VHF and MF/HF marine radio equipment and Inmarsat (A, B, C) Satellite communications equipment carried on board a vessel must be under the control of a qualified operator at all times. All coast stations must also be under the control of a qualified operator.
Most operators choose to obtain a Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency (MROCP), which covers the operation of both VHF and MF/HF equipment. The Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency (MROVCP) has a somewhat simpler syllabus, but only covers the operation of VHF equipment. The Marine Satellite Communications Certificate of Endorsement (Satellite Endorsement) may be added to either the MROCP or the MROVCP if use of Inmarsat equipment is required.
Inmarsat-C equipment that only supports the operation of a Vessel Monitoring System does not require operator qualifications.
Many TAFEs and marine organisations offer courses leading to examination for the MROCP. Such courses are not compulsory and many candidates for examination successfully self study. However, the examination for the Satellite Endorsement should follow conclusion of an approved course of study, including practical instruction in the use of Inmarsat communications equipment. The Australian Maritime College (AMC) provides the marine examination and certificate service on behalf of the ACMA. The AMC can provide the details of organisations and individuals offering courses and or conducting exams.
Operators of a Ship station class C or a Major coast station are required to hold a GMDSS General Operators Certificate of Proficiency (GOCP) issued by AMSA. This is a higher level qualification involving detailed theoretical and practical knowledge of marine radio and satellite communications equipment. AMSA has accredited a number of educational institutions to conduct GOCP examinations at the conclusion of a relevant course of instruction.
Courtesy of AMCA