International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

If you want to cruise outside the UK you are likely to need certification, often in the form of the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Key Course Details

Duration: 1 days

Minimum Age: 16

Assumed Knowledge: None

Pre-Course Experience RYA Powerboat Level 2, OR relevant boat handling skills, theoretical knowledge and competency.

Course Price: £135 per person

Where will this course take place? Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Contact us to book

The RYA Powerboat Level 2 Training Course will entitle you to apply for your International Certificate of Competence (ICC). This is achieved by sending a copy of your level 2 certificate along with a passport photo. The International Certificate of Competence is a legal requirement for boating abroad with many countries outside the UK requiring the owners or drivers of Powerboats to hold an ICC.

The RYA National Powerboat (Level 2) Training Course is the standard course required to obtain an ICC for Powerboats up to 10 metres in length.

ICCs for vessels up to 10m are obtained via the Powerboat Scheme whilst up to 24m ICCs are obtained via the Motor Cruising Scheme. An ICC taken on your own vessel will be issued for the length of that vessel.


International Certificate of Competence (ICC) Direct Assessment:
If you possess the relevant boat handling skills, theoretical knowledge and can demonstrate your competency, you can apply to Sea Training Sussex Powerboat School to take an ICC Direct Assessment. In effect, this is the Powerboat Level 2 Direct Assessment. On successful completion of the course the sea school will complete an ICC application form for you to send to the RYA who will issue you with your International Certificate of Competence.

The ICC Direct Assessment course is one day. Minimum age – 16 years.

Upon successful completion of either course, the candidate can then apply for their ICC (International Certificate of Competence). Download the form together with your photo and a copy of your certificate and the licence will be sent to you. If you are a member of the RYA your ICC is free of charge, If not, it costs approximately £45. A fast-track option is available if required.

The ICC (or to give it its full title International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft) is a certificate which is intended to provide evidence of competence when requested by officials in foreign countries. It is sometimes known as the International Certificate of Competence.

It is issued under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport Resolution 40. It is this resolution which details how and to whom the ICC may be issued, the syllabus requirements, the layout of the certificate and it also lists the countries which have notified the UNECE Secretariat that they have accepted the resolution.

The UK Government has accepted Resolution 40 and has authorised the RYA to issue the ICC on its behalf.

The following are a list of the main points that the instructor or examiner will be required to assess for anybody that wants to get an ICC. There is both a practical assessment and a written theory section to the ICC.

Oral/Written Elements – All Candidates


  • Knows responsibility for keeping a proper lookout
  • Can determine a ‘safe speed’
  • Can recognise a potential collision situation
  • Can identify ‘give way’ vessel in a collision situation
  • Knows what action to take as ‘give way’ and ‘stand on’ vessel
  • Knows responsibilities of a small vessel in a narrow channel
  • Can recognise manoeuvring signals (1.2.3 & 5 short blasts)
  • Can make and recognise visual distress signals


  • Is able to use and instruct crew on the use of:
    • Life jackets
    • Distress alerting (e.g. DSC VHF, EPIRB, Flares, etc.)
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Kill cord (if fitted)
  • Can prepare a boat for use and take sensible precautions before setting out, including:
    • Engine checks
    • Check fuel for range / duration of trip
    • Obtain weather forecast
    • Avoid overloading boat

Oral/Written Elements – Candidates For Coastal Waters Only


  • Knows rules relating to Traffic Separation Schemes
  • Knows requirements for navigation lights and shapes to be displayed by own vessel
  • Can recognise the following from the lights: Power driven, sailing vessel, vessel at anchor, tug and tow, fishing vessel, dredger
  • Knows sound signal to be made by vessels as in Q3


  • Can recognise, by day and night, and understand significance of buoys of the IALA system
  • Knows sources of information on: local regulations, port entry and departure signals, VTS and Port Operations Radio
  • Can plan a harbour entry/departure, taking account of possible presence of large vessels and avoiding navigational hazards

Navigation (Chart & Plotting Instruments Required)

  • Can interpret a navigational chart, understand significance of charted depths and drying heights and can identify charted hazards
  • Can plot position by cross bearings and by latitude / longitude
  • Can determine magnetic course to steer, making allowances for leeway and tidal stream
  • Can use a tide table to find times and heights of high and low water at a standard port
  • Can determine direction and rate of tidal stream from a tidal stream atlas or tidal diamonds on a chart
  • Understands basic use of GPS

Practical Elements – All Candidates


  • Give safety briefing including use of safety equipment
  • Has listened to weather forecasts
  • Pre start engine checks
  • Use kill cord (if fitted)
  • Start engine
  • Check cooling
  • Knows fuel range

Depart from Pontoon

  • Understands use of springs to depart from lee wall/pontoon
  • Communicate with crew
  • Position fenders correctly

360 degree turn in Confined Space

Securing a Buoy

  • Communicate effectively with crew
  • Prepare warp
  • Choose correct angle of approach
  • Control speed of approach
  • Secure boat effectively
  • Depart from the mooring safely

Man Overboard

  • Observe MOB or instruct crew to do so
  • Demonstrate correct direction and speed of approach
  • Make suitable contact with MOB

Planing Speed Manoeuvres (if appropriate)

  • Choose suitable area
  • Show awareness of other water users
  • Warn crew before each manoeuvre
  • Look around before S and U turns
  • Control speed on U turns

Handling Under Sail (if appropriate)

  • Sail triangular course with one leg to windward
  • Choose suitable area for hoisting/lowering sails
  • Use sails suitable for prevailing conditions
  • Show awareness of wind direction
  • Trim sails correctly on each point of sailing
  • Warn crew before manoeuvres
  • Look round before tacking and gybing
  • Control sails during tacking and gybing

Coming Alongside Windward Pontoon

  • Communicate effectively with crew
  • Show awareness of other water users
  • Prepare warps/fenders
  • Choose correct angle of approach
  • Control speed of approach
  • Stop boat in place required and secure to pontoon
  • Stop engine

The minimum age for this course is 16 years old.

Candidates will hold a valid RYA Powerboat Level 2, OR relevant boat handling skills, theoretical knowledge and competency.

£35 per person.

1 day from 9am to 5pm (approx).

Looking for other powerboat and sailing training courses? See our full range of powerboat, shorebased and online training courses here.

Powerboat training coursesShorebased and online courses

Got a question? Need help choosing the right course?
Contact us