International Certificate of Competence ICC


Not Experienced

  • Discuss your sailing and navigation experience with one of our PSS sailing advisers.
  • On successful completion of the RYA Day Skipper tidal course this will enable you to complete the application and apply for the ICC.

What is an ICC and how do I get one?

Many European countries require the skipper of a pleasure craft to provide evidence of his or her competence in the form of an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). The ICC allows the holder to voyage internationally, however this is not an alternative to a National Qualification and its validity is determined by the country visited.
While the requirements vary from country to country, the ICC is recognised to a greater or lesser extent throughout the European Union. It is of particular importance if you are chartering a vessel in a foreign country, or using the European inland waterways. However, there are variations meaning that you should always check what is acceptable in foreign states before you go.

How to Gain an ICC?

To get an ICC you will need to prove your competence by completing a practical and theory assessment for the category of ICC required. An RYA Day Skipper practical certificate for sail or power (or above) is sufficient to illustrate competency. Testers are not allowed to conduct tests away from their immediate Training Centre. However, it may be possible to be tested in your own boat at a recognised ICC Test Centre. If you use your own boat for the test, the boat owner or candidate being tested is responsible for the vessel at all time.

Categories of ICC

The ICC assessment you take should be relevant to the type of boat you plan to use and the type of waters you intend to enter. The ICC can be valid for:

  • Coastal Waters
  • Inland Waters (you will require the CEVNI , available as an on line course at PSS, after securing the ICC.
  • Powerboats up to 10 metres LOA
  • Sailing boats
  • It should also be noted that the ICC does not replace the need to comply with any manning requirements imposed by the country in which the boat is registered, wherever in the world the boat may be. Where evidence of competence is required by the country of registration, pleasure boaters must comply with the regulations of both the country of registration (the Flag State) and the requirements of the visited country (the Coastal State).


    The RYA cannot process ICC applications for any citizens of the 57 UNECE countries unless you are a UK resident. A full list of these countries can be found on the flow chart below. Please ensure you are eligible before arranging to take the test or ask your Training Centre to confirm this.

ICC Application

Once you have booked a test you will need to ensure you turn up on the day with your Passport, payment details, a passport photograph and then you will need to complete an ICC Application Form, which can be found below. The Tester will sign the completed form and send it with a copy of your passport and photograph for processing to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in the UK. Your ICC Certificate will be sent directly to the address on the form. Processing times vary so you should allow up to six weeks for normal post and if opting of the fast track service allow approximately 3 weeks (this will enable you to receive an electronic copy of the certificate in a matter of days prior to receiving the hard copy by mail). Please note that the cost of testing is separate to the fee for issue of a certificate. Who do I contact regarding my ICC application? All queries regarding ICC applications should be directed through Pacific Sailing School.

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