Your pathway to chartering abroad

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) can be assessed by arrangement in one day. An ICC is required in many countries, particularly in the EU, to skipper or charter a vessel. If you have completed a RYA Day Skipper or RYA Coastal Skipper practical course you are entitled to an International Certificate of Competence without any further assessment – click here. There is a charge for non-RYA members, free to RYA members.

An International Certificate of Competence is valid for 5 years from the date of issue.

More general information on cruising abroad is available from the RYA here:

Please contact us to arrange an assessment.

Our rates are £275 per person for a one day assessment including use of training vessel. See ‘Rates’ tab below for full details.

You can download an ICC assessment form here
Check you eligibility to apply here

See the syllabus and what’s involved in the test here


If you feel you are competent to pass this assessment we can arrange a day assessment by one of our Yachtmaster Instructors onboard one of our training vessels.

Our rates are £275 per person. Please contact us about group discounts.

Rates include all food and snacks onboard, use of wet weather gear and boots as required. We will confirm your successful completion of the test by signing the relevant section of the ICC application form – there is no separate certificate. You then send your signed application form together with the other items required for your application (like evidence of residency and ID) to the RYA Certification Department. This is free of charge to RYA members or £43 to non-members. There are additional charges for fast track applications.

What is an International Certificate of Competence

The International Certificate of Competence originates from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Although the ICC allows the holder to voyage internationally this is only where the country to be visited has chosen to accept it and subject to any prescriptions made by the visited country. As the ICC’s validity is determined by the visited country it is not a truly international qualification. However, the ICC is the only international evidence of competence that exists for pleasure boaters in Europe. The ICC may either be recognised as an acceptable certificate in the visited country’s national legislation or be accepted on a purely informal basis.

Many European countries require the skipper of a pleasure craft to be able to provide evidence of his or her competence. In practice documentary evidence may seldom be inspected, but it is generally useful and in some countries essential to carry an ICC.

If a boat owner requires evidence of competence when visiting another European country the ICC will frequently suffice. It can also be useful for people wishing to charter. The requirement for evidence of competence varies from country to country. Sometimes it is required for coastal waters, sometimes for inland waters, sometimes for neither and sometimes for both.

In very general terms an ICC is required for the inland waterways of Europe and for inland and coastal waters of Mediterranean countries. For the coastal waters of Northern Europe the ICC is generally not required, however to all of these generalisations there are exceptions. Please feel free to contact us to ask about a particular country you intend to visit on your own boat or where you want to charter a boat and we will do our best to find out up to date information for you.

Are you already entitled to an ICC?

Anyone who has passed an RYA training course which proves their ability to skipper a vessel, such as the Day Skipper Practical Course or the Power Boat Level 2 Course, has proved their competence on that type of vessel and therefore on presentation of their certificate the relevant ICC can be issued. See the table below – if you hold any of the UK certificiates listed on the left you can apply for an ICC for the categories listed on the right.

Evidence of Competence
(Please send photocopies, not original certificates)
 ICC Categories Validated
PowerPWCSailCoastal waters
RYA Level 2 Powerboat Certificate or higher Restricted Yes Yes**
Advanced Powerboat  RYA/MCA Certificate of Competence Yes Yes Yes
RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate Yes
RYA Helmsman’s Course Completion Certificate Yes
RYA Day Skipper / Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion Certificate (Power) Yes Yes
RYA Day Skipper / Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion Certificate (Sail) Restricted Yes Yes
Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster® Coastal or higher RYA/MCA Certificate of Competence (Power) Yes Yes
Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster® Coastal or higher RYA/MCA Certificate of Competence (Sail) Restricted Yes Yes
MCA Deck Officer Certificate of Competence [Any Grade] Yes Yes
RN, Army or RAF Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate Yes Yes
MCA or Local Authority Boatman’s Licence Yes Yes
MCA Boatmaster Certificate Yes
RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency Certificate Yes Yes

Explanatory notes to the table (above)
Restricted = The ICC’s validity for power will be restricted to vessels “up to 10m LOA”.

** Powerboat Level 2 certificates issued before 15 April 2019 and endorsed as ‘inland’ cannot be used to validate the coastal waters category on an ICC. Additional acceptable evidence of coastal knowledge must be provided. This may include:

A theory course completion certificate of Essential Navigation and Seamanship Skills or higher; or
Evidence that you have passed the coastal waters oral / written elements part of an ICC assessment (as detailed on the ICC application form).

What’s involved in an ICC assessment?

For boaters who have not successfully completed an acceptable RYA practical course, but already have the required level of competence, the alternative is to take the ICC assessment to prove their competence. This is the syllabus that you will be assessed against.

Can you do an ICC assessment on my boat?

Yes we can, for you, your friends and family. Your boat will need to carry certain equipment in the list below. We can help you source or loan you items you do not have.
Bilge pump (manual as well as electric)
Radar reflector
Flares for the waters in which you will use your boat
Fire extinguishers and fire blanket
Lifejackets (with harness) plus safety strops
Liferaft if doing coastal passages
Horse shoe buoy(s) with light
Dan buoy
Man overboard recovery equipment
VHF Radio
Navigational equipment (Almanac, charts, plotter, dividers and GPS)
First Aid kit
Mooring warps and fenders
Spare fuel
Tool kit
Depth and speed
Engine spares – fuel/oil filters, drive belt, impeller spare oil

What to bring

  • Your sailing log book
  • Clothing layers – even if it’s sunny or warm on land it can get quite chilly when sailing
  • Hat, sun cream, lip salve, sunglasses, gloves
  • If you’re staying overnight or longer you’ll need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel, toiletries
  • Any medication you would normally require
  • Pack your belongings in a soft bag that can be easily stowed
  • Do bring any of your favourite snacks or soft drinks as we may not be near any shops
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • If you haven’t been sailing before and don’t know if you might get seasick, some good advice is to have a sensible breakfast and don’t drink lots of alcohol the night before!
  • Bring seasickness pills if you might need them.

What We Provide

  • Lifejackets
  • All meals & snacks while on board (vegetarian/vegan)
  • Sleeping berth
  • Course books in advance (if applicable)
  • Access to our onboard sailing library, including RYA course books (copies available to buy)
  • Quality XM foul weather trousers, jackets and waterproof deck boots
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • Please feel free to discuss equipment concerns with us prior to your sailing trip or course, we will happily advise on purchases if you would like to buy your own gear.

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