NCCCO has adopted a Code of Ethics that exemplifies the professional conduct that is expected of CCO-certified personnel.
NCCCO's Code of Ethics is as follows:
In my occupation, I will conduct myself in a manner:
(i) So as to place the safety and welfare of others associated with my work above all other considerations,
(ii) So as to protect and preserve nearby general public property and the environment, and
(iii) So as to be free of bias with regard to religion, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, and disability.
Furthermore, in connection with my work and in my dealings with NCCCO, I will:
(iv) Make management and appropriate personnel aware promptly if I have any safety concerns relating to the work that I am performing or with which I am involved;
(v) Not knowingly violate any safety-related regulations, warnings, or instructions set forth by OSHA, recognized safety standards, prevailing jurisdictions, or equipment manufacturers; and,
(vi) Not mislead, misrepresent or knowingly deceive others concerning my experience or the capabilities of myself or the equipment I am operating or with which I am working.
In addition, in my dealings with NCCCO, I will:
(vii) Provide accurate and complete information and abide by NCCCO’s policies and procedures, including this Code of Ethics, as they may be updated from time to time;
(viii) Cooperate fully and completely with any administrative inquiries or investigations by NCCCO; and,
(ix) Not misrepresent or misuse any NCCCO card, or the NCCCO or CCO acronyms and logos, or any registered trademark or other intellectual property of NCCCO; and I understand that I must return the card to NCCCO immediately if required to do so.
CCO-certified personnel who intentionally or knowingly violate any provision of the Code of Ethics will be subject to action by a peer review panel, the Ethics and Discipline Committee, which may result in suspension or revocation of certification.
I. Rationale for Complaint Procedures
Crane operators certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. In recognizing its responsibility to maintain the integrity of the certification program, NCCCO accepts that action may be needed against a certificant upon receipt and investigation of allegations of violation(s) of the Code of Ethics that are found to be substantiated.
This procedure describes the steps to be taken when complaints are received by NCCCO. By publishing this procedure, the NCCCO does not expect, invite, solicit or encourage complaints. The use of these procedures is for the sole purpose of protecting the reputation of the profession and assuring a fair investigation of complaints. All complaints, therefore, must stipulate an alleged violation of the published Code of Ethics.
- Complaints will be accepted only from those who claim to be harmed, or claim that others may be harmed, by the alleged behavior.
- All complaints must be in writing and signed by the complainant(s).
- Complaints and supporting evidence must show a violation of the Code of Ethics.
- At a minimum, the complaint must specify the name of the respondent, the alleged inappropriate behavior referencing the specific section of the Code of Ethics allegedly violated, the standing of the complainant, and any corroborating evidence.
- Complaints must include documented evidence as outlined in the document, Request for Review of CCO Certification: Information Required.
- The President of NCCCO shall charge the Ethics and Discipline Committee with the responsibility of investigating complaints filed against certificants.
- All complaints shall be subject to an initial review by the Executive Director, who will determine if the complaint is valid and actionable. Valid and actionable complaints must be signed and linked directly to an alleged violation of the Code of Ethics. Only valid and actionable complaints will be forwarded to the Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee
- Complaints not deemed valid and actionable will be returned to the complainant with written notice stating the deficiencies of the complaint.
- Complaints deemed valid and actionable will be investigated.
II. Purpose, Responsibilities and Objectives of the Ethics and Discipline Committee
The purpose of the Ethics and Discipline Committee is to ensure that issues regarding the practice and conduct of certified crane operators (certificants) are fairly and reasonably investigated and determined, and to protect the public against unprofessional and/or unethical conduct by certificants. The primary objective of the Ethics and Discipline Committee is to enforce the Code of Ethics. It is the responsibility of the Ethics and Discipline Committee to follow the procedures in the conduct of its business as set forth below.
a) Enforce Code of Ethics
The Ethics and Discipline Committee shall receive and review complaints of ethical violations and determine appropriate action, including sanctions and dismissal of complaint.
b) Scope of Authority
The Ethics and Discipline Committee shall investigate complaints filed against a certificant who is certified at the time the complaint is filed, and decide the complaint.
