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Certification Overview

Welcome to the CCO Signalperson certification program. This nationally recognized and internationally accredited certification program is the culmination of many years’ hard work by experts from the varied industries and groups that use cranes, including construction, steel erection, ironworkers, operating engineers, utilities, and crane rental firms. The NCCCO task force that developed this program was made up of experts from all aspects of the crane industry—crane operators, ASME B30 members, signalpersons, training directors, managers, supervisors, insurance representatives—who together represent many thousands of hours of crane operating and signaling experience. These volunteers gave freely of their time and expertise with the goal of improving the safety of all whose work brings them into contact with cranes and lifting equipment.


Visit How to Test for instructions on applying for and taking CCO Written and Practical Exams; visit How to Recertify for instructions on recertification. Complete instructions and exam applications are also contained in the Candidate Handbook for each program.


Requirements for CCO Signalperson certification include the following:


CCO certification examinations are designed for signalpersons who are trained and who will use hand and voice signals in crane operation.


A candidate must pass the written and practical examination to be certified. Signalperson certification is valid for five (5) years.

Candidates have 12 months from the time they pass their first exam (written or practical) in which to become certified.

Candidates who do not take and pass both the written and practical exam within the 12-month time frame will be required to start the certification process again from the beginning.


The CCO Signalperson Written Examination consist of 60 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the examination.


The CCO Signalperson Practical Examination requires the candidate to demonstrate proficiency in giving both hand signals and voice commands. The practical exam also assesses the candidate’s understanding of crane dynamics and crane operations per OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1428.


The following policies apply to all CCO certification programs:

These policies are also covered in the Candidate Handbooks for each program.


NCCCO certification is valid for five (5) years. Candidates must complete their recertification requirements during the 12 months prior to their expiration date. This includes:

Recertification candidates are allowed two (2) attempts to pass the Signalperson recertification practical exam before their certification expires. Candidates who are unsuccessful after two (2) attempts must take and pass the regular Signalperson written and practical exams.

Certified candidates may take their Practical Recertification Examination up to one (1) year prior to their date of expiration. Regardless of the date of the recertification examination within that one (1) year period, the new five-year certification period begins from the date of expiration of the candidate’s initial certification.

[Note: Candidates who recertify more than 12 months prior to their expiration date will have their new certification period begin immediately, not from the end of their current certification period.]

Recertification exams are available at regularly scheduled test administrations. Candidates wishing to recertify should contact the Test Site Coordinator who set up the initial certification.  Candidates whose employment circumstances have changed should ask their new employer to schedule a test administration.

Get complete instructions on How to Recertify.


Certified signalpersons receive a laminated photo ID card at no cost when they certify for the first time and when they complete the requirements for recertification.

A certified signalperson may hold only one certification card at one time. If a candidate has previously certified in any NCCCO program and subsequently becomes certified as a signalperson, (s)he may request an updated certification card.

Updated or replacement cards may be obtained from International Assessment Institute at a cost of $25. Cards may be ordered online or by contacting Jennifer at or 727-449-8525.