There are essentially 3 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 required for those who are only carrying and/or operating a Very High Frequency (VHF) (Short Range) radio.
The Australian Waters Qualification (AWQ). This certificate is of a lower grade to those above and therefore we do not recommend it. The cost for all 3 certificates is basically the same however the major limitation is that it is only valid in Australia up to 12 nautical miles to sea. On this basis it is not applicable to any marine qualification such as a Coxswain or Master V certificate. In addition it will not be accepted overseas unlike the SROCP and LROCP which are international certificates.
Current requirements for obtaining either the LROCP and SROCP or the AWQ certificates involve demonstrating competency in the use of marine radios as well as sitting the final 'closed book' exam.
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.