Sailing For Kids

International Certificate of Competency

What is an International Certificate of Competency (ICC)?

The ICC is a certified level of competency required when operating a pleasure craft in most European Coastal or Inland waterways.

Uniquely, IYT Worldwide has been approved by the Irish Government to issue ICC s to any qualified applicants of any nationality on their behalf. Click on this link to see the approval letter from The Department of Transport Ireland.

How do I obtain an ICC?

Certificates are issued by IYT Worldwide on receipt of an application form. You are eligible to obtain an ICC if you hold an acceptable IYT Worldwide Certificate of Competency (listed below) or if you are attending an IYT Worldwide partner school for an ICC course and examination?

The following items are required when making an application to IYT Worldwide for an ICC:

If you hold an acceptable IYT Worldwide qualification please submit via email to

  • Completed ICC Application Form
  • Scanned page 3 of the Application Form with your signature (please do not sign outside the box)
  • Jpeg format headshot photograph
  • Scanned copy of passport or national identification
  • Scanned copy of highest level current IYT Worldwide certificate or qualification

If you are taking the ICC course/examination the school must submit via email to

  • Completed ICC Application Form
  • Scanned page 3 of the Application Form with candidate's signature (please do not sign outside the box)
  • 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)

Is there a period of Validity for an ICC?

The ICC is valid for a period of 5 years. See this link for information on how to revalidate or renew an ICC certificate.

Cancellation or Withdrawal of an ICC

IYT Worldwide may suspend or withdraw an ICC where the holder has by some action demonstrated that he or she has not complied with the conduct demanded of a holder of an ICC. The matter will be presented before the IYT Worldwide Training Board for adjudication.

Who may obtain an ICC?

Any nationality may obtain an ICC.

For the issue of an international certificate the applicant must:

(a) be minimum age of 16.

(b) be physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft, and in particular, must have sufficient powers of vision and hearing.

(c) have successfully passed an examination or prove the necessary competence for pleasure craft operation by holding an acceptable IYT Worldwide certificate.

What endorsements are required for different types of vessel?

ICC s are required for pleasure craft up to 24 meters.

The endorsement may be:

Power- for any power driven vessel

Sail - Sailboats with engines will need to have both power and sail endorsements

Coastal - for offshore passages

Inland - for use in the inland waterways of Europe, will need a CEVNI (Inland) endorsement

Personal Water Craft (PWC)

What Vessel Sizes are covered?

For those candidates taking a direct assessment in a power vessel, the length of the boat will determine the level of endorsement. This will be either: less than 10 meters, or: 10 to 24 meters.

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 checks

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


A sailing vessel with an engine requires both power and sail endorsements.

Some IYT Worldwide certificates allow an applicant to obtain an ICC without the need for an ICC assessment.

If the candidate does not hold an acceptable IYT Worldwide certificate, an application can be made to an authorized IYT Worldwide training school for an ICC examination. Candidates will be examined on their boat handling skills including departing from a dock, maneuvering in confined spaces, high speed boat handling (power boats), sail handling, sailing a course to steer, navigation, pilotage and weather, man overboard procedures and safe communication with crew.

What IYT Worldwide Certificates of Competency are recognised for obtaining an ICC without the need for an examination?

  • IYT Small Powerboat & RIB Master
  • IYT International Watchkeeper/Flotilla Skipper
  • IYT International Bareboat Skipper
  • IYT Yachtmaster Coastal
  • IYT Yachtmaster Offshore
  • IYT Yachtmaster Ocean
  • IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/ Mate 200 Tons
  • IYT Master of Yachts Limited
  • IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited

++CEVNI - is Code Europeen Des Voies De Navigation Interieure (Revision 2)

You will need to pass an exam to get an INLAND endorsement on the IYT International Certificate of Competence to operate a boat on European waterways. You SHOULD read up on the regulations contained in European Code for Inland Waterways yourself and take the CEVNI examination and/or attend a course.

What is tested in a CEVNI examination?

Cevni stands for the: Code Europeen des Voies de la Navigation Interieure The examination comprises 16 questions with pictures about signs and signals and questions about general rules, with multiple-choice answers. The pass mark is 12 correct.

The exam covers:

Sound Signals
Lights And Symbols On Vessels
Markings On Vessel Underway
Lights And Markings For Other Situations And Designated Areas
Passing , Crossing, Overtaking and Entering Harbour
Buoys, Berthing And reduced Visibility
Channel Markings
General Rules and Regulations


This list is a guide only, all persons planning to operate a veesel in Europe should make sure that the correct documents are carrried). With regard to ICC requirements, generally, an ICC is required when navigating the inland waterways of Europe.

An ICC is usually required in the Mediterranean.

The following states do require ICCs:

Italy, Greece, Croatia, Portugal and Turkey. ICCs, in theory, are not required in Spain on British flagged vessels but the individual Spanish Port authorities have the right to determine who carries what certificates in their waters.

In Northern Europe and Scandinavia, the ICC is generally not required.


Holland requires an ICC for vessels that are either longer than 15 meters and/or capable of more than 11 knots.
Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia require ICCs.
It may also be useful to have one in Germany.


When Chartering In Spain, you will need an ICC.
When Chartering in France and Germany you may need a certificate of competence, the charter
company will confirm what is needed. Usually an ICC or IYT Yachtmaster is accepted.
Almost all inland waterways require an ICC with CEVNI inland endorsement.