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 was historically known as the International Certificate of Competence.
Find out if you are eligible to apply and how to demonstrate your competence.
The UK ICC issued by the RYA is issued on behalf of the UK Government under the authorisation of the UK Maritime and Coastguard (MCA). It is issued in conformity with Resolution No. 40 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party on Inland Water Transport.
In accordance with Resolution No. 40, it is only available to a person who fulfils the following eligibility criteria:
Before issuing, amending or replacing an ICC the RYA must verify the applicant’s identity and their nationality. The UK ICC issued by the RYA is not available to the nationals of countries that have adopted Resolution No. 40 unless they are resident in the UK.
You must provide copies of official documents which collectively evidence your name, address, date of birth, nationality and that the photograph you have supplied is a true likeness of you. See ICC-2 Notes: Evidencing identity and eligibility for details of acceptable documents and a list of the countries that have adopted Resolution No. 40.
The ICC is sent by post to the applicant at the address printed on the certificate. It is not possible to collect the certificate in person. Sending the certificate to the address printed on the certificate is part of the RYA’s verification process for the issue of the certificate. The certificate will not be posted to any address other than the one printed on the certificate.
The onus is on you to demonstrate your identity and nationality to the RYA’s satisfaction.
It is your responsibility to check that you are eligible to be issued with the ICC before undertaking any training courses, tests or assessments with a view to obtaining an ICC. Important warnings regarding future eligibility can be found in ICC-2 Notes: Evidencing identity and eligibility.
If you are a national of a country that has adopted Resolution No. 40 and you are not resident in the UK, you should still be able to obtain an ICC. You will need to contact the body authorised to issue the ICC in the country of which you are a national. Resolution No. 40 requires that the issuing Government tests the candidate’s competence, so if you are applying to another country for an ICC, it is unlikely that RYA certificates will be acceptable as evidence of your competence.
Resolution No. 40 requires that applicants for the ICC prove that they have sufficient knowledge and ability to safely operate a pleasure craft. This can be done by presenting a recognised national certificate issued by the country which is issuing the ICC. Alternatively the Resolution makes provision for boaters to pass an examination - the ICC Assessment.
In order to be issued with a UK ICC by the RYA, you must provide evidence of your competence for each category you would like your ICC to be valid for. You can find out about the categories and check which categories will be validated by which certificates, tests or assessments in ICC-3 Notes: Evidencing boating competence.
How to apply for your first ICC and information about the process for updating or renewing your certificate and replacing a lost certificate.
The UK ICC issued by the RYA can only be issued at the RYA head office in Hamble.
You can apply for a UK ICC issued by the RYA either online or by using a paper form (which you download from the RYA website and print). The ICC application form is updated from time to time. Please ensure you are using the current version of the form. Your application may be rejected by the RYA if it is submitted on an out of date form.
Please allow sufficient time for your application to be processed in accordance with the timescales published in the ICC application form.
In the case of urgency, the RYA offers a Fast Track Service. What this provides and the cost are detailed in the ICC Application form. It is not possible to have an ICC issued by visiting RYA House in Hamble. ICC applications delivered in person to the RYA will be added to the processing queue and sent to the applicant by post.
To obtain an ICC, you must either complete and submit the online application form or download, print and complete part 1 of the ICC application form in full, including signing the declaration.
If you are applying in hard copy, details of where to send your completed application and a check list of what to enclose can be found on page 2 of the ICC application form.
The ICC is valid for 5 years.
Regular revalidation allows the RYA to ensure that the holder continues to be eligible to hold a UK ICC. It also gives the RYA a mechanism for ensuring that any modifications that need to be made to the ICC's form (e.g. in response to administrative changes) or validity (e.g. in response to changes to eligibility or other aspects of Resolution No. 40) can be implemented for all holders of the ICC effectively and reasonably promptly.
One of the most important reasons for requiring periodic revalidation, however, is to counter the fraudulent use of the ICC, which is on the increase. As we develop increasingly sophisticated tactics for attempting to combat the production and sale of fake RYA ICCs (such as the use of holograms and more complex artwork on the face of the ICC) we need to have an effective and efficient means of ensuring that these tactics are delivered across all holders of the ICC and that we are not left to deal with a large number of obsolete "legacy" forms of ICC in circulation that are relatively easy to forge and which may not be accepted by the authorities in other countries.
You may renew your certificate up to 3 months prior to it expiring. The new certificate will be valid for a further 5 year period after the original expiry date.
If you need to renew your ICC more than 3 months before its expiry date this is possible, however the certificate will be valid for 5 years from the date of issue rather than 5 years from the original expiry date.
A renewal notice will be sent to you shortly before your certificate is due to expire. To ensure you receive it, please inform us of any changes to your contact details.
To renew your certificate you must either complete and submit the online application form or download, print and complete an ICC application form. It is not possible to renew your certificate by telephone or by emailing us.
Your new certificate will be issued with the same categories validated as your existing certificate.
Should you require any further categories validated you will need to pass the appropriate ICC assessment or provide the necessary documentary evidence of competence. Further information can be found in ICC-3 Notes: Evidencing boating competence.