The Ethics and Discipline Committee shall comprise a minimum of four (4) members drawn from the Commission and the Board of Directors who are in good standing to serve as members of the Committee. Unless the vote of the Committee is tied, the Chairman shall not vote on the disposition of the complaint. However, the Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall be authorized to participate in the discussion and deliberation of the complaint. The Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall convene required meetings, and follow the progress of the investigation. The Committee shall also be empowered to draw on any additional expertise available from members of NCCCO’s exam management committees as it deems necessary to formulate an educated decision.
The timelines set forth below shall be guidelines and as such may be shortened or extended at the Ethics and Discipline Committee’s discretion, depending on the circumstances of each proceeding.
e) Procedures: Ethics and Discipline Committee
The Ethics and Discipline Committee shall have the power to investigate all alleged violations of the Code of Ethics. The Ethics and Discipline Committee is obligated to investigate only complaints which are valid and actionable. If, during the investigation, the Ethics and Discipline Committee determines that there may be additional violations, the Ethics and Discipline Committee may investigate and reach appropriate findings regarding such additional violations.
All information disclosed to the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall remain confidential except that the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall be permitted to disclose such information when compelled by a validly issued subpoena required by law or to parties essential to the investigation. A file of materials related to the investigation shall be maintained by NCCCO certification staff in a secure location, accessible only to authorized individuals. Upon the closing of each investigation, the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall return to the NCCCO Executive Office all materials reviewed for disposition of the complaint.
f) Disciplinary Procedures
(i) Initial Consideration. Within forty-five (45) days after receiving a complaint, the Executive Director, after conferring with NCCCO staff including NCCCO’s Manager of Test Integrity, shall determine whether sufficient information exists to proceed with a formal investigation. The investigation shall not proceed without first having received the complainant’s acknowledgement and consent that all information disclosed by the complainant will be disclosed to the certificant in question and others pursuant to the investigation. If the complainant does not consent to the disclosure of all information, the complaint shall be dismissed.
(ii) Notification of Formal Investigation. If the Executive Director determines that a formal investigation is warranted, the Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall be notified. Within thirty (30) days of notification of a formal investigation, the Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall send written notification to the complainant and the certificant(s) in question regarding the conduct of the investigation. Such notification shall include the complaint and a description of the alleged behaviors involved in the complaint, including the specific sections of the Code of Ethics that are alleged to have been violated. The Chairman’s notification shall include a request that the certificant respond in writing to the allegations within thirty (30) days from the date of notification. Unless the Ethics and Discipline Committee or a member of the NCCCO staff has initiated the proceedings itself, the Chairman’s notification shall include the name of the complainant. The Chairman’s notification shall be sent by traceable courier.
(iii) Response to Complaint. The certificant’s response to the complaint shall contain complete information concerning the complaint. The certificant’s failure to respond to the complaint or lack of cooperation shall not prevent the continuation of the investigation as the Ethics and Discipline Committee deems appropriate.
(iv) Investigation. The Ethics and Discipline Committee shall conduct its investigation by collecting information, conducting phone inquiries or any other appropriate means of inquiry. If after receipt of the certificant’s response the Ethics and Discipline Committee determines that additional information is warranted by either or both parties, or from any third parties, the parties shall be notified and shall submit the additional information within thirty (30) days from the date of the Ethics and Discipline Committee’s request for additional information.
