Frequently Asked Questions

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The Crane School

Frequently Asked Questions

The Crane School provides training programs designed to prepare candidates for the NCCCO written and practical exams. A scheduled program with The Crane School will provide the training complete with the required NCCCO exams anywhere in the country.

If you still have questions after reviewing our list of FAQs please feel free to contact us directly by email or phone. or 813-402-2017

What is NCCCO?

NCCCO is the acronym for National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators and it is more commonly known as CCO. NCCCO was formed in January 1995 as a non-profit organization with its mission to develop effective performance standards for safe load handling equipment operation to assist all segments of general industry and construction. By providing thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills, NCCCO aims to enhance lifting equipment safety, reduce workplace risk, improve performance records, stimulate training, and give due recognition to the professionals who work in, with, and around load handling equipment.

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?

All exam items have been developed by experts with knowledge and expertise in the area of load handling equipment operation. Development of the written certification examinations involves panels of load handling equipment operation content experts who work with NCCCO staff to write and review all questions used in the examinations. Each examination contains a unique combination of items from the item bank; items are selected for the examination on the basis of the content areas as defined by the test blueprints. The content areas have been developed through the original role delineation and serve to guarantee each test is consistent in difficulty and question content. Each of the written exams are based on the operator validation study conducted by NCCCO.

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, military, OSHA and the IUOE.

Is certification mandatory for all crane operators?

The program is designed by CCO to be a voluntary program. Nevertheless, as the benefits of certification are realized, more and more employers are requiring operators to be certified as a condition of work In accordance with Federal OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1427 all crane operators must be certified by a nationally accredited certification for construction activities.

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 profession 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 are NCCCO exams available?

Written examinations are held on demand at sites around the country when requested by employers, unions, employer organization testing companies or other groups. The Crane School offers CCO written exams every month at our headquarters in Seffner, FL. The Crane School has a staff of accredited practical examiners and we offer CCO practical examinations anywhere and anytime nationwide. Contact The Crane School to schedule your exams.


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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 “3-Week” Mobile Crane Operator Training Program

For persons with little or no operating experience. Includes NCCCO written and practical exams.

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Initial “5-Week” Mobile Crane Operator Training Program

For persons with little or no operating experience. Includes NCCCO written and practical exams.

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Articulating Crane Operator Certification Prep Program

Includes NCCCO written and practical exams.

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Annual, post assembly and load testing.

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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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Algunos Programas Están Disponibles en Español

Comuníquese con nuestra oficina para obtener más información (813) 402‐2017

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Telehandler Operator Program

Includes written and practical exams.

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The staff is top notch. So much knowledge of cranes from the inside out. If you have a question I promise they have the answer. My class instructors Bob ,Nick, Tony, and Bob B are hands down who you need to instruct you if you want to operate a Crane or Boom truck.

Wally Helms

Great group of guys and and plethora of knowledge, would definitely recommend attending their programs. I took the 3 week coarse and worked perfect for me, definitely a lot of information to retain and these guys were spot on.

Ricky Garland

Great place to learn lotta knowledge between Nick and Antonio If you wanna get certified I recommend going there.

Kenneth Watson

I had the opportunity to take the 3 week course for TLL and TSS certification/testing. The instructors were beyond knowledgeable and helpful. The amount of info needed to pass the course(s) is a lot, but with the help of the instructors and the way it was taught, the testing was not difficult at all. I highly recommend.

David Gagnon