Certificates and exams

Main changes in exams and professional competence certificates effective from 1 September 2019

On 1 September 2019, Decree No. 120/2019 Coll., amending Decree No. 157/2005 Coll., on the details of enrolment for the examination of professional competence for the operation of radio transmission equipment, on the extent of knowledge needed for the different professional competence types, on the manner of performing the exams, on the types of professional competence certificates and on the duration of their validity, came into effect.

The following measures regarding main changes in maritime mobile service applies:
  1. The current restricted certificate of radio operator for a maritime mobile radiotelephony service (OFN) is not longer issued. It was replaced by two new professional competence certificates:
    • Certificate to operate ship stations for VHF band in near-coastal voyage without using GMDSS system features (OFP certificate). This certificate allows only operation of ship stations frequently used by tourists in near-coastal voyages up to 20 NM from coastal line.

    • Certificate to operate stations in inland waterways (OFV certificate). This certificate allows operation of ship stations in inland waterways of member states of RAINWAT.

  2. The exam to obtain the OFP certificate newly includes an oral exam to verify knowledge of communication in English language (verification of basic knowledge of maritime phraseology). This concerns verification of establishing a radio connection, an emergency and security communication, and right use of international spelling alphabet. Details of the oral exam can be found in oral exam outline.
  3. Successful passing of a written test is sufficient to obtain the OFV certificate. For operation of river coastal station is necessary to be a holder of VFN certificate (see point 5).
  4. The applicant newly has a choice, whether they wish to pass an exam for OFP or for OFV certificate. In the case, they want to operate ship stations for both near-coastal voyage and inland waterways, they will need to undertake both exams. It is also possible to use SRC certificate for the operation of ship stations in inland waterways.
  5. It is newly specified that the general certificate for radio operator for a mobile radiotelephony maritime service (VFN) is valid for operation of ship stations as well as for coastal stations on inland waterways without using the GMDSS system features. For the operation of stations with GMDSS system features are used SRC, LRC, ROC and GOC certificates.
The following measures regarding changes in aeronautical mobile service applies:
  1. The exam to obtain the restricted certificate for radio operator for an aeronautical mobile service (OFL) newly includes an oral exam to verify knowledge of aeronautical phraseology. This concerns verification of basic knowledge of aeronautical phraseology (mainly in Czech). Details of the oral exam can be found in oral exam outline.
Other changes in the exam process:
  1. Mitigation of the requirement on the number of applicant’s photographs included in an application to professional competence exam. Only one photograph was newly sufficient (further mitigation of the requirement since 1 January 2024 - see above).
  2. Shortening of “waiting period” for a re-take exam after unsuccessful written test from 90 to 60 days.
  3. Cancellation of the obligation to re-take a written test when re-taking an exam after unsuccessful oral exam. Oral exam can be re-taken not earlier than after 14 days.
  4. Application to the exam must be submitted not later than 20 days before the planned date of the exam.
  5. After successful passing of the exam the certificates are issued with a validity of 10 years. After expiration of this period the validity will be 5 years for each following extension of the validity of the certificate. This does not apply to certificates GOC and ROC, which are issued for 5 years as so far.
  6. Extension of the validity of previously issued certificates:
    • When submitting a request on extension of validity of OFN certificate, the holder will be sent both certificates (OFP and OFV) for a single administrative fee (now CZK 200). Before expiration of their validity (after 5 years) the holder will decide, whether they want to extend validity of only one, or both certificates. In the case of extension of validity of both certificates, they will pay an administrative fee for extension of validity for both.
    • The validity of other professional competence certificates is performed under current rules.