General Details
Course & Certification:

ID: 6.3.1

Description: Radio GMDSS DSC A1.

Certification type: Presentation A5.

ISO 9001:2015 compliance course & certification.

Course Length:

2.5 days consisting of;

1.5 days of classroom theory.
1.0 day of practical radio exercises & examinations.

Capacity of certification:

On privately registered yachts:
For crew to operate a Marine Radio VHF DSC near-coastal & offshore.

On commercially registered yachts for charter < 24 mtrs LWL:
For crew to operate a Marine Radio VHF DSC near-coastal < 20Nm from a Safe Haven.

On commercial workboats < 20 mtrs LWL carrying less than 12 passengers:
For crew to operate a Marine Radio VHF DSC near-coastal < 20Nm from a Safe Haven.

Recognitions & approvals:

Certificate recognised by all CEPT countries which have adopted CEPT/ERC/REC 31-04.

Reference Standards:

Radio Operator's Certificate for NON-SOLAS Vessels.

Syllabus recommended by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).

Examinations, theory & practical, conducted as per the European Radiocommunication Committee (ERC) Recommendations CEPT/ERC/REC 31-04.

Certification Revalidation:

Required every 5 years.

Sea-time requirements:


Certification issuing requirements:


What does the Certification look like?

iymcs a5 certif

The custom-designed iymcs presentation folder type certification is stylish and practical. The presentation folder outer is made of real leather with a sythentic interior that is resistant to water and protects the certificates. It is A5 in size, it can hold up to four Certificates, and is an ideal size to be kept in a crew document case or with the boat's documents.

The iymcs Certificates are printed to ISO9001:2015 standards, are dual-language and feature extensive security features to security level 3 (Government passports & national Iidentification documents are security levels 1 & 2) and can be used as a personal ID in daily situations. (Nb. It cannot be used instead of a passport/national identity card).

This iymcs Radio GMDSS DSC A1 course is a Global Maritime Distress & Safety System (GMDSS) foundation course that incorporates the ITU Radio SRC/DSC Certification.

The reason behind the GMDSS foundation course is that the Marine VHF Radio is integrated within the GMDSS system through the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) service and for this reason, it is important to have a good understanding of the GMDSS system and how it functions with particular reference to Search and Rescue. Undertaking this course serves the following purposes:

It gives all crew a good level of depth of knowledge. It enables the crew to communicate effectively in distress & urgency situations with the CG, MRCC or MRSC and other vessels. It strengthens the prior-learning knowledge for the professional crew before they do the GMDSS GOC.

This comprehensive course focuses upon the GMDSS set-up giving almost a complete background knowledge of the system and its procedures. The subjects are covered in-depth and the operating procedures are shown with scenarios and responses to, focusing upon SOLAS requirements.

The principal objective of the course is for the student or candidate to gain sufficient knowledge about the GMDSS communications equipment and the associated procedures for effective use of the Marine VHF DSC Radio in Sea Area A1 and to be able to use the other GMDSS equipment in sea areas A2 (under the supervision of a qualified GMDSS operator).

Good communications at sea is absolutely vital, good training makes all the difference when it comes to safety, the iymcs Radio GMDSS DSC A1 course and certificate does just this.

What is this?

Our Society, the 'International Yacht Marine Certification Society" (iymcs) operates its entire operations under a Quality Management System (QMS) that is in compliance with the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 9001:2015 amended. Part of this compliance involves full auditing procedures.
This is an important reference and enables us to gain recognitions from maritime administrations and marine industry bodies alike. The QMS together with the ISO, ensures that iymcs and its Members operate to the highest standards possible. All our courses, and more importantly the Certifications that we issue, are under ISO9001:2015.
This practice is most unusual for such courses and certifications. Some organisations will claim ISO:9001 adherence but often the reality is the ISO compliance is for a very small number of their courses.


How much does the course cost?

The following are the recommended iymcs course prices (ex.VAT), prices may fluctuate between Member schools & colleges.

Scandinavia 300,-EUR Northern Europe 300,-EUR United Kingdom 280,-GBP
Southern Europe 300,-EUR Middle East 300,-USD North America 300,-USD
Prices exclude: course books,certification costs,personal traveling costs,course food and course accommodation.

Course Enquiry or Booking.

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Related Courses

Course Syllabus.

( Vers. 1.5. CEPT/ERC.)   Click-on '+' to see Syllabus.

Science of radio waves (A1.1.3). Radio wave propagation (A1.1.3). Ground waves and sky waves propagation (A1.1.3). Tx & Rx ranges (A1.1.3). Marine VHF Radio Telephone installation (B3.3.2 & 3.3). Interfacing connection to a positioning device (B3.3.2). GMDSS, ITU & SOLAS. Distress Mayday -history and background of.

GMDSS Structure (A2.2.1). GMDSS Sea areas (A2.2.1). SAR Organisation (A3.3.3). MRCC & MRSC (A3.3.2)..

Radio frequency and bands. Simplex, Semi-duplex & Full-duplex operations (A1.1.3). Transmission and receiving distances (A1.1.3). Types of Communications (A1.1.1). Channel types, Categories & Usages (A1.1.3).

