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GMDSS Technical and General Operators Courses and Training under STCW for Seafarers

gmdss radio operator

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) is a globally accepted and adopted set of rules for safety of navigation. It was adopted by the IMO by way of amendments to SOLAS 1974 in 1988 and entered into force in 1992. All ships are subject to GMDSS requirements which vary depending on ship type and area of operations. The GMDSS equipment increases the safety and faster to rescue of distressed vessels including marine aircrafts.

The system is intended to perform the several functions including - transmitting and/or receiving ship-to-shore, shore-to-ship, and ship-to-ship distress alerts (including position determination); search and rescue communications; locating (homing); on-scene communications; locating signals; maritime safety information broadcasts; radio communications relating to the management and operation of the vessel; and bridge-to-bridge communications.

Marine radio courses develop vital skills for the modern shipping industry. Practical exercises using sophisticated equipment are a must for any seafarer. You can no longer serve as a navigating officer on board merchant seagoing vessels with a radio certificate without an STCW endorsement, also sometimes referred to as ITU certificates. The First and Second Radio-Electronic Certificates are technical in nature and are designed for Ship's Radio-Electronic Officers and Operators. The GMDSS General Operator's Certificate is non-technical in nature and is designed for Navigating Officers and other personnel.

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gmdss system jrc
Picture: GMDSS System - Credits: JRC



STCW Radio Communications Courses

  • General Operator’s Certificate for GMDSS (GMDSS-GOC): This course covers the training recommendations in annex 3 to the IMO Assembly resolution A.703(17) – Recommendation on Training of Radio Operators related to the General Operator’s Certificate (GOC). The course is revised to meet the relevant regulations of the STCW Code and the 2012 Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union.
  • Restricted Operator’s Certificate for GMDSS (GMDSS-ROC): This course covers the training recommendations in annex 3 to the IMO Assembly resolution A.703(17) - Recommendation on Training of Radio Operators related to the Restricted Operator's Certificate (ROC). The course is revised to meet the relevant regulations of the STCW Code and the 2012 Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
  • Second-Class Radioelectronic Certificate for GMDSS: This course is intended to give trainees theoretical knowledge and practical skills sufficient to perform functions of second-class radio electronics personnel. As the competence level of second-class radioelectronics personnel involves higher requirements concerning trouble-shooting, maintenance and repair of GMDSS equipment, the course comprises specific sections providing this kind of training.
  • Validity (above certificates): GOC & ROC for 5 years and Second-Class Radioelectronic Certificate validity is according to local regulations usually minimum of 5 years.
  • Refresher (GMDSS): Requires every 5 years.

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