SMSSM General Operator Course

The GMDSS General Operator course - General Operator of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System - trains those who take it for the development of radio operator duties, which it can do in all the navigation areas indicated in the agreement for the regulation of maritime radio communications on board Spanish merchant ships.

Thus, students who obtain this certificate can carry out information transmission and reception services in emergency cases, provided that they are ships covered by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System in zones A1, A2, A3 and A4.

It is a STCW course, which means that it is within the training, certification and surveillance standards for the crew, and that it is approved by the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy in Spain, who is also in charge of its issuance.

STCW Courses

GMDSS General Operator
Port Master
Professional Pattern (PPER)
Passenger Ships
Maritime Protection Training
Bridge Sailor
Advanced Fire Fighting
Fast Rescue Boats
Non-Fast Rescue Boats

What is the objective of the course?

The objective of the GMDSS General Operator course is to train students to perform the following functions:

Course duration

To obtain the GMDSS General Operator Certificate, it is necessary to complete the course under the following conditions:

Reserve your place in the course GMDSS General Operator

This course is available all year round but check with Anclademia for the closest available dates.

Who is the Global Maritime Distress and Safety Service General Operator course for?

This training is intended mainly for officers and those in charge of navigational watches on civil ships in any navigation zone, as long as they are covered by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. In this sense, all professionals who wish to perform this type of functions must obtain this certification.

Now, it should be noted that Training as a GMDSS General Operator presents an earlier and lower, more basic title, called the GMDSS Restricted Operator course, which serves to offer assistance in case of maritime emergencies and maintain safety.

For this reason, Those who have this qualification must only take the so-called bridge course, which includes a shorter duration than the complete course, going from 120 to 80 hours - it is reduced by 20 theoretical hours and 20 practical hours, which correspond to the previous course.

Finally, those who wish to obtain this certificate must have reached the age of majority, present the relevant valid identification documents and prove certain knowledge of English in the maritime field.

This makes the GMDSS General Operator course one of the most demanding within training standards, certification and surveillance for the crew -STCW-, issued by the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy.

General SMSSM/GMDSS Operator Course Content

  • Types of communications in the maritime mobile service
  • Distress, urgency and safety communications, public correspondence
  • Communications within port, between ships and on board
  • Types of stations in the maritime mobile service
  • Elementary knowledge of frequencies and frequency bands, the concept of frequency
  • Frequency characteristics, propagation of VHF frequencies
  • Knowledge of Digital Selective Calling (LSD) and Radiotelephony communication modes
  • Use of VHF frequencies in the maritime mobile service
  • The concept of channels; simplex, half-duplex and duplex
  • GMDSS distress and safety frequencies
  • Basic knowledge of ship station equipment
  • VHF radio installations, channels, controls, use, digital selective call
  • Antennas, VHF antennas, NAVTEX system antennas
  • Types of batteries and their characteristics, charging and maintenance of batteries, UPS systems
  • Survival craft radio equipment: portable VHF, EPIRB, SART
  • Digital Selective Call (DSC - LSD): format, types and categories, MMSI number, channel 70
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS - GMDSS)
  • Maritime zones and the GMDSS main plan
  • Guard on VHF distress frequencies
  • Functional requirements for stations on board ships within zone A1
  • Requirements for carrying stations on board ships within zone A1
  • Radio station power sources including emergency sources
  • Inspections and reviews of security certificates, and Licenses
  • NAVTEX: purpose, frequencies, range, use and configuration
  • EPIRB radio beacons: COSPAS-SARSAT system, purpose, frequencies, range, check, use and configuration
  • SART Radar Transponder: purpose, frequencies, range, use and configuration
  • Distress Communications: Distress call and alert, reception and acknowledgment, false alerts, cancellation
  • Search and Rescue Operations (SAR): IAMSAR manual, Rescue Coordination Centers (CCS)
  • Emergency and Security Communications
  • Reception of maritime safety information (MSI)
  • Protection of distress frequencies
  • Distress, urgency and safety communications by ships not subject to SOLAS
  • Ability to use the English language, both written and spoken
  • Use of the International Code of Signals and IMO Standard Phrases
  • Knowledge of standard abbreviations and most commonly used service codes
  • Use of the international phonetic alphabet
  • Effective use of mandatory documents and publications
  • Maintenance of the radio service diary
  • Knowledge of the regulations of the maritime mobile service and the mobile satellite system
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of general communications procedures
  • Traffic rates, international pricing system, AAIC code
  • Main shipping routes and their annexed routes of ships navigating through zone A1

Price of the STCW SMSSM Restricted Operator Course

GMDSS General Operator Training

€ 710
  • 50 theoretical hours
  • 70 hours practice
  • Teaching materials
  • Student insurance

Frequent questions

How valid is the GMDSS Restricted Operator title?

The SMSSM Restricted Operator title is valid for 5 years, after which it must be revalidated by completing a skills maintenance course.

Does the GMDSS Restricted Operator title expire?

The SMSSM Restricted Operator title is valid for 5 years; after that date you will have to renew it.

How can I renew the title?

There are some necessary requirements to be able to renew the title before it expires.

  • Have at least 3 months of boarding in the last year since obtaining the title and have carried out work related to it.
  • Have at least 1 year of boarding in the 5 years of the title, performing tasks related to the title.

What do I have to do so that the title does not expire?

So that the title does not expire, it is important to renew it at any maritime captaincy and before the expiration date.

Once the SMSSM Restricted Operator Professional Title has expired, you will have to take an 8-hour Refresher Course, without having to take the entire course again.

We are in the Port Olimpic

Contact us

Get in touch to sign up for our courses or to request more information about our courses.​


+34 684 165 089


Port Olimpic, Barcelona

Discount on all courses
20% OFF
Limited Places