You will also need to provide evidence of your continued eligibility to apply for an ICC. Information on what is required can be found in ICC-2 Notes: Evidencing identity and eligibility.
Expired certificates, issued on or after 1 April 1999 can be renewed. Certificates issued prior to 1st April 1999 were not issued in accordance with Resolution No. 40 and cannot be renewed.
If during the validity of your ICC your details change, you need to complete and submit an ICC application form to have your ICC updated. You will need to provide documentary evidence to verify the details that have changed. Information on what is required can be found in ICC-2 Notes: Evidencing identity and eligibility.
If you have lost your ICC the certificate can be replaced. You must complete an ICC application form to request a replacement certificate. You do not need to resubmit evidence of your competence, but you will need to provide documentary evidence to allow the RYA to verify your identity and nationality. Information on what is required can be found in ICC-2 Notes: Evidencing identity and eligibility.
Issue of the ICC is free of charge for existing RYA members. You can also join the RYA at the same time as you apply for the ICC and have your ICC issued free of charge. This may be cheaper than paying for the certificate to be issued (see the ICC application form for the current fees).
Applicants for the UK ICC issued by the RYA who do not hold an eligible certificate, but already have the required level of competence can take ICC assessments to demonstrate their competence for each of the categories they would like to have validated on their ICC.
Information on validating the inland waters category on an ICC can be found in the Boating Inland and CEVNI section of this page.
Note: The ICC assessment is not applicable to Personal Watercraft.
Candidates can also purchase the RYA ICC Handbook to guide them through the requirements.
An ICC assessment can be arranged through an ICC test centre, which is an RYA recognised training centre or an affiliated club authorised to carry out the assessment. A convenient ICC test centre can be identified using the 'Where's my Nearest' search.
The test centre will, confirm your successful completion of the assessment by completing the relevant syllabus and certificate document above.
To have an ICC issued you need to complete and submit an application. See the Applying for, renewing or updating an ICC section of this page.
Code Européen des Voies de Navigation Intérieure (CEVNI) is the code governing navigation on many of the interconnected European inland waterways.
Signs, rules and procedures for navigating the waterways are all included within the CEVNI and in the same way as pleasure craft on coastal waters are expected to abide by the COLREGS, pleasure craft on many of the inland waterways of Europe, which in places are heavily utilised by commercial traffic, are expected to know the CEVNI as this is the basis of many of the various countries' own regulations.
Resolution No. 40 requires that candidates applying for an ICC with the inland category validated have sufficient knowledge of the traffic regulations applicable on inland waters, in particular the CEVNI. The CEVNI is not covered in any of the RYA’s courses, even those specific to inland waterways, as these regulations are not in use in the UK. It is therefore necessary to have a separate theory test on the CEVNI regulations.
There is no standalone CEVNI certificate or CEVNI endorsement. The document you receive when passing the RYA ICC CEVNI test simply allows the inland category on a UK ICC issued by the RYA to be validated, thereby indicating that the holder has demonstrated knowledge of the CEVNI regulations as required by the Resolution.
All candidates requiring the inland category validated must pass the RYA ICC CEVNI test irrespective of whether the regulations are in force in the country or on the river, lake or canal where they intend to go boating.
In addition to the passing the CEVNI test, for an ICC to be issued you must present a qualifying RYA practical course completion certificate or pass an ICC assessment at an RYA ICC test centre to validate one of the List A categories (see ICC-3 Notes: Evidencing boating competence) and be eligible to be issued with an ICC.
The CEVNI test is a multiple choice paper. Costs for the test will vary between test providers.
The "RYA European waterways regulations (the CEVNI rules explained)" publication G17 provides the information you need to learn the code in a clear and concise way - a sample paper can be found at the back of the book.
You can arrange to take the RYA ICC CEVNI test through RYA recognised training centres and affiliated clubs that are authorised to carry out the test.
Many RYA recognised training centres or affiliated clubs authorised to carry out the test can provide you with access to take the test online remotely from home or anywhere in the world and at any time.
You can find a CEVNI test centre using the 'Where's my nearest' search. Contact your chosen centre, pay them for your test and they will then give you access to the test.
Once you have completed the test, you will be told immediately whether you have been successful or not. If you have been successful you will be provided with an online CEVNI test completion certificate. Please note this is an RYA document only it does not provide evidence of your competence for boating abroad.
You can take the test in person at an RYA recognised training centre or an affiliated club authorised to carry out the test.
To arrange to take a paper based test, you will need to find a convenient CEVNI test centre using the 'Where's my nearest' search.
Once you have taken the test, the training centre/club will confirm your successful completion of the test by signing page 1 of ICC-4d Inland assessment certificate. They will give this to you so you can submit it when you apply for your ICC. Please note this is an RYA document only it does not provide evidence of your competence for boating abroad.
You can apply for a UK ICC issued by the RYA either online or by using a paper form (which you download from the website and print).
Learn more about the ICC, its history, what is does and doesn't do, and where it and other RYA certificates might be accepted.
Answers to the questions we are most frequently asked about the UK ICC issued by the RYA.