(v) Disposition of Complaint. If the Ethics and Discipline Committee concludes that some type of action is warranted, it may take one or more of the following actions:
- Notify all parties, in writing, that, based on the investigation, no action is warranted against the certificant and dismiss the complaint;
- Require that the certificant cease and desist the alleged conduct;
- Reprimand the certificant in writing;
- Place the certificant on probation and monitor the certificant’s conduct;
- Refer the matter to a national, regional, state or local professional association;
- Suspend the certificant’s certified status for an appropriate period of time, including indefinitely;
- Revoke the certificant’s certified status;
- Take any other action that is warranted under the circumstances.
Any action taken against the certificant shall become part of the record in the certificant’s file, which record shall be considered during any future consideration regarding the certificant’s certification status.
(vi) Notification and Publication of Sanction. The Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall notify the complainant and the certificant of the Committee’s findings and determination within thirty (30) days from the date of the decision. The Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall report the name(s) of the sanctioned certificants and the violation of the Code of Ethics as determined by the Ethics and Discipline Committee. Such information shall be posted on the NCCCO website, and any other appropriate locations as reasonably determined by the Committee. Upon request, the Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee shall provide such report to any interested person or public agency deemed necessary to protect the public.
The certificant shall have thirty (30) days from the date of the Chairman of the Ethics and Discipline Committee’s notification to request an appeal of the Committee’s findings to the Board of Directors. In such an event, the Executive Director shall notify the Board of Directors that an appeal has been filed.
(i) Information Included in the Appeal. The certificant’s appeal of the Ethics and Discipline Committee’s decision must be made in writing and must be mailed by traceable courier or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Board of Directors. The certificant shall state the specific grounds why the appeal should be considered. The certificant may not present, include, or rely on facts that were not presented in the proceedings.
(ii) Appeal Hearing. In the event that the certificant timely and properly appeals the Ethics and Discipline Committee’s decision, the Board of Directors shall constitute and serve as an Appeals Panel and shall notify the certificant of the date and location of the appeal hearing. The appeal hearing must be scheduled as soon as possible after receipt of the certificant’s notification of appeal. The appeal shall be heard and conducted at the headquarters of NCCCO or another location designated by the NCCCO. The certificant shall pay for his or her expenses. The certificant shall have the right to bring his or her own attorney to counsel the certificant at the hearing, but in no event shall counsel be allowed to provide testimony in lieu of, or on behalf, of the certificant.
The hearing shall be closed to third parties with the exception of any witnesses, experts, consultants and legal counsel. The Board of Directors shall consider all available evidence presented and which formed the basis for the Ethics and Discipline Committee’s determination, and such other evidence as it may, in its discretion, deem appropriate. A formal record of the proceeding shall be kept on file at NCCCO’s headquarters office.
h) Board of Directors’ Decision
(i) Board of Directors’ Decision. The Board of Directors shall only overrule the Ethics and Discipline Committee’s recommendations and conclusions in the event of the following:
- The Code of Ethics was incorrectly applied;
- The findings of facts by the Ethics and Discipline Committee were clearly erroneous, arbitrary or capricious; and/or disproportionate to the facts surrounding the violation;
- The disciplinary sanctions imposed by Ethics and Discipline Committee were grossly disproportionate to the facts surrounding the violation.
The Board of Directors’ decision shall be final and not subject to further appeal.
(ii) Notification/Publication of Sanction. Within thirty (30) days from the appeal hearing, the Board of Directors shall notify the complainant and the certificant in writing of its decision. The President shall report the name(s) of the sanctioned certificant and the violation of the Code of Ethics. Such information shall be posted on the NCCCO website, and any other appropriate locations as reasonably determined by the Board. Upon request, the Board of Directors shall provide such report to any interested person or public agency deemed necessary to protect the public.
i) Close of Case
Once the final decision has been made, the matter shall be closed and the files shall be retained at NCCCO’s headquarters office. Members of the Ethics and Discipline Committee, the Board of Directors, and others in contact with materials related to the investigation, shall return all information received during the investigation to NCCCO headquarters office, where one set of records shall be maintained and the remainder destroyed.
Click here for a chart of NCCCO's Decisions/Appeals Process.