International Certificate of Competence


International Certificate of Competence assessment


The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is a test of competence that provides the student with an internationally recognised qualification. 

The assessment is a mix of theoretical and practical elements. Ideally before you join us; you should be familiar with collision regulations, safety on board, basic chart work and pilotage. We recommend that you take the online RYA Essential Navigation course, prior to attending an ICC weekend. This will give you a basic introduction to chart work. This is a fun and interactive 6-8 hours course that you take online. 

The ICC, RYA, or higher certification, is required in both Croatia and Greece and other countries, particularly in Europe, where governments are increasingly looking for recognised certificates to confirm the student reaches an internationally agreed level of competence. 

Course information

Class size: 5:1 maximum ratio

Course times: 9am - 5pm

What’s included: lunch on board the yacht.

Booking an ICC Assessment

Please email [email protected] or call us on 02394 350 505 for availability.


The certificate is available to a person who fulfils the following eligibility criteria:

  • has reached the age of 16;
  • is physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft, and in particular, has sufficient powers of vision and hearing;
  • presents one of the specified UK certificates or has successfully passed an ICC examination to prove the necessary competence for pleasure craft operation; and
  • who demonstrates their nationality or residency to show that their nationality does not preclude them from being issued with an ICC by the RYA.

Check out our RYA Day Skipper courses

Where to take this course with Sunsail

Portsmouth, UK

Why take this course with Sunsail?

The International Certificate of Competence Assessment is an internationally recognised certificate that enables the holder to sail in countries where formal qualifications are compulsory.

As many countries now require visiting yachtsmen to hold formal qualifications, the ICC provides documentary assurance from one government to another that the holder meets an agreed level of competence. The ICC is a test of competence, it is not a qualification.

If you have attended an RYA practical training course, presenting your certificate with your ICC application form may be sufficient, or you can take the one-day exam from our base in Port Solent, UK.

Most EU Nationals are eligible to apply for the ICC but please note that The ICC cannot be issued to applicants who are from a country who has signed Resolution 40. For a list of ineligible countries please click here

Course syllabus

Short passage

Departing a pontoon

  • Communication with crew
  • Use of springs
  • Fender positioning
  • Man over board (MOB) procedures
  • Correct direction and speed of approach
  • Contact with MOB

Alongside skills

  • Communication with crew
  • Awareness of other water users
  • Use of warps/fenders
  • Correct angle and speed of approach
  • Securing boat to pontoon

360-degree turn

  • How to do a 360-degree turn

Securing to a buoy

  • Communication with crew
  • Preparing warp
  • Correct angle and speed of approach
  • Securing the boat effectively
  • Departing from the buoy safely

Handling under sail

  • Choosing suitable sails for prevailing conditions
  • Choosing a suitable area for hoisting/lowering sails
  • Trimming sails correctly
  • Communicating with crew before undertaking any manoeuvres
  • Undertaking a check of the area before tacking and gibing

Power manoeuvres

  • Awareness for other water users
  • Use of a kill-cord
  • Choosing a suitable area to carry out manoeuvres
  • Carrying out an emergency stop
  • Able to control speed on turns and warning crew before starting and executing emergency turns
Theory test


  • Able to recognise a potential collision situation
  • Able to recognise action to take as “stand on” and “give way” vessel
  • Able to determine a safe speed
  • Able to recognise manoeuvring signals
  • Able to recognise and make visual distress signals
  • Able to keep a proper lookout

Regulations and Pilotage

  • Able to understand requirements for navigation lights and ships
  • Able to recognise sound signals
  • Able to recognise the following from the lights – vessel at anchor, power driven vessel and sailing vessel
  • Able to recognise, by day and night, and understand the significance of buoys of the IALA system
  • Able to plan a harbour entry/departure, taking in to account possible hazards
  • Aware of the sources of information regarding local regulations, port entry and departure signals and Port Operations radio


  • Able to plot a position by cross bearings and by Latitude and Longitude
  • Able to interpret a navigational chart and understand charted depths, drying heights and charted hazards
  • Able to use a tide table to find times and heights of high and low water
  • Able to determine direction and  rate of tidal stream from a tidal atlas or from tidal diamonds
  • Able to determine magnetic course to steer, making allowances for leeway and tidal stream

There is currently no requirement to have completed a specific course covering the above and completion of any good all round basic tidal navigation and seamanship theory course should be sufficient.

Choose Sunsail

Stunning Sailing Destinations 
Flotilla routes
Types of yachts
44 yrs
Creating holidays
4 hr
Service commitment
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