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Articulating Crane Operator


Requirements for certification are as follows; you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Meet medical requirements
  • Comply with NCCCO’s Substance Abuse Policy
  • Pass Written Examination
  • Pass Practical Examination(s)
  • Comply with the Code of Ethics


Certified crane operators must continue to meet ASME B30 physical requirements throughout their certification period and attest to their agreement to this requirement in their application.
Means of compliance with ASME Physical Requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • NCCCO Physical Examination Form (valid for three years)
  • A current DOT (Department of Transportation) Medical Examiner’s Certificate (valid for two years)


The Written Examination program consists of three examinations. Candidates choose from these based on the certification designation(s) they seek.

Candidates are given 90 minutes to complete each of the Written Examinations:

  • Articulating Boom Crane (ABC)—65 questions
  • Articulating Boom Crane w/Winch (ABW)—75 questions
  • Articulating Boom Loader (ABL)—50 questions

Candidates meeting the eligibility requirements may take either the Written Examination or the Practical Examination first.


The Practical Examination demonstrates crane operator proficiency and is available for two crane types:

  • Articulating Boom Cranes (ABC)
  • Articulating Boom Loaders (ABL)

To be NCCCO-certified for a five-year period, candidates must pass the Written Exam of their choice and at least one corresponding Practical Exam.


If you are seeking certification for: Take the corresponding exams:

Written Practical
Articulating Boom Cranes (ABC) Articulating Boom Crane Articulating Boom Crane
Articulating Boom Loaders (ABL) Articulating Boom Loader Articulating Boom Loader
Articulating Boom Cranes w/ Winch (ABC & ABW) Articulating Boom Crane w/ Winch Articulating Boom Crane
Articulating Boom Cranes and Boom Loaders (ABC & ABL) Articulating Boom Crane Articulating Boom Crane & Articulating Boom Loader
Articulating Boom Cranes w/ Winch and Boom Loaders (ABC, ABW, & ABL) Articulating Boom Crane w/ Winch Articulating Boom Crane & Articulating Boom Loader


Candidates have 12 months after they pass their first exam (Written or Practical) in which to take the corresponding Written or Practical Exam in the same category. Candidates may take their Written and Practical Exams in either order. For example, a candidate passing the Articulating Boom Loader Written Exam has 12 months from his/her exam date to pass the Articulating Boom Loader Practical Exam.

Candidates who do not take and pass both the Written and Practical Exams within the 12-month time frame will be required to start the certification process again from the beginning.
If a certified candidate subsequently becomes certified in additional specialties, the five-year certification period for additional specialties begins at the same time as he/she was originally certified; in other words, all designations expire on the same date regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them.


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

Candidates who can attest to at least 1,000 hours crane-related experience during their period of certification do not need to take the Practical Exam to recertify. Crane-related experience is defined as: operating, maintaining, inspecting, or training on cranes.

Candidates who need to take the Practical Exam for any reason, however, must do so before their certification expires. There is no grace period after the date of expiration. Candidates whose certification has lapsed must take the regular Written and Practical Examinations again to be recertified.

All candidates are allowed two attempts to pass the Recertification Exam before their certification expires. Candidates who are unsuccessful after two attempts must take and pass the regular exams.

Certified candidates may take their Written Recertification Examination up to one year prior to their certification expiration date. Regardless of the date of the Recertification 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.

Recertification Exams are available at regularly scheduled test administrations. 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.

For more information about recertification, please contact NCCCO at 703-560-2391 or via e-mail at info@nccco.org.


