International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

An ICC or International Certificate of Competence (more properly the International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft) is proof of your ability to skipper a boat (of various sizes and categories) when asked for documentation by authorities in (many but not all) foreign countries.  The emphasis should be on the fact this is for pleasure craft only and not a substitute for a commercial skipper’s ticket (this includes delivery skippers).

Having an International Certificate of Competence is Useful for:

  • chartering vessels, especially in Europe and the Caribbean (ironically, if you check with the charter company you may find your RYA qualifications are more desirable)
  • supporting national recreational boating qualifications (ie PCOC) in foreign waters where said qualifications are not recognised
  • insurance purposes

Do I Need One in Canada or the US?


Can I get an ICC if I’m a Canadian or American?

Yes.  By successfully completing relevant RYA courses (typically Day Skipper Theory & Practical or Powerbaot level 1&2) Canadian and American citizens can apply for an ICC through the RYA.  There is no additional charge from Topmast (other than the cost of the RYA courses) , this is done directly through the RYA website

I Completed the Nautic Ed online Day Skipper Theory, Does That Help?  What Do I Do Next?

Absolutely.  The Nautic Ed online course for RYA Day Skipper is first class.  Next up is an RYA Day Skipper Practical course (see here) which you can take at Topmast or do an ICC one-day assessment.

What is an ICC Assessment?

If you already have the practical and theoretical skills up to or higher than the level of RYA Day Skipper then you can ask to do a one-day assessment.  An RYA instructor will spend the day assessing your sailing skills and theoretical abilities (including collision regs).  At the end of the day the instructor will either recommend or not recommend you for ICC eligibility.

Which Costs?

Topmast charges $589 for a one day assessment.  The ICC application fee to the RYA is a separate charge.

How Do I Prepare?

The RYA publishes an ICC handbook (here) and an ebook (here).