International Certificate of Competence for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC)- Assessments expression of Interest

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.

When? Early 2024. 

This year subject to demand the RSGYC in conjunction with our tuition partner John Leahy (RYA and former ISA/IS YM instructor) we will be running an ICC shore-based preparation course in early 2024 over a  Saturday  followed by the theory exam an evening soonafter from  1900 – 2100.  This  classroom preparation is aimed to refresh and help prepare  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 with access to a boat in the range of 30ft + with an inboard diesel engine. This will be required for the on the water exam, which can be done in conjunction with others in the course. 

How do I know if I am suitably experienced? 

You will need to successfully demonstrate being able to safely and efficently manage a/ your boat as following:

  1. Departing and returning to the dock/ pontoon under power
  2. Demonstrating sailing skills and ability by tacking and gybing, picking up a MOB and sailing a figure of 8.
  3. Anchoring 
  4. Practical demonstration of the navigation theory (assessed in the theory exam) while afloat

Please do not sign up for the ICC preparation course if you are not able to efficiently and safely demonstrate the above items. This is not an on the water training course, but an on the water assessment. 

Assessments 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


One full day 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 liaise with one another and the examiner 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 €64 for IS members and €110 for non-IS members.

Assessments cost*:

The Instructor John does not charge for the course but there are certain expenses and you need some instruments.

Theory Preperation & Exam:  (€100) The fee to cover the cost of the course materials, exam paper and corrections. 

Practical Assessment- €50 paid directly to the examiner on the day of the on the water assessment. 

What do you need to bring along with you on Saturday?

  • Plotter or parallel rules, and Dividers. (Will be provided if you do not have a set)
  • 2B pencil (soft) and rubber and sharpener. (Will be provided also) 
  • A €30 euro fee for the exam paid directly to the examiner (Monday evening)

To express your interest in taking this class please click here:

*Cost of issue of ICC card is additional €64/ €110 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.

Questions? Please contact the Sailing Manager – Ronan Adams. 



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