Class information here
Is there a difference in Tower
Crane certification requirements between Hammer-Head and
NO!, Once tested and certified on a Tower Crane,
you'll be allowed to operate any style of Tower Crane no matter what
you were originally tested on.
Who administers the NCCCO Practical Examination?
NCCCO has developed a Practical Examiner Accreditation Program to
accredit NCCCO-certified individuals to administer the NCCCO
Practical Exam. Doc Bailey is an accredited examiner.
Do I have to be in the Union to become certified?
No, this program
is for all crane operators in all types of industries.
Does NCCCO offer training as well as testing for certification?
As an independent, third-party organization, NCCCO does not offer
training. In fact, NCCCO's accreditation as a certifying
organization by the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA)
is dependent, in part, on this fact. However, All Crane Training USA
does provide training and testing.
What is the National Commission for the Certification of Crane
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)
is an independent not-for-profit organization formed to establish
and administer a nationwide program of certification for crane
operators. The purpose of NCCCO is to set standards for the
knowledge and proficiency required for the safe operation of cranes,
and to develop valid and reliable examinations to test that
Why is the certification of crane operators important to our
Accidents on the construction site cost us all dearly—in serious
injury, property damage, lost time and litigation. Safety is one of
the most important issues we face and proficiency of crane operators
is key. Standardized assessment and certification of the skills and
knowledge required for safe crane operation will improve our ability
to enhance safety.
How will certification improve safety in crane operation?
It's been consistently shown that widespread training translates
into fewer accidents, reduces the number of fatalities and improves
overall safety records in construction. The Province of Ontario
instituted a certification program in 1979 which resulted in more
thorough training of crane operators to meet certification
requirements with precisely these results. There is every reason to
believe this pattern will be repeated in the U.S.
Why was it necessary to form a separate organization to administer
A fair, objective, independent assessment of the skills and
knowledge of crane operators is critical to realizing the long-term
benefits of Crane Operator Certification. It is important to involve
representatives from all segments of construction and general
industry, with no one special interest taking precedence. For these
reasons, NCCCO was formed and contracted with professional
credentialing organizations to help develop and administer tests.
How does the work of NCCCO relate to the ASME/ANSI B30 and B30.5
NCCCO's examinations were developed according to ASME/ANSI
guidelines to demonstrate fair, objective efforts. In addition,
several NCCCO committee members are actively involved with the B30
and B30.5 crane standards development. NCCCO is also in complete
compliance with OSHA requirements regarding the competency of crane
How does certification benefit crane operators?
A sound program of training and certification provides operators
with the confidence they are equipped to safely operate
sophisticated cranes in a variety of situations. The professional
designation as a Certified Operator also assures employers of a
proficient worker, without relying on subjective recommendations or
Several states and cities already have licensing. How is this
Licensing by itself does not ensure the operator possesses the
necessary skills and knowledge to safely operate a crane. Some
programs do not require training or testing. NCCCO views its
Certification Program as a positive supplement to current licensing
programs which will further enhance safety.
How do I get set up as an official NCCCO Test Site?
You should review the requirements in the Written Examination Test
Site Coordinator Handbook, and complete the Test Site Application
Form. Requirements include: specified seating arrangements, good
lighting, adequate heating/air conditioning, nearby rest rooms, etc.
If you already have a testing date in mind, also complete the Test
Administration Request Form.
Why does NCCCO require a Chief Examiner to administer the NCCCO
A Chief Examiner administers all NCCCO test administrations for two
major reasons: to guarantee the security of the test, and to ensure
the test is administered in the same way at all times, at test sites
across the country. NCCCO and International Assessment Institute (IAI)
maintain meticulous control over the storage and distribution of the
tests. Standardization of test administrations nationwide is vitally
important for NCCCO’s test to remain a proper, fair evaluation of an
How far ahead can I schedule a test, or apply to take a test?
There's really no limit on how far ahead you can set up a test or,
for that matter, apply to take the test if you are an individual
candidate. There are deadlines in place, however, to allow NCCCO
time to process both of these applications. Confirmed NCCCO Test
Sites need to give at least four (4) weeks notice prior to the day
they plan to test on. Candidate applications need to be received by
International Assessment Institute (IAI) no later than two (2) weeks
prior to the test date. Any candidate application received within
two weeks of the test date is subject to a $50 late fee. However,
there is an absolute cut-off date of four (4) business days prior to
the test, after which no applications can be processed.
Is re-certification required?
Yes, NCCCO requires re-certification every five (5) years to ensure
knowledge has been retained and to accommodate technical changes in
equipment. To be re-certified, a candidate must have:
• passed a written Re-certification Examination
• at least 1,000 crane-related hours of experience within the five
(5) year period of certification. Candidates who do not meet this
requirement, or who did not take the Practical Test as part of their
original certification, will be required to retake and pass the
• a valid medical certificate (NCCCO or DOT).
Can NCCCO certification be withdrawn?
Yes, NCCCO the Review Committee, for a variety of reasons, including
the following, can withdraw certification, upon direction to the
Board of Directors:
• Period of certification exceeded without renewal.
• A candidate falsifies any information on any documents submitted
to NCCCO or its agent.
• A candidate’s medical certificate expires.
• There is evidence of culpability in an accident during the
If I already have my operators trained, why do I need certification?
Training is precisely what the NCCCO program is intended to
encourage. However, without an independent assessment of an
operator’s knowledge, you can never be sure either of the quality or
the effectiveness of the training. Not all people learn in the same
way, or at the same pace. Certification through NCCCO's third party
process provides objective and standardized verification that
training to a nationally recognized curriculum has been effective.
