ICC Certification

What is ICC Certification?

The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is an internationally recognized qualification that verifies a skipper’s ability to operate a pleasure craft. It serves as a standardized measure of competence, ensuring that skippers possess the necessary skills and knowledge to handle their vessels safely and efficiently. The ICC is particularly important for those planning to sail in European waters, as it is often required by local authorities and charter companies to demonstrate that the skipper meets the required level of competence.

Importance of ICC Certification for Skippers

By obtaining ICC certification, skippers not only comply with international and local regulations but also enhance their sailing capabilities, safety, and overall sailing experience.

Legal Compliance

Many European countries mandate the ICC for skippers navigating their waters, both inland and coastal. It acts as proof of competence, ensuring that skippers meet the local regulations and safety standards. Without an ICC, you might face legal issues or be unable to sail in certain regions.

Chartering a Vessel

When chartering a boat in Europe, charter companies typically require skippers to hold an ICC. It reassures the charter company that the skipper is capable of handling the vessel safely, minimising the risk of accidents or damage.

International Recognition

The ICC is widely recognised across Europe and increasingly in other parts of the world, including Australia. Holding an ICC provides skippers with a credential that is respected and acknowledged internationally, facilitating smoother sailing experiences in various countries.

Enhanced Safety

The ICC assessment covers essential areas such as safety procedures, navigation, and boat handling. By obtaining an ICC, skippers demonstrate their commitment to safe sailing practices, ensuring the safety of their crew and vessel.

Confidence & Credibility

Possessing an ICC boosts a skipper’s confidence and credibility. It provides assurance that they have been assessed and certified by a recognized authority, which can be particularly beneficial when sailing in unfamiliar waters or when hiring crew.

Compliance with Local Regulations

In addition to proving competence, the ICC helps skippers comply with both the regulations of the country they are visiting and the country where the boat is registered. This dual compliance is crucial for avoiding fines, legal issues, and other complications.

Personal Achievement

Obtaining the ICC is a significant milestone for any sailor. It represents a recognized standard of competence and is a testament to the skipper’s dedication to honing their sailing skills and knowledge.

Facilitates Sailing in Diverse Conditions

The ICC ensures that skippers are prepared to handle various sailing conditions and environments, from coastal waters to inland waterways. This versatility is essential for those who wish to explore different sailing destinations.

ICC Certification Process

How to Obtain an ICC

Obtaining an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) involves demonstrating your ability to operate a pleasure craft safely and competently. The process can be completed in one of two ways:


1. Completing an ICC Assessment

  • This assessment is a combination of practical and theoretical components. It is conducted on the water and assesses your skills and knowledge to ensure they meet the required standards.
  • The ICC assessment can be completed on your own boat or on a vessel provided by an accredited ICC Assessment Centre.
  • If you choose to use your own boat for the test, you are responsible for the vessel at all times. The assessment must begin and end at the Training Centre.

2. Completing an ICC Related Course:

  • .Successfully completing our Beginner to ICC course or the RYA Competent Crew and Day Skipper theory and practical courses.
  • Our course covers all the necessary skills and knowledge required for the ICC, including navigation, pilotage, boat handling, and safety procedures.
  • The RYA course covers the same requirements for the ICC

Practical and Theoretical Assessment

The ICC assessment is designed to evaluate both your practical skills and theoretical knowledge. Here’s what the assessment entails:


Practical Assessment

  • Safety
    Demonstrate your understanding of safety procedures and the use of safety equipment.
  • Rules and Regulations
    Show your knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs).
  • Pilotage
    Conduct pilotage exercises, including planning and executing a passage, and navigating in confined waters.
  • Navigation
    Prove your ability to use navigational aids, charts, and instruments to determine your position and plan your route.
  • Berthing and Close-Quarter Handling
    Maneuver the boat in close quarters, including berthing and departing from a dock.
  • Man Overboard Recovery
    Execute a man overboard recovery drill efficiently and safely.
  • Emergency Situations
    Handle various emergency scenarios, including fire, flooding, and equipment failure.
  • Boat Handling Under Power and Sail
    Operate the boat under power and sail, demonstrating control and competence in various conditions.

Theoretical Assessment

  • Navigation
    Understand and apply navigational techniques, including tidal calculations and the use of electronic aids.
  • Pilotage
    Plan and execute pilotage passages, including entry and exit from harbors and marinas.
  • Safety and Regulations
    Knowledge of safety procedures, equipment, and maritime regulations.
  • Weather
    Interpret weather forecasts and understand the impact of weather on sailing.
  • Maintenance
    Basic understanding of boat maintenance and the ability to perform routine checks and repairs.

The ICC assessment ensures that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate a pleasure craft safely and competently in various conditions. Upon successful completion, you will be awarded the ICC, valid for five years and recognized internationally.

