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.