Types of aerials, performance & positioning, VHF & SSB (B3.3.1). Types of Marine VHF Radio Telephone Handheld (B1.1.3). UHF Radio Telephony Handheld. GMDSS Radio Station Equipment Installations.

Types of antennas. High & Unity Gain. Mounting options & positioning. Cable & connectors. Emergency aerial.

DSC -history & development. DSC -VHF, MF, HF and Inmarsat Controllers. National ID -Maritime Identification Digits (B2.2.3). Station n°s-ship station (B2.2.3). Station n°s -coast station (B2.2.3). Station n°s -group call (B2.2.3).

Principal controls (B1.1.2). VHF Channels & Frequencies (A1.1.3). Channel 16 (A1.1.3). Primary International Channels (A1.1.3). Dual-watch, Tri-watch & scanning (B1.1.1). DSC alert & messaging. Meteo considerations. Power outputs. Height of aerial.

Basic installation principles. Ground waves and sky waves propagation. Channel 2.182 Khz. Primary channels. Frequency bands & distances. Principal Tx controls. Principal Rx controls. MF operating procedures. Atmospheric & meteo considerations. Daily set-up and testing. Basic fault finding.

Inmarsat -history & organisation. Inmarsat -footprint & address. Inmarsat -B, C, mini C. Inmarsat -Fleet. SatCom Phones.

Vessel licences VHF, SSB & GMDSS Operator Certifications (E1.1.2). ITU and Regional Channel Lists (E1.1.2). Types of Radio Stations (A1.1.2). ITU Regulations of operations (E1.1.2). GMDSS Radio log (E1.1.2). Vessel Identification (D2.2.1). MMSI (B2.2.3)..

BA Vol 1 Maritime radio stations. BA Vol 3 MSIs services. BA Vol 5 GMDSS. International Code of Signals. Pilot books.

Procedure words (D1.1.4). Phonetic alphabet (D1.1.5).

Com procedures -ship to ship (D2.2.1). Com procedures -ship to MRCC or MRSC (D2.2.1). Com procedures -ship to coast station (D2.2.2). Com procedures -ship to VTS Control station (D2.2.2). Com procedures -ship to Aircraft station. Traffic Lists. Traffic Charges (D2.2.3). Radio Procedures Cards.

On-board & Tender Communications -VHF Handheld & UHF Handheld (C3.3.3). Battery Provisions (C3.3.3). Communication Ranges (C3.3.3).

Distress Mayday -definitions. Distress Mayday -alert & message content. Distress Mayday -Tx procedures. Distress Mayday -response procedures. Distress Mayday -relay procedures. Obligation to assist a vessel in Distress. Urgency Pan Pan -definitions. Urgency Pan Pan -type of messages. Urgency Pan Pan -response procedures.

Telemedical Maritime Advice Services (TMAS). Pan Pan Medico Message (D1.1.2). Medevac Message (D1.1.2).

Securite -definitions (D1.1.3). Securite Alert -content (D1.1.3). Securite Message -content (D1.1.3). Securite -Tx procedures (D1.1.3).

MRCC & MRSC (A3.3.2). SAR Communication Procedures (A3.3.4). SAR Operational Regions (A3.3.1).

DSC -Distress, Urgency, Safety & Routine (B2.2.1). DSC -Types of call (B2.2.2). DSC -MMSI ID’s (B2.2.3). DSC -Facilities & Usage (B2.2.4). DSC -Distress Procedures (C1.1.1) DSC -Urgency & Safety Communications (C1.1.2).

Avoiding harmful interference -false alerts & status of CH16, CH70 & CH2.182 (C2.2.1). Transmissions during Distress Traffic (C2.2.2). Prevention of unauthorised transmissions ( (C2.2.3). Test protocols & procedures (C2.2.4). Avoidance of transmissions on VHF guard bands (C2.2.5). Procedures to follow when a false alert or inadvertent Distress Alert is transmitted ((C2.2.6).

Information network & processing. Types of MSI's. Safetynet areas. Vessel address types.

NBDP principles (A4.4.1). Equipment types and installations. Navtext stations & frequencies (E1.1.1). Message format categories (A4.4.1). Messages which cannot be rejected (A4.4.1). Set-up & operating procedures (A4.4.1).

AIS -channel & frequency allocation. AIS -types. AIS -information output. AIS -appplication of. AIS -data error & implications.

SARSAT/COSPAT set-up. EPIRBS -history & development. EPIRBS -types & registration of (C3.3.1). EPIRBS -operating procedures (C3.3.1). EPIRBS -HRU's (C3.3.1). EPIRBS -operating limits, testing & battery life (C3.3.1). EPIRBS - accidental activitation (C2.2.6). SARTS -types & registration of (C3.3.2). SARTS -operating procedures (C3.3.2). SARTS -operational range & height (C3.3.2) Battery Expiry Dates (C3.3) Personal Location Beacons (MOB).

Daily set-up and testing. Basic fault finding. Certificate expiry dates Connection to different power sources ((B3.3.3). Requirements & Safety (B3.3.3). Charging (B3.3.3). Maintenance of batteries (B3.3.3).