International Certificate of Competence

A common question we get asked is what ‘sailing licence’ do I need to charter or own a yacht.

To own a yacht you don’t need a license and there are a great many number of people who have lots of sailing experience and own a yacht but don’t have a license.

To charter a yacht however, you do need a licence and most yacht charter companies in the world accept RYA qualifications. In the Mediterranean a Day Skipper qualification is required. In tricky places to sail like Scotland you may need a Coastal Skipper qualification or something higher.

A few charter companies don't fully recognise them. Where this is the case an ICC is the recognised qualification. If you are planning to sail or cruise within Europe and the Mediterranean the RYA recommends skippers to hold an ICC.

ICC stands for International Certificate of Competence. And it is just that.

There are 2 ways of obtaining an ICC:

1. If you are an RYA member and have already obtained your Day Skipper Practical certificate (or higher qualification), send the ICC application form and a photocopy of your Day Skipper Practical Certificate to the RYA. For clarification please consult the list of certificates eligible for conversion on the back of the ICC application form. Contact us for a copy of the ICC application form.

2. By taking a practical test. The syllabus is outlined in the application. The test lasts approximately half a day and can be taken on your own boat or we can provide a boat and an instructor/examiner. The test includes: questions on safety, collision avoidance and for coastal waters navigation and pilotage

This qualification is available to BRITISH CITIZENS or bona fide BRITISH RESIDENTS.

If you are an RYA member The International Certificate of Competence will be issued free of charge. If you are not an RYA member there is an admin fee. For the same price we recommend you join the RYA not only for the savings it brings you for your International Certificate of Competence, but also for the many other benefits. You can join RYA here.

There is an option to fast track your application (in two days) for an additional fee.

If you plan to take a boat through the European Inland Waterways system, i.e. canals, rivers, lakes etc. you must have passed the CEVNI (European Inland Waterways Regulations) test. The CEVNI test can be taken online. Find out how to take the CEVNI test online with us.

Any country issuing ICCs can only do so to its own nationals or residents. The candidates must be at least 16 years old, be physically and mentally fit, and in particular must have sufficient powers of vision and hearing.

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