ICC Assessments in USA

ICC – SLC Assessments in the USA

If you are considering a sailing trip to Croatia or the Mediterranean, you now need a sailing license: either the NauticEd SLC (Sailing License and Credentials) or the ICC (International Certificate of Competence – United Nations Resolution 40) is recommended for full acceptance.

Both the SLC and the ICC require a one-day On-The-Water assessment of your knowledge and sailing skills.

While many sailors are knowledgeable, there is always a little rust to work out or a few missing skills like springing on and off docks, Mediterranean mooring and the like or some missing theory knowledge like lights and shapes of international navigation marks. So the one-day assessment proves and documents that you indeed have the credentials to responsibly sail a vessel safely on a sailing vacation in foreign and unfamiliar waters.

The NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of sailing courses and the free SLC examination course will give you all the theory knowledge you need to pass the theory part of the assessment. If you think you need some rust-out review on your sailing skills, your assessor will be happy to add time to your assessment to do some instruction.


Locations where you can do the assessment for the ICC:

In the USA and Canada there are not many assessment locations for the ICC. It is thus recommended that you gain the SLC where there are many assessment centers. See our NauticEd Sailing Schools page and look for the SLC badge on the school or private instructor page.

Some locations for the ICC are:

  • Discovery Sailing: Halifax – Canada 
  • Yachting Education: Charleston South Carolina Florida
  • TopMast: Toronto – Canada
  • OnDeck: Antigua
  • Sail Grenadines: St Vincent
  • Just Sailing: Genoa Italy

So what should you get, the ICC or the SLC?


The ICC was created by the United Nations to be the World’s International Recreational Sailing License. But largely, in the United States, it is relatively inaccessible because of there is only one location in Charleston (Yachting Education), albeit the instructor/assessor there is fantastic. In Canada, there is Toronto (Kingston) and Halifax. In the Caribbean, there are several locations as above.

Get your European Sailing License

Created by United Nations

Quick Note: The “IPC” created by some sailing associations is NOT a United Nations Sailing License. It is not the ICC and does not adhere to the same standards and is not even recognized in the United States as an official government license. i.e. in the United States, some states require a boater’s license. In those states, the IPC is not valid as a license.


The SLC was born from a need to give access to international sailing and chartering for Americans and Canadians and those others that did not have access to gaining an ICC. It is born as an American License and is accepted by the Mediterranean countries as a valid license for operating in their waters.

The SLC has been made simple to gain for knowledgeable and skillful sailors. You pass theory tests online and pass the on-the-water assessment at an approved school. NauticEd is growing its approved school list slowly and carefully throughout North America.

If you will be chartering in Mediterranean waters, it is best to contact NauticEd to clear the SLC license with the charter company. Moorings and Sunsail already accept the SLC carte blanc. Other charter companies need to see our Port Authority signed paperwork. For Croatia, the SLC is written into law by the ministry and we can simply point the charter company to the list of acceptable licenses for Croatia.

So the choice is really yours and might generally come down to what is more accessible. However, both licenses work equally as well.

How good of a sailor must you 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 NauticEd Courses fully cover all the international theory knowledge you must have regarding Navigation and International Rules. When you pass our courses you should not have any problem with the above requirements. The remaining is your sailing ability.

The remaining is your sailing ability. We recommend that you discuss this with your local sponsoring sailing school above to determine your sailing skills and if you need a brush-up or a pre-assessment evaluation.

The Assessors
The assessors are trained to assess your skills to international standards. They look for critical flaws and areas where improvement is needed. They use a set of International Bareboat Rubric benchmarks for gaining the objective data during the assessment to decide if you pass or not.

Download the assessment rubrics for bareboat SLC here

The assessment is 6 hours on the water starting usually around at 9am at the dock.

The cost of the assessment is usually around $US600+ per student. This covers the cost of the assessor’s time and boat expenses.

For the SLC, you must pass the  NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses and the NauticEd SLC exam course. All of these courses are done online in your own time. For the ICC you can do either the online NauticEd RYA Day Skipper On-Line Course OR the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses and the NauticEd SLC exam course.

This will be a pass-fail situation.  This is not a 101 – 104 type sailing test or a gimme proficiency certificate.  The ICC and SLC require very high standards. This is not Putt-Putt.

You can start now by signing into NauticEd and clicking on the International Sailing License macro button on your “myNauticEd” page after you have logged in.

For more information and to view an example student’s SLC go to www.nauticed.org/SLC


  • Grant Headifen

    My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.

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Last updated on December 14th, 2022