GOC Examination

General Operator Certificate Examination Format

At present, the GOC examination consists of three parts as follows:

  1. General Knowledge written examination on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and Radio Regulations
  2. Radiotelephone Communication (R/T) exercise simulating a Distress situation
  3. Operation of Equipment

To pass the examination, you must pass each of the above parts. There is a facility to resit any failed part (at the discretion of the Examination Co-ordination Centre - ECC), provided this is done within seven working days of the first attempt and at the same ECC.

The General Knowledge exam consists of three written questions and 15 multi-choice questions. Time allowed is 25 minutes. The pass mark is 75%.

The R/T exercise involves a number of candidates taking the role of ships at sea. The examiner takes the role of a ship in Distress. Candidates are required to use correct verbal and written procedures at appropriate times during the execution of the scenario. The pass mark for this part is 75%.

During the Operation of equipment stage, the candidate is asked to perform a range of practical tasks on each piece of the equipment. The equipment includes MF/HF Transceiver, VHF Transceiver, DSC Controller, NAVTEX, EPIRBs, and Inmarsat B, F77 and C systems. The practical examination also covers more general topics on the testing of equipment, the care and maintenance of batteries and antenna installations. The pass mark is 70%.


GOC Syllabus

The General Operator's Certificate of Competence for use in the GMDSS will be awarded to applicants who have, by means of satisfactorily completing to the appropriate standard written and practical tests, demonstrated their knowledge and ability in the following areas:

The basic features of the Maritime Mobile Service and the Maritime Mobile-Satellite Service:
  • The general principles and basic features of the maritime mobile service
  • The general principles and basic features of the maritime mobile-satellite service
  • The general principles and basic features of the GMDSS
Practical skills to use a Ship Station:
  • Radio installation
  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC)
  • Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP) / Radio Telex Systems
  • NAVTEX
  • GMDSS compliant satellite systems
Operational procedures:
  • Distress, urgency and safety communication for DSC and radiotelephony
  • Satellite communication
  • Other means of alerting and locating
  • Search and Rescue (SAR) communication
  • Maritime Safety Information (MSI)
  • Routine communication
Miscellaneous skills:
  • Regulations and agreements
  • Documentation and publications
  • Ability to use English language, both written and spoken, for the satisfactory exchange of communications relevant to the safety of life at sea
  • Voyage planning
  • Traffic charges

See AMERC Administration Handbook for detailed GOC syllabus information.


GOC Course Providers

See the full list of GOC course providers.

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