Marine VHF Radio Operators Award

Course Overview

The Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate is designed to give Surf Lifeguards the knowledge and skill needed to be able to use a VHF radio while operating in emergency situations and search and rescue operations. It is a legal requirement for members to have this qualification to use a marine VHF radio.

Course Information 

Prerequisites: 14 years of age | Current member of a SLS club | Surf Lifeguard Award (Refreshed) or Patrol Support 

Delivered by: Regional facilitators 

Who should complete it: Anyone intending on using a marine VHF radio for search and rescue operations. 

Candidate requirements: Complete a home study guide for the Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate. Fully participate in the course and successfully complete the assessment. 


Topics Covered 

This course, which aligns with the syllabus specified by Radio Spectrum Management, covers the general features and functions of a marine VHF radio, procedures and operating techniques for routine calling, correct distress and urgency and safety procedures, pro-words and the phonetic alphabet, trip reports, weather services, EPIRBS and more.



At the completion of the qualification candidates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of:
1. Marine VHF radio communications
2. The standard features of marine VHF radios and EPIRBs
3. New Zealand marine VHF Radio Service providers
4. Routine marine VHF radio calling procedures and operating techniques
5. Marine VHF radio distress calling procedures
6. Marine VHF radio urgency and safety calling procedures


Note: Coastguard Boating Education also offer this course as a online learning module. 

To begin training for this qualification contact your club or local Club Development Officer.