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 ICC, 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. 

Students with previous skippering experience can be assessed for ICC elegibility at our Port Solent, UK base. The purpose is to provide documentary assurance from one government to another that the holder meets an agreed level of competence.

Applicants for the UK ICC issued by the RYA must be eligible to be issued the certificate and must demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills. 


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 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.


Upcoming available dates

22nd April 2019

27th April 2019

29th April 2019

27th May 2019

17th June 2019

24th June 2019

8th July 2019

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.

For holders of the RYA Day Skipper practical course certificate, Coastal Skipper practical course certificate, or the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal/ Yachtmaster Offshore certificate - no further assessment is required. These certificates are of a higher level to the ICC. If you hold any of the certificates listed above, you can apply directly to the RYA for an ICC, by submitting a copy of the ICC application form along with a copy of your certificate. 

If you do not hold any of the above certificates you will need to carry out a simple test of basic boat handling, navigation ability and knowledge of the Collision Regulations to gain the ICC ticket.

Please note the ICC is NOT a substitute for the RYA Day Skipper.

PLEASE NOTE: The ICC cannot be issued to applicants who are from a country who has signed Resolution 40. For a list of inelgible countries please click here

ICC Preparation

You should be able to demonstrate competence to the ICC standard covering the syllabus below during the assessment. We are able to offer yacht refresher weekends to those who have previous skipper experience but may be a little rusty. Please see for more information.

We recommend taking the Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS) online course prior to your ICC Assessment. This ENAS online course will give you the essential knowledge needed when you’re afloat, from navigation to safety and seamanship to passage planning.

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.

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