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


All CCO Certification Programs

CCO currently offers an industry-leading range of personnel certifications that address load handling equipment and related operations. The organization’s 29 certification designations across 14 categories provide the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of personnel certifications available. Accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to the international standard ISO 17024, they are officially recognized by federal OSHA as meeting or exceeding ANSI/ASME/ITSDF requirements, and they are endorsed by all leading insurance providers and industry membership associations.

Mobile Crane Operator Program

CCO offers three categories of mobile crane operator certification. In addition to the core written exam, candidates are required to take one or more specialty examinations covering specific types of mobile cranes: lattice boom cranes (LAT), telescopic boom cranes—swing cab (TLL), and/or telescopic boom cranes—fixed cab (TSS). The practical examinations test real-world skills such as hoisting, booming, swinging, following hand signals, and combined function operations. Service truck cranes (STC) are a subcategory of the TSS designation. OSHA 1926 requires certification for operators of most cranes when used in construction.

Tower Crane Operator Program

Candidates must pass both written and practical exams to be CCO-certified tower crane operators (TWR). Candidates may take the practical exam on one of three types of tower cranes—hammerhead, luffing jib, or self-erecting—and must demonstrate skills such as trolley travel, hoisting, swinging, and combined function operations.

Overhead Crane Operator Program

Candidates must pass both written and practical exams to become CCO-certified overhead crane operators (OVR). The overhead crane practical exam can be taken on either a cab-operated crane or a pendant/remote control-operated crane and tests skills including trolley travel, hoisting, bridge travel, and combined-function operations.

Articulating Crane Operator Program

This program addresses the specific knowledge and skills required to operate articulating boom cranes and articulating boom loaders. Three designations are available: articulating boom crane operator (ABC), articulating boom crane with winch operator (ABW), and articulating boom loader operator (ABL). Candidates choose among three written exams and two practical exams. The practical exam requires the operator to pick and place a test weight as directed, as well as move the crane through a zigzag corridor.

Digger Derrick Operator Program

Digger derricks are unique pieces of equipment with their own capabilities and risks and, as such, a CCO certification program (DDO) addresses their specific characteristics. Candidates must pass both written and practical exams to be certified. The seven tasks that make up the practical examination are: pre-operational inspection, place chain in circle, follow hand signals, negotiate corridor with test weight, auger a hole, pick up a pole, and stow boom and shutdown procedures.  

Dedicated Pile Driver Operator Program

The Dedicated Pile Driver Operator (DPD) certification program addresses the unique characteristics and operations of dedicated and purpose-built pile drivers. Candidates are required to pass both a written exam and a practical exam to obtain certification. The practical exam tasks include the lifting, maneuvering and setting down of a pile, as well as the demonstration of the actions and equipment settings necessary to begin the driving of a pile.  

Drill Rig Operator Program

The Drill Rig Operator (DRO) certification program, launched in 2018 in conjunction with ADSC—The International Association of Foundation Drilling, consists of separate certifications for operators of Foundation Drill Rigs (FDR) and for Anchor/Micropile Drill Rigs (AMP). As with other CCO operator certifications, candidates are required to pass both a written exam and a practical exam to obtain either certification. Practical exam tasks include pre- operational inspection, safety protocols, pipe pick-up and placement, pipe laydown, drill steel placement, drilling holes, and safe travel. 

Concrete Pump Operator Program

Introduced in mid-2022, the Concrete Pump Operator (CPO) certification program addresses the unique characteristics and operations of concrete pumps. At program launch, candidates are certified through a written exam; however, a practical exam is expected to be released in late 2023. This program tests operators on operation concepts and scenarios as well as U.S. industry standards that operators need to know, including ASME B30.27: Material Placement Systems Safety Standard for Cableways, Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Hooks, Jacks, and Slings. The test covers conducting pre-trip planning, driving the truck, setting up the pump, conducting placement operations, preparing the pump for travel, and end-of-day operations. 

Telehandler Operator Program

The CCO Telehandler Operator (THO) certification is the first telehandler operator certification that meets both OSHA 1926 and OSHA 1910 requirements as well as ANSI/ITSDF B56.6 requirements. The program has designations for two types of telehanders: fixed and rotating. While standard telescopic handlers—also known as “fixed telehandlers”—have boom sections to lift and extend materials for placement, “rotating telehandlers” can lift, extend, and swing. This means that rotating telehandlers provide an additional dimension of operation, giving them additional crane-like capabilities that make them more likely to require certification.

Rigger Program

Two certification levels are available: Rigger Level I (RIG-I) certification indicates that certified personnel are considered qualified for most rigging work, while Rigger Level II (RIG-II) certification shows that they can rig non-routine jobs that require independent thinking without supervision. In addition to the multiple-choice written exams, candidates must also pass practical exams covering tasks such as pre-use rigging inspection, rigging hitches, rigging connections, and basic knots.

Signalperson Program

In addition to being able to give accurate visible and audible signals, CCO-certified signalpersons (SGP) are required to have basic knowledge of crane operations and limitations, understand specific considerations concerning the construction site, and know applicable safety standards and regulations. CCO certification tests consist of a multiple-choice written exam and a computer-based practical exam. Signals for both mobile and tower cranes are tested.

Crane Inspector Program

The CCO crane inspector certification program is designed to bring the same safety, insurance, and risk reduction benefits common to NCCCO’s other certification programs. Through separate specialty exams, candidates may be certified to inspect mobile (MCI), tower (TCI), and/or overhead (OCI) cranes to ensure they are properly maintained and safe for use. The practical exam uses high-resolution photographs to test candidates’ inspection knowledge. Candidates must attest to and provide documentation of a minimum of five years’ crane-related experience.

Washington State Crane Certifier

Washington’s Crane Certifier Program was developed by NCCCO under an agreement with the state’s Department of Labor and state exams. Candidates must be able to demonstrate at least five years of crane-related experience, of which two years must be actual crane inspection activities. Accreditation as a Crane Certifier is available in one or more of the following crane categories: Mobile Cranes, Tower Cranes, Articulating Cranes, and/or Overhead Cranes.

Lift Director Program

The CCO lift director certification is for those who have responsibilities for lift planning and supervision. Exams cover all disciplines required for safe planning and execution of simple and complex single- and multi-crane lifts. Separate certifications are available for mobile crane lift directors (MLD) and tower crane lift directors (TLD). The lift scenario questions found on the lift director specialty exams evaluate a candidate’s ability to comprehend the information presented and apply knowledge of lift planning and directing in circumstances that may be found in real-life situations.