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



Certification OverviewCCO Certified Signalperson-150x

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.

Signalperson certification covers the following types of signaling:

  • Hand signals
  • Voice/radio signals


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.


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

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 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.


Candidates must pass both Written and Practical Examinations to be certified for a five-year period. The Written and Practical Exams may be taken in either order. Candidates have 12 months from the time they pass their first Written or Practical Exam in which to pass the corresponding (Written or Practical) Exam.

Any tests passed within a 12-month period count towards certification. For example, a candidate who fails the Signalperson Written Exam in January 2015 but passes the Signalperson Practical Exam in June 2015 has until June 2016 to retake (and pass) the Signalperson Written Exam.

If a certified Signalperson subsequently becomes certified as a Rigger Level I and/or Rigger Level II by taking the appropriate written and practical exams, the certification period for the additional designation(s) expires at the same time his/her original certification (i.e., all rigger and signalperson designations expire on the same date, regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them). If the new designation(s) is added within the final 24 months of his/her certification period, the certificant is exempt from recertifying for the new designation(s) 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 rigger and signalperson designations maintain the same expiration date.

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 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 CCO program and subsequently becomes certified as a signalperson, (s)he may request an updated certification card.

Updated or replacement cards may be obtained from NCCCO at a cost of $25. Cards may be ordered online or by contacting Customer Service.

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


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

There is no grace period after certification has expired. Candidates whose certification has lapsed must take both the written and practical examinations to be certified again. 

Certified candidates may take their practical examination up to one year prior to their date of expiration. Regardless of the date of the examination within that one-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.]

The practical exam required for recertification is identical to the exam given for initial certification. 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.