Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked Questions

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Do I have to have my certificate endorsed?
All officers who have to comply with the requirements of the STCW Code must have their GMDSS Certificate endorsed by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA). STCW Endorsement does not apply to Long Range or Short Range Certificates (LRC or SRC).
Do I have to revalidate my radio certificate?
The GMDSS certificate itself does not expire. Certificate holders serving on board SOLAS craft must have the STCW endorsement revalidated, which can be done by sending evidence of relevant sea-time, or up-to-date STCW basic training as listed on MCA form MSF4354
What are the changes to STCW Basic Safety Training that apply from January 2017?
The four elements of STCW Basic Safety Training that are required for initial endorsement and revalidation in the GMDSS GOC/ROC certificates do not currently expire. However, starting January 2017, the Manila Amendments to STCW Convention and Code which entered into force on 1st January 2012 will require refresher training for some elements to be taken at least every five years. More information can be found in Marine Information Note - MIN 469 (M) - from the MCA.
How long can I expect to wait before receiving my new GMDSS certificate?
Typically you should expect to receive your certificate within 6-8 weeks of the examination. If you are concerned about any delays, speak in the first instance to your course provider.
How much does a replacement certificate cost?
Currently a replacement certificate costs £56. You will need to complete a Lost Certificate form.
I want to work on rigs. Which certificate do I need?
First decide what you want to do on a rig! Crane operators often hold an SRC. Medic/radio operator may have an LRC. A Radio operator on a 'Jack-up' may need a GOC. You need a certificate "appropriate to the equipment fitted on the platform". If you think that you may work on a 'Jack-up' this comes under the Maritime Mobile regulations and is regarded as a Ship. It is advisable to speak to the company that you intend to work for and ask what they require. It could be any of the four radio certificates.
Which certificate do I need on a FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) unit?
FPSO which is not fixed has the potential to be towed or move under its own power and falls under MCA jurisdiction. MCA would expect to see a GOC.
Fixed rigs are different and fall under the remit of the HSE (Health and Safety Executive). Contact HSE directly ( for advise on fixed rigs.
I have a yacht with an SSB radio, which certificate should I have?
The Long Range Certificate (LRC).


Do I have to do a course before the exam?
You MUST do an MCA approved course before the ROC or GOC examination. You are strongly advised to do an approved course prior to any of the radio examinations.
Can I do the exam at a different place to where I took the course?
You will receive a course completion certificate to show that you have completed an approved MCA course. In theory you can present this at any Approved Examination Venue and sit the exam. In practice this is not to be recommended as centres may use different manufacturer's equipment and all of the exams have a practical operation element, so your chances of success would be lower.

Do I need ...

I intend to fit a VHF and Iridium SAT phone on my yacht. Do I need the LRC?
No. You need a SRC to cover operation of the VHF. You do not need an operators certificate for the Iridium.
I have years of military experience as an operator, does this count?
Regardless of previous experience, you MUST do a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) approved course before the ROC or GOC examination. You are strongly advised to do an approved course prior to any of the radio examinations.
I am a licensed radio amateur. Can I use a marine transceiver with this licence?
No. Your amateur licence does not cover you on the maritime frequencies. Nor does the marine certificate allow you to use the amateur bands for transmitting.


Do I have to book an examination separately?
Your course provider will normally make arrangements with the Examination Co-ordination Centre (ECC) for the examination. Candidates do not make direct contact with examiners prior to the examination.
Is it best to do the ROC before the GOC?
The radio exams are designed to examine your competence on equipment that you will use in various sea areas. It is not a requirement that you must hold a SRC or ROC before attempting the LRC or GOC


What are the requirements for the photographs I need to provide for my certificate?
Photographs must meet the requirements of Her Majesty's Passport Office. Find out more here.