There are other certification programs around, what makes NCCCO’s
The concept of certification is often misunderstood, and certainly
not everyone who uses this term does so in the same way. However, an
independent professional organization, the National Commission for
Certifying Agencies (NCCA), has established standards which all
those accredited by NCCA must meet. NCCCO’s program has been
accredited by NCCA, which is an employer’s guarantee that the
examinations have been developed, verified, and administered
according to nationally recognized professional standards.
Requirements for NCCA accreditation include that the organization
which certifies be separate from the company whose employees it is
evaluating, and also that it conduct no training of any kind. This
is what essentially defines "third-party" testing, and is a
cornerstone of the NCCCO program. It was also a key element in
OSHA's decision to formally recognize NCCCO in its Partnership
Agreement signed in February 1999.
Is NCCCO certification mandatory?
The NCCCO program was established as a voluntary program, by
industry, for industry and continues to receive support from
industry. The recognition of NCCCO by OSHA is still as a voluntary
program, but recognizes NCCCO certification as a means of being in
compliance with OSHA's requirement for a qualified operator.
Remember, certification may not be mandated, but training is; OSHA
requires all employees be trained for the work they do. Of course,
when an employer makes NCCCO certification a job requirement, it
effectively becomes "mandatory."
Is an oral test given as an option to the written test for those
operators with reading or comprehension problems?
NCCCO operates in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA) and has established a procedure for any candidate applying
for "special accommodations" (see the NCCCO Candidate Handbook).
However, any program which claims to assess the proficiency of a
crane operator must be aware of what constitutes proficiency under
prevailing laws and standards. The ANSI/ASME B30.5 mobile crane
requirements for operators state in part that: Operators shall
demonstrate their ability to read, write, comprehend, and exhibit
arithmetic skills and load/capacity chart usage, in the language of
the crane manufacturer's operation and maintenance instruction
manuals [B30.5(a)-1995, 5-3.1.1b(3)]
Thus, while NCCCO will make every accommodation to provide access to
any candidate to take the test, certification can be available only
to those candidates who comply with the provisions of B30.5.
Candidates who do not meet the requirements for certification can
still take the test, however, and receive their scores (but not a
What consideration is made for an uncertified apprentice getting
"seat time" operating equipment if certification becomes mandatory?
While candidates without at least 1,000 hours crane-related
experience cannot be certified by NCCCO, they may take the test, and
receive their score reports. Providing they meet medical
requirements, this confers a status of "NCCCO Eligible". This
interim status allows individuals entering this industry, operating
under supervision, to build their hours to the point where they meet
NCCCO experience requirements and can move forward to certification.
Are there any exceptions to the fifteen (15) candidate minimum for
the written examination?
NCCCO will test any number of candidates at any location meeting the
requirements of an official NCCCO Test Site. However, there is an
additional fee for any test site with less than fifteen (15)
candidates, as follows: 10-14 candidates, $200 site fee; 1-9
candidates, $300 site fee.
To whom are candidate score reports released?
While the certified status (pass/fail) is a matter of public record,
the actual scores are the legal property of the candidate alone.
Therefore, while NCCCO can release the pass/fail status of any
candidate on request, specific authorization by the candidate is
required before his/her scores are released to a third party. Many
employers and Test Site Coordinators regularly request candidate
pass/fail reports; others solicit authorization from candidates to
request actual scores. Either way, NCCCO has established simplified
documentation to expedite this process.
If I have already been certified by NCCCO, do I have to take the
On January 1, 2000, all candidates wishing to be certified through
the NCCCO program had to pass the Written Exam and the Practical
Exam, as well as meet the established medical criteria. Operators
already certified under the previous "written-exam-plus-2,000 hours
experience" process do not have to take the Practical Exam until
What are the requirements for an operator to get "grand fathered"?
NCCCO does not "grandfather" any operators. The NCCCO examination is
a test of knowledge and skills, not a test of experience. Experience
can be good or bad, relevant or irrelevant, general or specific, and
should not be used by itself as an indication of proficiency.
Most field mechanics/technicians have small hoisting devices on
their service trucks, typically in the 4,000 - 10,000 pounds
Do these mechanics/technicians need to be certified?
The issue of whether certification is required is a question for the
employer. But note that the B30.5 mobile crane standards covers all
mobile telescopic cranes above 1 ton capacity. OSHA requires all
operators of equipment be trained in their safe use. NCCCO
certification can serve as an effective, legally-defensible
verification of that training.
What happens if my employer requires proof of my NCCCO
certification, but I have lost my NCCCO Card or Certificate?
If you need proof of certification (for example, to show to an
employer that has made NCCCO certification a job requirement), and
you do not have your card available, NCCCO's staff office can help.
Call NCCCO at 703/560-2391 and ask for a Letter of Certification.
Upon verifying your certificant status, we will provide you with a
letter to your employer indicating that you are certified, and in
which Specialty Areas. This also applies if you have become
certified in an additional Specialty after having been certified
How do I become involved with NCCCO as a volunteer?
Volunteers from all sectors of industry are always welcome. In
particular, assistance is appreciated by the Written Exam Management
Committee and the Item Writing Task Force. NCCCO operates an annual
item writing program. If you would like to participate in the work
of the Item Writing Task Force call the NCCCO office for
How do I add specialties to my NCCCO card?
All requests to update certification cards with additional
specialties must be submitted to IAI with a fee of $25. IAI's
contact information is as follows: