Skip to main content

Australian Waters Qualification

If you use a VHF marine radio only in Australian Territorial Waters (within 12 nautical miles of the coast), you should apply for an Australian Waters Qualification (AWQ).

The AWQ is a unit of competency (MARC019) included in the Maritime Training Package. The unit is the minimum mandatory qualification you must have to operate a marine radio. There is no minimum age requirement for the AWQ.

A copy of the syllabus is available at training.gov.au.

Why do I need a qualification?

A marine radio can save lives. It’s important that:

  • you know the correct channels to use, and how and when to use them
  • you know distress and safety procedures, including how to access search and rescue facilities
  • you know how to respond to an emergency call
  • your messages are understood, and others know how to respond
  • you know what DSC is and the benefits of connecting a GPS to your radio
  • you know when and how to operate an EPIRB in a distress situation

Marine radiocommunications can also provide a variety of services to small vessels, including weather and navigational information.

Anyone operating a VHF marine radio without an appropriate qualification, or not under the supervision of an appropriately qualified person, may be breaching the Radiocommunications Act 1992. Significant penalties apply.

Back to top
FEEDBACK