The International Certificate of Competence ICC allows sailors to sail on the medICC ASSESSMENT

1 day assessment ICC

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
(see calendar below for available dates)

Sailing Internationally? The pinnacle of recreational sailing licenses is the International Certificate of Competence (ICC). The ICC is the only sailing license recognized by the United Nations, and it is quickly gaining global acceptance as an international standard for sailing and chartering abroad.

ICC Overview:

Where: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
When: Periodically through 2019 (each separate 1-day assessments)

Assessor: Capt. Mark Thompson
Price: $450
Certification: ICC
Prerequisite: RYA Day Skipper or NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master knowledge/theory, and 30' to 40' sailboat practical experience.

Need Help? Contact Island Sailing

Contact Chris Black at with questions or to register.

register now for sailing classes, courses and clinics

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) Explained

The "ICC" is the International Certificate of Competence for the Recreational operation of boats. The ICC is issued under United Nations Resolution 40 to create an international standard of competence for skippers of recreational boats on Coastal and Inland European waters.   Since inception, the ICC has quickly gained global recognition as the International Standard for sailing certification.
Read More

Because the ICC was created by the United Nations, a company or association can only grant a sailing certificate worthy of ICC award if they have been approved by a country's government. This creates a conundrum for North Americans because the USA and Canada did not sign Resolution 40. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is approved by the United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to issue the ICC when candidates demonstrate the sufficient theory knowledge and practical skills to meet the requirements.

The United States did not agree to UN Resolution 40, and therefore US schools must rely on approved certification countries to issue the ICC. For example, USSA and ASA are a privately held companies with no governmental authority to issue ICCs.

At Island Sailing, we stepped up to the ranks of global certifications by working with NauticEd, who's online courses have been approved by the RYA. For the ICC Assessment, we work with RYA approved facilities and instructors to offer Assessments throughout the year and in the Northwest.

KEEP IN MIND: in accordance with the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, when traveling across borders you can be required to comply the with the maritime requirements of that country in addition to that of your vessel's registered country.  While the ICC does not guarantee compliance across borders, it helps to overcome the difficulties caused by potential regulatory conflicts.

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) Member States

Sampling of where Charterers accept the ICC

To charter in many countries (like on the Mediterranean or Belize), the ICC is compulsive - whereas in others, it's accepted.  The specific requirements depend on the Country and often the Chartering Company, so it's best sailors always check the requirements beforehand.

For more information, see RYA's What is the ICC?

Simply: if your goals include sailing internationally, get the ICC.  Required by many, accepted by most....

ICC Requirements

There are distinct differences between US and International training standards.  And whereas ICC is a legal standard many countries, charterers require experience and training well beyond ICC standards.  Confused? It's actually rather simple and US Sailors need only prepare with the following:  Learn More about requirements

1. NauticEd RYA Day Skipper Course or Bareboat Charter Master: These 30-40 hour online classes provide the knowledge required to pass the ICC. If you are extremely experienced, then it should take you about 15-20 hours to jump through it. The course is fun, light and entertaining. It is NOT defensive driving adult time out; you’ll really have fun and learn some amazing “stuff”.  Note, again, this involves International standards, not just US certification - so, the knowledge training includes international standards.  For details, [click here]

2. Experience & Training: We recommend that you train through Bareboat level courses (or possess equivalent experience) and have a 5+ days of recent big boat sailing skipper experience.  Sailing is sailing, right?  Yes, except the ICC is earned and not a sailor's 'mulligan' from a respectful RYA instructor.  Since the dawn of sailing, sailors have emphasized training + experience - there's no exception with ICC.  Better to be prepared.

3. ICC Assessment: The assessment is explained in detail below, but basically a 6hr examination by a RYA Instructor.

ICC Preparation

ICC license preparation

Most US sailing programs follow a progression from Bareboat class upwards to Bareboat and Navigation.  Unless you have a wealth of experience, we recommend either you train through NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master (if US Sailing or ASA, you'll need supplemental maneuvering and navigation - their Bareboat standards are lower than international standards) OR complete RYA Day Skipper online course.  Either should prepare you for an ICC Assessment by a RYA instructor.

With experience and the prerequisites, a sailor can take the ICC Assessment at any time it's offered.  Below we've outlined different training paths that incorporate the ICC....Read More about preparation

First, note that the ICC is a minimal International Standard, and so training and/or experience through Bareboat is recommended for chartering.

Alternatively, sailors can integrate the RYA Day Skipper knowledge into their overall training.  The key differences are (a) the RYA knowledge examination is graded by an RYA instructor, (b) International standards are incorporated, and (c) Coastal Navigation training is accelerated from Bareboat to a Skipper, or Cruising, level of training.  The initial investment is slightly more, but the training is more comprehensive and the long-term investment in courses is less than adding the ICC later.

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) training guide

The ICC Assessment

Royal Yachting Association RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC)The ICC assessment is an on-the-water examination by a RYA Instructor.  It's a practical test of your sailing ability and knowledge.  There's no written test, however the instructor will verbally examine candidates on the spot and while underway.  The ICC is earned and the ICC Assessment is Pass or Fail.

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) Assessment Form

Click to view a sample

Candidates need to be skilled with sailing and boat-handling - but also need to be fully versed in INTERNATIONAL standards.  For example: Candidates should be proficient with Navigation, including knowledge of tides and heading calculations based on current, leeway, magnetic variation, International Rules etc.... Candidates should easily and comfortably be able to make a passage plan as well as have knowledge of IALA-A and IALA-B, Cardinal marks, ATONs with respective night lights.