By following these steps and completing the required assessments, you can obtain your ICC and enjoy the confidence and freedom to sail in many countries worldwide.

Categories and Endorsements

The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) can be issued or endorsed for various categories and types of vessels. Each category and endorsement is relevant to the type of boat you plan to use and the waters you intend to navigate. Understanding these categories and endorsements ensures that your ICC covers the specific needs of your boating activities.

Coastal Waters

The Coastal Waters endorsement allows you to operate a pleasure craft in coastal areas, including nearshore waters and coastal passages. This endorsement is crucial for those planning to sail along the coastline of European countries or other regions where an ICC is required. It certifies that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the challenges of coastal navigation, including tides, currents, and varying weather conditions.

Inland Waterways Endorsement (CEVNI)

The Inland Waterways endorsement, also known as the CEVNI (Code Européen des Voies de la Navigation Intérieure), is necessary for those planning to navigate the inland waterways and canal systems of Europe. This endorsement requires passing a theory test that covers the specific rules, regulations, and signage used on inland waterways. The CEVNI endorsement ensures that you can safely and competently navigate rivers, canals, and other inland waters, which often have different navigational challenges compared to coastal waters.

Powerboats up to 10 Metres LOA

This category covers powerboats that are up to 10 metres in length overall (LOA). The endorsement for powerboats up to 10 metres LOA demonstrates your ability to handle smaller powerboats, which are commonly used for day trips, fishing, and short coastal cruises. This endorsement is ideal for those who prefer the maneuverability and ease of handling of smaller vessels.

Powerboats of 10 Metres LOA and Over

For those operating larger powerboats, this endorsement covers vessels that are 10 metres LOA and over. Larger powerboats often require more advanced handling skills and knowledge due to their size and power. This endorsement certifies that you are competent in operating larger powerboats, which may be used for extended cruising, offshore passages, and more complex navigational situations.

Sailing Boats

The Sailing Boats endorsement is for those who wish to operate sailing yachts. This endorsement verifies that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to handle sailboats, including sail handling, rigging, and navigation under sail. Whether you plan to sail in coastal waters or embark on longer voyages, this endorsement ensures you are prepared for the unique challenges of sailing.

Personal Watercraft

The Personal Watercraft endorsement applies to jet skis and other similar types of watercraft. This endorsement certifies that you understand the safety procedures, handling techniques, and regulations specific to personal watercraft. It is essential for those who enjoy the high-speed excitement and agility of jet skis, ensuring that they operate these vessels safely and responsibly.

Booking & Pricing

Booking Your ICC Assessment

Booking your ICC test is a straightforward process designed to get you certified as efficiently as possible. 

Price Options

The cost of obtaining your ICC can vary based on whether you use your own boat or a vessel provided by the training centre. Here are the price options:

Own Boat ICC Assessment:

  • One candidate: $550ea (4 hours)
  • Two candidates: $495ea (7 hours)
  • One candidate with 3 hours of training plus assessment: $950 (7 hours)

Assessment on Sunshine Sailing Australia’s Yacht:

  • One candidate: $795ea (4 hours)
  • Two candidates: $650ea (7 hours)
  • One candidate with 3 hours of training plus assessment: $1250 (7 hours)

These prices include the assessment fee and, if applicable, the cost of using a training vessel.

What to Bring on the Day of the Test

To ensure a smooth and successful assessment, make sure you bring the following items on the day of your ICC test:

1. Completed Application Form:
Bring the filled-out ICC application form you downloaded and completed.

2. Proof of Residency:
Provide documents that confirm your residency status. This is particularly important for applicants who are not UK nationals.

3. Passport Photograph:
A recent passport-sized photograph is required for your ICC application. Ensure that the photo meets the standard passport photo requirements.

4. Payment Details:
Be prepared to pay any remaining fees on the day of the test. Check with the training centre beforehand to understand their accepted payment methods.

5. Identification:
Bring a valid form of identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, to verify your identity.

6. Crew (if applicable):
If you are using your own boat for the assessment, make sure to bring at least one crew member. This is necessary for certain maneuvers and emergency procedures that require additional hands.

7. Appropriate Clothing and Gear:
Dress in suitable sailing attire, including non-slip shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and waterproof clothing if necessary. Safety gear, such as life jackets, should also be brought along.

8. Navigation Tools and Charts:
Carry any navigation tools and charts you typically use, as these may be part of the assessment.

On the Day:

  • Arrive at the training centre early to allow time for preparation and any last-minute instructions from the assessor.
  • Listen carefully to the briefing provided by the assessor, and make sure you understand the sequence of the test and what is expected of you.

By ensuring you have all the necessary documents, equipment, and preparations, you can focus on demonstrating your skills and knowledge effectively during the ICC assessment.

ICC Certification Australia