GMDSS General Operator's Certificate of Competency (GOC) (MCA Approved)


A two week full time course designed to prepare students for assessment leading to the award of the GMDSS GENERAL OPERATOR'S CERTIFICATE (GOC) consisting of written and practical examinations in the following areas:

Knowledge of general principles, basic features and use of:

  • The Maritime Mobile (Terrestrial Radio and Satellite ) Service
  • Detailed practical knowledge and ability to use the basic communications  equipment of a ship station:, including Radio communication transceivers, Digital Selective Calling (DSC),  shipborne Inmarsat satellite systems , Navtex , EPIRBs, SARTs , Distress, urgency and safety communication procedures in the GMDSS, Search and Rescue operation
  • Miscellaneous skills and operational procedures for general communications including, the satisfactory exchange of communications relevant to the safety of life at sea, Obligatory procedures and practices, Practical and theoretical knowledge of general communication procedures


  • £1215 + £160 exam fee

Dates available:

Please contact the Marine Booking Centre on 0191 427 3772, email

Course content:

Detailed knowledge of the operation of the GMDSS sub-systems and equipment.

You will learn how to operate and describe the function of the following equipment:

  • MF/HF/VHF transmitters/receivers using telephony and Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP)
  • DSC encoder/decoder
  • Inmarsat Ship Earth Station (SES)
  • Radar Transponders
  • NAVTEX receiver
  • Propagation
  • Aerials
  • Batteries
  • Use of BITE

Ability to send and receive by radiotelephone and NBDP
You will learn how to use communication procedures by means of telephony using, where appropriate, the phonetic alphabet and standard marine navigation vocabulary. This includes:

  • Communicating using NBDP
  • Using QWERTY keyboard at speeds of not less than 50 characters per minute over a direct printing telegraphy circuit, where appropriate, using recognised standard abbreviations

Detailed knowledge of Regulations, Procedures and Charges

  • How to describe the general provisions of GMDSS
  • Full knowledge of Distress, Urgency and Safety working
  • How to avoid harmful interference
  • How to calculate charges

Assessment procedure:

Assessment is externally set by AMERC on behalf of the MCA.

UK GMDSS Examinations have both theory and practical elements.

Theory is normally examined using a written test with either long written answers or multiple choice selections depending on the examination.

The practical elements involve performing a range of tasks on marine communications equipment as directed by the examiner. These tasks will be based on the normal operations which you would need to perform when using the equipment at sea.

The course can vary in length from 9 to 10 days depending upon the number of candidates.

How to apply:

Telephone the Marine Booking Centre on 0191 427 3772 or email