Who can get an ICC from the RYA?

Find out if you are eligible to apply and how to demonstrate your competence.
The RYA is authorised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to issue the ICC, on behalf of the UK Government, to qualifying individuals. Applicants for the UK ICC issued by the RYA must be eligible to be issued the certificate and must demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills.

The certificate is available to a person who fulfils the following eligibility criteria:
has reached the age of 16;is physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft, and in particular, has sufficient powers of vision and hearing;resents one of the specified UK certificates or has successfully passed an examination to prove the necessary competence for pleasure craft operation; and who presents evidence of nationality or residency to show that their nationality does not preclude them from being issued with an ICC by the RYA.

Validating the type of vessel categories

To validate all the categories on an ICC, you will need to be assessed on or present an eligible RYA or MCA practical course completion certificate or certificate of competence to cover each category. It is perfectly acceptable to be assessed for one category and present a certificate for another category.

The RYA can issue the ICC to eligible British nationals and residents.

ICCs have been issued by the RYA to people from the following countries:

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Russian Federation
San Marino
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
United States of America

if not on the list talk to us.

The following UNECE countries have adopted Resolution 40. If you are a national of one of these countries and are resident in that country or another country on this list the RYA is not authorised to issue you with an ICC.
Czech Republic

Evidence of nationality or residency

The RYA is authorised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to issue a UK ICC to the nationals of any country EXCEPT individuals who are a national of another UNECE member state which has accepted Resolution 40 and who are also resident in another UNECE member state which has accepted Resolution 40, unless the RYA has been given written permission to do so by the Government of the relevant country.
The list of UNECE member states that have accepted Resolution 40 is subject to change without notice (i.e. whenever the government of a country adopts Resolution 40). 
A person’s eligibility can therefore change during the period the ICC is valid for. Should this be the case, the certificate holder must notify the RYA and surrender the certificate; no refunds of any nature will be given. If the certificate holder cannot satisfactorily demonstrate his or her continued eligibility when the certificate expires it will not be renewed by the RYA.
Applicants are required to provide evidence of their eligibility when they first apply for an ICC and must provide evidence that they remain eligible to be issued with the ICC on renewal. You must send evidence with your application which proves that you are not a national of and resident in a country on this list:
Option 1:
If you are a national of a country which is not on the list you can send a copy of the photo page of your passport or a recognised national identity card showing your nationality; OR
Option 2: If your address above is in a country which is not on the list you can send proof that you are resident at this address. Send a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, driving licence or recognised national identity card showing your address. Further authenticated evidence may be requested.
An individual who is not eligible to be issued with a UK ICC by the RYA (by virtue of their nationality and place of residence) should be able to obtain an ICC from their own Government. They must however note that possession of an RYA certificate does not entitle them to a certificate issued by any other organisation or on behalf of any other national Government.
Individuals with dual nationality may apply for the UK ICC issued by the RYA if either nationality makes them eligible to do so. It should however be noted that only the nationality which made the individual eligible for the certificate to be issued will be recorded on the ICC.
Demonstrating the necessary knowledge and skills
Resolution 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 boater to pass an examination.
The UK ICC issued by the RYA has five categories: Inland Waters, Coastal Waters, Power, Sail (including auxiliary engine) and Personal Watercraft. When an ICC is issued, only the categories for which competence has been demonstrated will be validated.

Validating the coastal and inland categories

The ICC does not distinguish between tidal and non-tidal coastal waters and Resolution 40 does not set out a comprehensive definition of what is meant by “coastal” and “inland” but the intention is that they are mutually exclusive – i.e. “coastal” is anything that is not “inland”.
Resolution 40 does however require that candidates for coastal waters have knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) and candidates for inland waters have knowledge of the European inland waterways regulations the Code Européen des Voies de Navigation Intérieure (CEVNI).
Where the applicant took their course or examination normally determines (but with a couple of exceptions) whether or not the coastal waters category will be validated as the syllabus for an eligible RYA or MCA practical course taken on coastal waters includes the COLREGs.
Taking an eligible RYA or MCA practical course does not automatically validate the inland category in the same way. This is because CEVNI is not covered in the UK’s courses, as these regulations are not in use in the UK. Every candidate wishing to have the inland category validated on their ICC must therefore first pass the ICC CEVNI test.
Applicants who only have an eligible RYA or MCA practical course completion certificate or certificate of competence taken inland or who take an inland ICC assessment, must pass the CEVNI test to receive an ICC as the certificate would otherwise be invalid.



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