Leigh Brennan-Smith, Chief Instructor, 17 September 2020.

The Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy conducts a number of shore based marine courses throughout the year, including International Marine Radio Certificates and Coastal Navigation. These courses are available to the public, all boating enthusiasts and members & friends of RMYS. 

For more information on any of these courses, contact Leigh at the Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy on 9534 0059 or 0412 196 301, or email: training@rmys.com.au

Marine Radio

International Marine Radio Operators Licence. Short or Long Range Marine Radio Certificates. New Testing Regulations.

A marine radio is one of the most important safety items onboard a vessel, and the correct use of your radio will allow you to access weather updates, important safety information and call for assistance in an emergency. All marine radio users (except 27 mhz users) must have a Proficiency Certificate (licence) by law under the Commonwealth Radio communications Act 1992 – don’t risk a huge fine or imprisonment! 
International marine radio qualifications. All of the marine radio qualifications taught at the Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy are recognised internationally so you will be able to use your qualifications around the world in yacht charters or international cruising. You can choose to study for your full HF, MF and VHF marine radio licence for offshore and coastal use (Long Range qualification, previously the MROCP certificate), or just a VHF licence if you only want to use a radio in enclosed waters (Short Range qualification, previously the MROVCP certificate). You will undertake several hands-on exercises using training radio equipment, including use of the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) distress signal. You have the opportunity to use our linked ICOM VHF DSC radio network or our newly installed ICOM 801E HF marine radio to enhance your practical radio knowledge and prepare for the NEW practical user test (see below)!

The course fee includes lectures delivered by experienced marine instructors, hands on use of our marine radios set up for training, a Marine Radio textbook (for Long Range or Short Range qualification), your exam/licence fee and now practical testing. The exam ($89) and text book ($25 or $45 according to your stream) are included in your course fees. All exams & licencing are administered on behalf of the Commonwealth by the University of Tasmania.

New testing regulations as of 1st August 2017All marine radio students must be practically assessed using marine radios in addition to successfully passing a multiple choice test (as before).Our training course includes the use of actual marine radios as part of our normal teaching methods. So when it comes to practical testing you’ll be able to demonstrate how to use the radio – just like in a real onboard emergency!

Please compare marine radio course offering carefully.

Our marine radio course fees include all exam and supervision fees as well as a copy of the official Marine radio textbook. We offer a face – to – face training course and hands – on practical marine radio training with experienced marine radio instructors present! Plus with the practical testing requirements from 2017 you’ll have gained practice using actual marine radios before any testing occurs. The Australian Waters Qualification (AWQ). Be aware this qualification is VHF only and for use in Australian waters only. The AWQ is not recognised overseas, potentially leaving you without an internationally recognised marine radio qualification for an overseas boating charter or cruising holiday.

ONLINE COURSES: Be aware that we charge an invigilation fee (examination fees paid by external students) to accommodate the compulsory exam supervision and practical testing. The risk of failure is high by online or self study students who may have undertaken an online course and never seen or used a marine radio. When you add the online course fee, plus an exam fee of $89, plus an invigilation fee and no handbook (you are required by law to have an official copy on your vessel), no practical training, why would you risk an online course? As the marine radio licence is without renewal (potentially lifelong), why would you also consider a lower qualification or an online course that does not offer practical training!

Duration: one full day or two evenings (VHF only) or three evenings (HF, MF and VHF)

Cost: $275 (VHF only) or $315 (HF, MF and VHF) – includes official marine radio textbook (according to your stream) and exam fee of $89.  Includes practical testing at no extra cost. 

For more information, see the updated course overview 

We can also organise mid-week one day training courses for groups or undertake external group training. Just ask! 

To enrol in a course or to find out upcoming course dates, please download the booking form below:

Here’s what some recent students had to say about our marine radio course:

“The best parts were the instructor’s knowledge and hand on experience with the radio equipment” Andrew, cruising yacht skipper
  • “I had a great time, got practical (marine radio) experience and learned a lot.”   Luke, new trailer sailer owner
  • “The course was relaxed and delivered in a friendly manner. Application was great. Very happy thanks Leigh!”  Jason, keelboat helmsman
  • “The best parts were the presenter’s knowledge and experience, the use of real radios and the practical field assignment”  Alex, club volunteer
  • “Attending this marine radio operators course enabled me to revise skills and update with new technology. Great interactive learning – thanks!” Richard, race officer
  • Best parts of the course were: “Learning a valuable new skill and interaction with others in the group with similar interests. It was a very interesting and well-run course. I really enjoyed it.” Mark, yacht owner

For more information contact Leigh at the Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy

Phone:  03 9534 0059
Mobile:  0412 196 301 
Email: training@rmys.com.au