Click HERE for a complete copy of the ICC Application.

Meet your Assessor

Mark Thompson, ICC Training, RYA Instructor, Catamaran ExpertMark Thompson
RYA & NauticEd Instructor, ICC Assessor, Catamaran Expert

Mark Thompson with Yachting Education is the Assessor. He is an RYA Sailing Instructor with over 20 years of instruction experience. Mark's one of the best, is very patient and puts student at ease.  While the ICC Assessment is pass-fail, Mark creates a positive and low-stress environment for candidates.

As the Principal and Chief Instructor for Yachting Education, Mark Thompson has a significant sailing resume including multiple Atlantic Ocean crossings and experience in Caribbean, Mediterranean, Australian and US waters.Meet Mark

Mark's career has centered on charter catamarans including a 5 year captaincy aboard the luxury yacht S/Y Lone Star. At 85ft LOA she was at one point the largest charter catamaran in the Caribbean and after crossing the Atlantic, Mark and his crew hosted families on more than 100 weeks of charter. 

Mark is a Chief Instructor accredited under NauticEd & RYA programs and has taught hundreds of students in the art of sailing and the nuances of running catamarans. One critical issue he shares is the ability to smoothly and silently communicate and operate theses large powerful vessels.

Mark grew up in Melbourne Australia and joined the maritime industry after a career converting inner city office buildings into trendy apartments. During a year spent traveling the world he discovered a sailing career while driving through Viareggio Italy and thought "you mean I get paid to sail?"

His love of sailing is infectious and his calm, patient demeanor has empowered hundreds of students to consider a bareboat charter and many to purchase their own boat.  Whatever your level of expertise, the practical time spent with Mark will be enlightening and your certification will open up a world of sailing opportunities.


ICC Assessment: $450.00 per candidate*

*Assessment only - any needed knowledge coursework is additional


To register online, select a class date to begin registration. Please complete the form and process for each student as we need those details for the class....

Class Booking Conditions (Deposits, Refunds and Cancellations) are detailed here >

Upcoming Assessments

  • May23Sat
    ICC Assessment - Ft. Lauderdale
    All day

Questions? Please submit the form below or contact us....


Need Help? Contact Island SailingContact Chris Black at with questions, for more information or to sign-up!

Refund and Cancellation Policy

The ICC Assessment requires the travel and time of a RYA instructor, and as such it's a non-refundable commitment unless we can find another candidate to take your spot.  As a practical matter, and should the course be rescheduled or cancelled due to weather or circumstances beyond Island Sailing's control, we'll work directly with candidates on rescheduled dates or refunds. NauticEd's RYA Day Skipper or Bareboat Charter Master online courses are purchased from NauticEd, and as such NauticEd's refund policies apply.


Below are some answers to frequently asked questions, and confusions over US systems (ASA, US Sailing), with ICC Certification....

* I'm ASA Bareboat certified with the IPC [International Proficiency Certificate].  What's the difference?
#1 difference is that the IPC is a private company designation and not recognized by the United Nations or any official US Governing body.  The ICC is often compulsory whereas the IPC may or may not be accepted as equivalent.

#2 as a training distinction, the IPC does not meet international training standards on generally accepted knowledge and practical requirements. An example is that ICC typically requires Navigation, which is not an IPC requirement.

#3 what countries do or do not accept can be fickle, the rules change continuously, and while a country (like Croatia) may accept the IPC - there's no guarantee it'll except it next month or year. By comparison, the ICC is an UN Resolution that's molded and governed by the participating countries. NOTE: often in other countries, individual ports and moorages may require legally accepted proof of competency, and so it's not just the charter company that's assessing the requirements....

Bottom line: if you plan to sail from a country that requires ICC, then it's best for you, your sailing investment and time abroad to get the required licensing.

* I'm Bareboat certified, can I get the ICC?
Absolutely!  Everyone's background, experience, training and goals are different; and so we recommend you simply contact us, and we'll recommend what may be needed to augment your training for the ICC.

* Why do you need the ICC?
The ICC is the only sailing license accepted by European Countries. It was created by United Nations to be the World’s International Recreational License. The list of countries requiring the ICC is growing. For now it is most all of Europe including chartering on the Mediterranean and popular chartering countries such as Croatia, France, Belize and Greece et al.

On top of that, the ICC is the pinnacle of sailing recreation licenses. Wouldn’t you want the best and the one that is accepted everywhere; an International United Nations license that you are proud to show off?

* How good of a sailor must I be to pass the Assessment?
The assessment will be conducted on the water. It is a practical test of your sailing ability with on the spot verbal questions while underway. You must be fully versed in Navigation including knowledge of tides and heading calculations based on current, leeway, magnetic variation, International Rules etc. You should easily and comfortably be able to make a passage plan. You must have knowledge of IALA-A and IALA-B, Cardinal marks, ATONs with respective night lights.

The RYA Day Skipper Course (for example) fully covers all the international theory knowledge you must have regarding Navigation and International Rules. If you pass that course you should not have any problem with the knowledge requirements.  If you're already Bareboat certified, then contact us to review what supplemental knowledge may be needed.

The remaining is your sailing ability. We suggest you review the ICC materials (links noted above) and are comfortable with those sailing maneuvers while skippering a 30' to 40' sailboat. While the skill requirements are clear, the assessor can elect to test those skills in a variety of ways.  For example, be prepared to run crew-overboard maneuvers with a fender (without jibing), or possibly sail to a mooring ball or dock.