National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


Crane Inspector

Certification Overview

Welcome to the CCO Crane Inspector certification program. The CCO Crane Inspector Task Force that developed this certification program was made up of experts from all aspects of the crane industry—crane inspectors, crane users, trainers, safety supervisors, manufacturers—who together represent many thousands of hours of crane-related experience. These volunteers gave freely of their time and expertise with the primary goal of improving the quality of crane inspections and promote additional training among crane inspection personnel.

CCO Crane Inspector certification is available for the following designations:

  • Articulating Crane Inspector (ACI)
  • Mobile Crane Inspector (MCI)
  • Tower Crane Inspector (TCI)
  • Overhead Crane Inspector (OCI)


CCO-certified crane inspectors are eligible have their names, contact details, and certification designations posted in CCO’s online Crane Inspector Directory. Use the form in the Crane Inspector Candidate Handbook to apply for your free listing.


Visit How to Test for instructions on applying for and taking CCO written exams.


CCO Certified Inspector-150x

Requirements for certification include the following:

  • Be at least 18 years of age 
  • Meet experience requirements (All Crane Inspector candidates must submit a completed Experience Form and relevant documentation for review at least two weeks prior to submitting their exam Candidate Applications.)
  • Pass written examinations 
  • Comply with CCO’s Substance Abuse Policy 
  • Comply with CCO’s Code of Ethics


All applicants shall have a minimum of 2,000 hours of documented work experience within a five-year period related to maintaining, inspecting, servicing, repairing, or modifying cranes.


At least two weeks before submitting their exam candidate applications, all crane inspector candidates must demonstrate their qualifications by filling out a form detailing their pertinent experience, education, training, and references. This experience form must be completed and reviewed by CCO prior to submitting applications for testing. CCO will process candidates’ completed forms within two weeks of submittal; after being reviewed, candidates are notified by email whether they are eligible to register for the written exams or if more information is required.

A $50 Experience Form Processing Fee shall be paid when the experience form is submitted. To avoid any delays, candidates are encouraged to be as detailed as possible when completing. Candidates must submit proof of experience (documentation, letters of recommendation, transcripts, résumé, etc.) along with their completed Experience Form submission.

All Crane Inspector candidates must submit this form and relevant documentation for review at least two weeks prior to submitting their exam Candidate Applications. Candidates must make their best attempt to complete all sections of the form. Applications that are deemed incomplete or inadequate will be rejected and additional information may be required. The form is available via the CCO Handbooks and Forms page. 


The Crane Inspector Written Examination consists of a Core Examination, specialty examinations for the Mobile Crane Inspector and Tower Crane Inspector certifications, and a single comprehensive exam for the Overhead Crane Inspector certification. Each candidate must also successfully pass the respective operator exam(s); however, currently CCO-certified operators are not required to take the corresponding operator exam as long as they maintain their certification status in good standing.

The tables below detail the exams necessary to be certified for each crane type and the contents of those exams. To provide each candidate with a fair and standardized administration of the written examination(s), and to ensure the reliability and validity of the written examinations is maintained, it is not recommended that a candidate schedule written exams totaling more than six hours of testing time on the same day.

CCO has three options for taking written exams: Online Proctored Testing (OPT)Test Center Testing (TCT), and Event Online Testing (EOT)Decide which option is best for you.


The practical exam component of the crane inspector certification is incorporated in the written exams through the use of scenario-based questions using images of real-life situations. These real-world scenarios test crane inspectors’ abilities to identify deficiencies and hazards commonly seen in the field.


Certification is valid for five years. Candidates must pass Written Exam(s) in the category(s) for which they seek certification. Candidates may take their exams in any order. Candidates have 12 months after they pass their first exam to pass the corresponding exam(s). For example, a candidate passing the Crane Inspector Core Exam in January 2024 has until the end of January 2025 to pass the Mobile Crane Inspector Exam.

If a certified inspector subsequently becomes certified in additional crane types by taking the appropriate written exams, the five-year certification period for the additional crane types begins at the same time as he/she was originally certified (i.e., certification for all crane types expire on the same date, regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them). If the new designation is added within the final 24 months of his/her certification period, the certificant is exempt from recertifying for the new designation after five years; after that, however, certificants must recertify for all designations during the 12 months prior to their certifications’ expiration date. This ensures that all of the certificant’s crane inspector designations maintain the same expiration date.

The following table details the exams necessary for each crane inspector certification:

CI exams 2024

The following table shows each crane inspector exam’s contents and duration:

CI exam questions 2024

Candidates for certification or recertification may petition for an extension of NCCCO’s standard timeline(s). NCCCO staff shall have the discretion to make the initial determination of whether a requested extension should be granted. Petitions for an extension of time are generally denied absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances. Denials of such petitions may be appealed to the Appeals Committee.


The following policies apply to all CCO certification programs:

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


Certified inspectors receive a laminated photo ID card at no cost when they certify, add a designation, or recertify.

Replacement cards failed may be obtained from NCCCO at a cost of $25 and ordered online.

Certification cards remain the property of NCCCO, are not transferable, and must be returned to NCCCO upon demand.


CCO certification is valid for five years. Recertification candidates must complete all recertification requirements during the 12 months prior to their expiration date.

Review recertification requirements for CCO-certified Crane Inspectors.

Get complete instructions on How to Recertify.