What is the International Certificate of Competence?

When you visit another country, in most circumstances you can be required to comply with the maritime legislation of the visited country (Coastal State) in addition to that of your vessel’s country of registration (Flag State).

The regulations for pleasure craft can vary considerably from one country to another and the regime for skipper training and licensing can be equally disparate; the ICC helps to overcome the difficulties these differences can cause.

In other words, it is an assurance from one government to another that the certificate holder is sufficiently competent to be driving a pleasure craft, despite not holding the visited country’s national certificate. 

ICC Testing

For clients who already have a foreign licence or who have no formal licence but who can already handle and drive a yacht we offer ICC testing. It is a comprehensive test covering both the practical and theoretical sides of using a yacht. No matter how much experience someone has nobody really enjoys being examined, we therefore try to create a relaxed atmosphere where a client can best demonstrate their natural abilities. Whilst this is a test we will offer ideas and advice throughout the day to help the client achieve the best result they can. With safety and the security of boat and crew foremost our aim is to pass the candidate whenever possible! The exam will take a full day to successfully complete, the client should have an experienced crew member to help throughout the day. Before booking they should carefully study the test and be confident that they know all parts of it.

What skill sets are taught and/or tested?

It is very similar to the Day Skipper course, to download an application form or to see the syllabus click here. For clients just starting out we would recommend the full course but if you are already an experienced skipper we can arrange to test you. In accordance with your experience we can offer either the full course, a test or a few days which will help bring you up to speed. This can be done on your own boat or on our Bavaria 37 based in Vilamoura marina.

Both the teaching and the examining is done in a friendly and professional manner without applying too much pressure, you should enjoy the learning process and gain knowledge in a calm environment.


5 days or 40 hours, approximately 8 hours will be theory based. If the client has completed an RYA theory course recently it may be possible to decrease this by one day, this reduction in time will be at our discretion and will involve a short test prior to the booking being confirmed.


• Acceptable in many countries worldwide as proof of the skipper’s competence. Check here.

• ICC certificates can now be issued to people from America, Canada, France, South Africa, Greece, Holland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Poland. Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine. There are many more and if in doubt please see this link which shows that the citizens of these countries cannot apply for an ICC

• Can be obtained as a stand-alone “qualification” following a specific course or by submitting a Day/Coastal Skipper certificate to the RYA, there is currently (2018) a £ 45.00 charge by the RYA.

• There is no written limitation regarding the size of boat or the area of operation, the ICC can be issued for either up to or over 10 metres, generally the limit is the same as the National maximum for leisure craft i.e. 24 metres.


• Has to be renewed every 5 years.

• It is a paper certificate rather than the laminated photo card issued for Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses so looks less “official”.

• Cannot be used for commercial purposes.



Lote 77
Edifício Vilamarina
Avenida Cerro da Vila
8125-403 Quarteira/Vilamoura


Tel: Portugal (+351) 911 813 666
or UK (+44) (0) 787 786 4208

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