What does it take to pass the ICC? Must you be willing to sail through the Mediterranean or hold a skipper license?

An International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is a certificate which may be issued to anyone who has successfully completed certain national boating licenses or has successfully passed an examination to prove the necessary competence for pleasure craft operation.

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.


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According to the International Yacht Training ICC page:

  • Completed ICC Application Form
  • Jpeg format headshot photograph
  • Scanned copy of passport or national identification
  • Scanned ICC Examination Form completed by the IYT Worldwide partner school that conducted the examination.
  • CEVNI Test - if completed (this is only required for inland waterways such as the French canals)


What skills and Knowledge are required to obtain an ICC? To receive an ICC, candidates are required to prove competency in handling a boat with sufficient knowledge of navigation procedures, pilotage, safety procedures and the International Regulations for the prevention of collisions at sea. This can be done by examination or by evaluating existing boating qualifications. The examination can be taken on either a powerboat or sailboat depending on the endorsement required and usually takes about 4-6 hours.


1) Preparation for sea

Checklist and mechanical check

2) Short Passage

Each candidate executes a short pre-planned passage as skipper

Testing of the following is required:

  • Coming alongside / berthing / unberthing
  • Man overboard recovery
  • 360 degree turn
  • Navigation skills
  • 3 point turn
  • Handling under sail ( for sail endorsement)
  • Handling under power ( for power endorsement)

3) Theory test

  • Collision regulations
  • Navigation lights
  • Shapes and sounds
  • Bouyage (IALA A & B)
  • Harbour pilotage
  • VHF Radio
  • Variation & deviation
  • Chartwork /symbols & abbreviations
  • Tides- height of tide and drying height
  • Basic position fixing
  • Weather
  • Course to steer to counteract tide or current
  • Set & drift / leeway
  • Pilotage- required for coastal knowledge

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