International Certificate of Competence for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC)

Are you looking to charter a boat abroad soon? If so, a good starting point is to have your ICC card, also known as the International Certificate of Competence for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC) This card is issued to suitably trained persons through the offices of the Irish Sailing on behalf of the Irish Government.

The International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft for users of pleasure craft was established under resolution No. 40 of the Working Party on Inland Water Transport for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

The aim of the ICC is to provide boat owners and people wishing to charter boats abroad with an internationally recognised document certifying their competence to skipper a boat for recreational use.

Each year subject to demand the RSGYC in conjunction with SeaCraft will be running an ICC shore based preparation course over three evenings from 19:30– 22:00 each evening. This series of classroom teaching is aimed to prepare the experienced sailors for the completion of the Coastal endorsement written paper and on the water assessment required in order to successfully apply for the ICC card.

Who should apply?

Suitably experienced sailors/ power boaters who wish to apply for the ICC card.

Course Format:

  1. Theory Exam preparation
  2. Successful completion of the theory exam
  3. On the water practical assessment
  4. Application for the ICC through Irish Sailing


3 evenings of classwork based preparation required to assist and guide for the successful completion of the ICC Coastal endorsement theory exam. Upon successful completion of the theory exam Club members will work with fellow Club member David Jerrard to arrange for a mutually agreeable time and date for the completion of the on the water practical assessment. Once the practical assessment has been completed candidates must apply directly to Irish Sailing for the processing of their ICC card which costs €50 for IS members and €96 for non IS members.

Course cost*:

€180 RSGYC Club Members and their Guests.

To express your interest in taking the next class in 2020 please click here:

*Cost of issue of ICC card is additional €50/ €96 payable direct to Irish Sailing with application.


More details:

The International Certificate of Competence (ICC); cruising and chartering abroad.

Neither Ireland nor the UK require certificates of competency or licences for the operators of leisure craft less than 24 metres or 80 tonnes sailing in their territorial waters.

But many European countries may require credible evidence of a skipper’s competence. Bear in mind that unless you are passing directly through a country’s territorial waters without stopping you must comply with that country’s legal requirements in addition to the requirements of your yacht’s flag state.

Most countries will have their own organisations awarding certificates or licenses for leisure craft operators such as the Yachtmaster certificates of competence, for example. However, there is no international requirement for any country to recognise or accept a leisure craft operator’s certificate or licence from another jurisdiction.

There are many competent leisure sailors who do not want a Yachtmaster certificate but intend to cruise overseas or charter a yacht for a week or two. In most instances some form of certification may be advisable or required and the ICC may serve the purpose.

The ICC was originally created by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to enable leisure craft operators navigating the length of the Danube and the Rhine to provide a single evidence of competency acceptable to the many countries through which those rivers pass.

Regulated by UNECE Resolution No. 40 the ICC, now called the International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICOPC), has evolved over the years into an official government document which assures the competence of operators of leisure craft less than 24 metres or 80 tonnes for the inland and coastal waters of Europe.

In Ireland the ICC is administered by Irish Sailing (née ISA) on behalf of the Irish Government and can be issued without a test to someone who holds a valid IS/ISA certificate from a practical course or exam such as a Powerboat, Day Skipper or Yachtmaster certificate and will be valid for power or sail or both as appropriate. It cannot be issued to the holder of a shore based course certificate or to the holder of a practical certificate from another jurisdiction, such as an RYA certificate for example.

Anyone who does not hold a qualifying certificate must complete a practical test on a suitable boat. Most people need the Coastal endorsement which requires a written test as well as the practical test.


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