Frequently Asked Questions

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The Crane School

Frequently Asked Questions

The Crane School provides training programs designed to prepare candidates for NCCCO written and practical exams.

If you still have questions after reviewing our list of FAQs please feel free to contact us directly by following the link below.

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What is the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators?

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (CCO) is an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c)6 organization formed to establish and administer a nationwide program of certification for crane operators. CCO sets standards for the knowledge and skills required for the safe operation of cranes and establishes fair and reliable examinations to test crane operators.

Why is the certification of crane operators important to our industry?

Accidents cost us all dearly-in terms of serious injury, property damage, lost time and litigation. Safety is one of the most important issues we face, and proficiency of crane operators is key. Standardized assessment and certification of the skills and knowledge required for safe crane operation can improve our ability to enhance safety.

How will certification improve safety in crane operation?

Clearly, reducing accidents is goal #1. And there is clear evidence that certification can help achieve this. The Province of Ontario instituted a certification program in 1979 requiring more thorough training of crane operators. The net result has been fewer injuries and fatalities, and an improvement in overall safety records. There is every reason to believe the U.S. can expect similar results.

How has the test content been determined?

A comprehensive review of the work performed by crane operators (a “job analysis”) was conducted, and the results validated by several hundred operators and experts across the country. Examination questions are all based on specific knowledge that operators themselves considered critical to safe crane operation. To ensure fairness and reliability, all examinations are constructed to the rigorous professions standards of test development laid down by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). CCO’s written and practical examinations are accredited by NCCA.

What is required for CCO crane operator certification?

In order to be certified by CCO, operators must demonstrate skills and knowledge which subject matter experts have judged necessary for safe crane operation. They do this through a written examination for a specific type crane, a practical test on the equipment, and a medical confirmation of physical ability to perform on the job.

How does CCO's work relate to OSHA and the ASME/ANSI standards?

The CCO crane operator certification program was built around the ASME /ANSI B30.5 mobile crane standard and OSHA’s crane regulations. OSHA has officially recognized the CCO program as meeting its requirements for crane operator competency, and will accept CCO certification as proof of training. The presence of CCO-certified operators on site also positions employers well to qualify for OSHA’s “focused inspection”.

Who is involved in the development of the Crane Operator Certification Program?

From the outset, this has been an industry-led program, with crane operators themselves playing a central role. Representatives from many different sectors have helped to determine what a crane operator should know to safely operate a crane. Volunteers come from construction, steel erection, and general industry, as well as training, manufacturing, insurance, OSHA and the IUOE.

Is certification mandatory for all crane operators?

The program is designed by CCO to be a voluntary program at this time. Nevertheless, as the benefits of certification are realized, more and more employers are requiring operators to be certified through the CCO program as a condition of work.

Why doesn't CCO offer training as well as certification?

In order to provide an independent and objective assessment of a crane operator’s proficiency, CCO is not able to offer training. However, training is clearly essential to the process of improving operator skills, and CCO works with many training organizations who provide professional instruction in this area. A current list can be accessed at CCO’s web site at

Why was it necessary to form a separate company to administer the testing?

A fair, objective, independent assessment of the skills and knowledge of crane operators is critical to realizing the long-term benefits of crane operator certification. It is important to involve representatives from all segments of construction and general industry, without any special interest taking precedence. CCO has succeeded in combining their expertise with that of examination development professionals to develop and administer tests.

How does certification benefit employers and crane operators?

Because of the sound methodology employed at all stages of program development, an employer can be assured that operators carrying CCO certification cards have demonstrated that they possess the fundamental knowledge necessary for the safe operation of cranes-without relying on subjective recommend; or judgment. In turn, operators who earn the distinction of the CCO credential can take satisfaction that their skills have been recognized by an independent professions authority.

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

Licensing by itself does not necessarily ensure an operator possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to safely operate a crane. Some programs do not require training or testing. The CCO program functions as a positive supplement to some current licensing programs, and is increasingly being accepted or recognized by others.

When and where will there be a test in my area?

Written examinations are held on demand at sites around the country when requested by employers, unions, employer organization testing companies or other groups. Written Tests generally require at least 15 candidates, although smaller groups can be accommodated for a modest additional site fee. Practical examinations are administered by accredited practical examiners, also on demand at sites nationwide. Contact NCCCO about CBT in your area.


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Services Provided by The Crane School

All services are in compliance with current OSHA regulations.

Mobile Crane Operator Certification Prep Program

Includes NCCCO written and practical exams.

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Initial Mobile Crane Operator Training Program

For persons with little or no operating experience.

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Annual, post assembly and load testing.

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Articulating Crane Operator Certification Prep Program

Includes NCCCO written and practical exams.

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Rigger Qualification / Certification Program

Includes written and practical exams.

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Signalperson Qualification / Certification Program

Includes written and practical exams.

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Managing Crane Safety Class

How to comply with OSHA regulations on your job site.

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Telehandler Operator Program

Includes written and practical exams.

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Amazing experience the instructors couldn’t have been more knowledgeable, and plenty of seat time! Highly recommend anyone coming in green or refreshing a cert to give these guys a call.

Chris Alfano3 weeks ago

Bud Wilson probably is the best instructor in the nation. We were really impressed with him.

John MoteSenna Tree Company

Had it not been for The Crane School’s preparation training, we would have never made it.

Greg PetersHuddleston Crane

As always, it was an honor and pleasure to be in Bud Wilson’s class. Thank you for your patience, knowledge, and insight. Please know that I appreciate your work and everything you do for us.

Carlos BernalSouthern California Gas