t_hosting

Subscribe

Subscribe to our e-newsletter mailing list to keep up with NCCCO news and industry headlines.

Frequently Asked Questions

CCO Certification

What does it mean to be CCO-certified?

A certified crane operator is not necessarily CCO-certified. Only NCCCO can provide the widely adopted and recognized CCO certification. While there are other companies that seek to certify crane operators, only one organization—the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)—provides CCO certification. For more than 20 years, successful completion of the CCO certification requirements has informed the world that a crane operator is certified to the high standards of NCCCO. Both “NCCCO” and “CCO” are federally registered trademarks owned by NCCCO and used in connection with education testing and certification.

How does the work of NCCCO relate to ASME/ANSI B30 standards?

NCCCO certification programs are specifically built around the ASME/ANSI B30 crane standards and OSHA’s crane regulations. OSHA has officially recognized NCCCO programs as meeting its requirements for crane operator qualification and will accept CCO certification as proof of training. The presence of CCO-certified professionals on site also positions employers well to qualify for OSHA’s “focused inspection.”

Who is involved in the development of NCCCO’s certification programs?

CCO programs are industry-driven programs, with crane operators themselves playing a central role; other stakeholders such as owners, manufacturers, operating engineers, and related trades have also participated in developing these programs. Subject matter experts who volunteer their time and expertise for the development and maintenance of CCO programs come from construction, steel erection, petrochemicals, energy, and general industry backgrounds, as well as training, manufacturing, insurance, OSHA, and the IUOE.

How is the content of the tests determined?

Subject matter experts from all sectors of the industry determine what crane operators and related trades should know to safely operate, signal, and rig cranes. Comprehensive reviews of the work performed by various types of crane operators, signalpersons, and riggers (i.e., “job analyses”) are conducted, and the results validated by several hundred operators and experts across the country. Examination questions are all based on the specific knowledge that operators themselves considered critical to safe crane operation. To ensure fairness and reliability, professional standards of test development have been developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). CCO written and practical examinations are accredited by ANSI.

Is CCO certification mandatory?

NCCCO was initially developed as a voluntary certification program. Since then, several states and cities have initiated their own credentialing requirements that adopt CCO certification. However, in 2010, Federal OSHA published new construction regulations requiring crane operator certification/qualification nationwide by November 10, 2014. This deadline for crane operators to be certified was subsequently extended until November 10, 2017, and then to November 10, 2018. OSHA believes that an additional year will be sufficient to complete work on addressing the two issues that have concerned industry ever since the crane rule was published in 2010; namely, whether operators need to be certified by type and capacity, or just by type; and whether certification is sufficient by itself to deem an operator qualified to operate a crane. Although the new rule does provide options, third-party certification, such as that provided by NCCCO, is likely to be the most cost-effective and accessible method used to meet the new requirements. Additionally, many employers have made CCO certification mandatory for employment.

How does certification benefit employers and those who work in and around cranes?

Because of the sound methodology employed at all stages of program development, employers can be assured that individuals carrying CCO certification cards have demonstrated they possess the necessary fundamental knowledge and skills, without relying on subjective recommendations or judgment.In turn, those who earn the distinction of the CCO credential can take satisfaction that their skills have been recognized by an independent, accredited, professional authority.

Several states and cities have licensing requirements. How is CCO certification different?

Licensing by itself does not necessarily ensure an individual possesses necessary skills and knowledge. Some state and city programs do not require training or testing, for example. CCO certification functions as a positive supplement to current licensing programs and is increasingly being adopted or recognized by others, either in place of or as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. All states that have developed licensing programs since NCCCO was established have adopted or recognized CCO certification.

Can CCO certification be withdrawn?

Yes, CCO certification can be withdrawn, upon direction of the Ethics and Discipline Committee, for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Certification period exceeded without renewal.

  • Falsification by candidate of any information on documents submitted to NCCCO or its agent.

  • Evidence of non-compliance with NCCCO’s substance abuse policy.

  • Candidate no longer complies with ASME B30 physical requirements.

  • Evidence of culpability in an accident during the certification period.

  • Evidence of non-compliance with the Code of Ethics.

Next FAQ topic: Requirements & Procedures

Back to FAQ menu