Certified operators must comply with NCCCO’s Code of Ethics during their certification period, as follows:

As a NCCCO Certified Crane Operator, I will perform my work in a manner:

i.   Free of bias with regard to religion, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin and disability

ii.   So as to place the safety and welfare of workers associated with the lifting operation above all other considerations

iii.   So as to protect nearby general public property and the environment

In addition, I will:

iv.   Make my management aware if I have safety concerns relating to the lifting operations that I am performing

v.   Not knowingly violate safety-related regulations, warnings, or instructions set forth by OSHA, recognized safety standards, or the crane manufacturer

vi.  Not misrepresent or knowingly deceive others concerning my experience or the capabilities of myself or the crane I am operating

vii.  Not misrepresent or misuse my certification card or the NCCCO logo, which are the property of NCCCO, and I understand that I must return the card to NCCCO immediately if requested to do so


NCCCO’S Ethics and Discipline Committee is responsible for establishing and implementing standards of conduct, including ethical standards, policies, and procedures for disciplinary action.

Grounds for revocation of certification status shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Period of certification exceeded without renewal
  2. Evidence of falsification of any information on any documents submitted to NCCCO or its agents
  3. Evidence of non-compliance with NCCCO’s Substance Abuse Policy
  4. Evidence of culpability in an accident during certification period
  5. Evidence of non-compliance with ASME B30 medical requirements
  6. Evidence of non-compliance with NCCCO’s Code of Ethics

Certified operators who wish to appeal a decision regarding revocation of their operator status must do so in writing, stating the grounds for the appeal. This should be addressed to:

Executive Director

National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)

2750 Prosperity Avenue, Suite 505

Fairfax, VA 22031

NCCCO has established policies and procedures to address alleged violations of the Code of Ethics fairly and consistently. The complaints procedures have been designed to ensure that only valid and actionable complaints are investigated and considered. These procedures also ensure that all parties involved in the complaint have an opportunity to document circumstances warranting the complaint and to respond to the complaint.

NCCCO has a two-tier process to ensure that issues regarding the practice and conduct of certified crane operators are fairly and reasonably investigated and determined; this process also ensures that the public is protected against unprofessional and unethical conduct by certificants.

Complaints against certificants are initially investigated by NCCCO’s Manager of Test Integrity, who reports to NCCCO’s Ethics and Discipline Committee. If the complaint is considered actionable, the Ethics and Discipline Committee informs both the certificant and the complainant of the official opening of the investigation. Following the investigation of the complaint, the Ethics and Discipline

Committee informs the certificant and the complainant of its decision.

If a sanction is imposed, the certificant may request an appeal of the decision to the NCCCO Board of Directors. The decision of the NCCCO Board of Directors is final.


It is the policy of NCCCO that crane operators shall not use any prescribed or over-the-counter substance that would impair their ability to operate cranes safely. This includes illegal drugs, controlled substances (including trace amounts), look-alike drugs, designer drugs, or any other substance that may have an effect on the human body of being a narcotic, depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen.

An exception to this rule is that an operator may use such a substance or drug if it is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the operator’s medical history and all assigned duties and who has advised the operator the prescribed substance will not adversely affect the operator’s ability to safely operate a crane.

NCCCO–certified crane operators shall comply with the substance abuse testing provisions of ASME B30. It is a condition of certification that crane operators certified by NCCCO attest to their compliance with this Substance Abuse Policy. Evidence of non-compliance with this policy automatically revokes a candidate’s certification status.


Certified operators receive a plastic photo ID card at no cost when they certify for the first time and when they complete the requirements for recertification.
Replacement cards, cards showing certification in an additional specialty, or revised cards for candidates who retake and pass a specialty they previously failed may be obtained from International Assessment Institute at a cost of $25.


If you change your address, you must notify NCCCO as soon as possible. Failure to do so may cause you to miss important updates on the NCCCO program that could affect your certification.
Changes of address should be sent in writing via mail or fax to International Assessment Institute (IAI); a change of address form is provided on page 33 of the handbook for that purpose. 

Read archive information on the Articulating Crane Operator program and its creation.

Seasoned Operators Pilot Test New CCO Practical Exam

CCO Knuckleboom Operator Certification Details Announced

ACCNA  and NCCCO to Develop Articulating Crane Operator Certification Program