I wonder what would happen if a mayday was put out and there was no response, would the boater with their VHF and unqualified: -
a) Pretend they did not hear anything because of the fear of getting the spotlight on them
b) Relay the mayday to the coastguard
For the sake of £100 to be trained and licensed for life it seems cheap to me compared to a lot of the training I have undertaken.
I have been on courses just to comply with legislation and I have always picked something useful up from it. I would always say go with an open mind, it is YOUR course and if you do not understand something ask and get the most from it.
As for it being like back at school in a class room, no way. The last VHF DSC I did we were assessed not like the first VHF course with an exam.
And no I do not deliver any boating courses and I have no vested interest other than the safety of anyone at sea.