September 2007 - As part of its policy of continued improvement, NCCCO has announced changes to its Practical Examiner Accreditation Program.
Two new requirements affect the application process. All Practical Examiner applicants must now be certified in at least one category (mobile, tower or overhead crane) prior to attending a Workshop. Applicants must also be able to document some crane operating experience. As before, all applications are reviewed by NCCCO, and admission to the program is based on these and other criteria listed on the application form.
Three new requirements affect the training during the workshop. All Practical Examiner applicants, even those who have previously passed the practical exam, must now take it again at the Workshop under NCCCO supervision (Refresher Examiners are exempt from this requirement). Any Practical Examiner applicant who does not pass the practical exam during the Workshop must be subsequently retested by an NCCCO representative. And, finally, the Practical Examiner written exam has been expanded, and the required scaled score raised to 75.
A final change applies to all newly-qualified Practical Examiners who now, upon qualifying, begin a 12-month probationary period. Probationary Examiners are required to be monitored and/or audited at the first practical exam they administer, i.e. following accreditation they may not test until an NCCCO representative is present.
All the changes had been exhaustively discussed by NCCCO’s Practical Exam Management Committee and recommended to NCCCO’s Board of Directors, who approved the new requirements in September, said Committee Chairman, J. Chris Ryan. “All processes and procedures, however soundly constructed, are subject to periodic review,” Ryan said. “With more than 750 Practical Examiners qualified by NCCCO during the past seven years, and with almost 80,000 practical tests administered in all 50 states, it was time for the Practical Exam Management Committee, as the responsible oversight committee for this portion of the CCO certification program, to conduct such a review. The new requirements they have developed will ensure the integrity of the examination process is maintained for the long term.”
In addition, NCCCO will be increasing the number of onsite audits it conducts by qualifying additional Practical Exam Auditors through its auditor training program, said NCCCO Manager of Program Development, Phillip Kinser, who is responsible for the practical onsite audit program. One or more Auditors would also soon be brought on staff, he said.
The number of candidate interviews conducted by telephone and, wherever possible, in person, will also rise, reported NCCCO’s Manager of Test Integrity, Bob Hornauer. As a public service, and to ensure only Practical Examiners with current accreditation are offering their services through the NCCCO program, Practical Examiners whose accreditation has been suspended and/or revoked could expect to see their names published on a list of sanctioned Examiners on the NCCCO web site, he said.
On another important administrative note, Practical Examiners should also look in the coming months for an improved method of obtaining score sheets via the secure Practical Examiner section of the NCCCO web site, Kinser noted.