There are essentially 2 types of Marine Radio Licences:
- The Long Range Operators Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP) is the preferred licence and is for operating both VHF radios (short range radios) and Medium Frequency/High Frequency (MF/HF) Radios (which are designed for long range transmission) and
- The Short Range Operators Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP) is designed for those who are only carrying and/or operating a Very High Frequency (VHF) (Short Range) radio.
Basically if you intend travelling on offshore coastal voyages, are part of a yacht race crew, or applying for commercial qualifications such as a Coxswain's or Master V certificate, you should obtain an LROCP Certificate. THIS IS THE PREFERRED CERTIFICATE TO OBTAIN.
If you are operating small recreational vessels in harbours and bays or staying near the coast then an SROCP Certificate will be sufficient.
NOTE: We do not receive many applications for the SROCP and we do not generally recommend that applicants obtain this certificate. The simple reason is the cost to obtain the 2 certificates is the same.
However the problem occurs if you wish to upgrade the certificate. In the past we have had applicants with SROCP only radio certificates who have sought to upgrade to the LROCP due to a number of reasons (required on a yacht in an offical yacht race, to obtain a commercial certificate or even joining a Marine Rescue organisation as a volunteer etc). Unfortunately the OMC do not have an upgrade process. You simply have to do it all again with all the time and costs involved.
Regardless of which certificate you wish to apply for if you are a Boat Owner and you wish to upgrade your MF/HF or VHF Radio to a Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Radio, which is now the preferred type of radio to have on board, you will NOT be able to complete the radio registration process with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and obtain a Marine Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number for the radio unless you obtain your Marine Radio Operators Certificate first.