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Crane Inspector


Requirements for certification include the following:


All applicants must demonstrate at least five years of crane-related experience. The five years shall include duties such as:

  • Crane inspector
  • Crane operator
  • Crane mechanic/technician
  • Crane shop foreman

Related education may be substituted for related experience at a ratio of two years of education for one year of experience up to three years. Related education includes courses in:

  • Engineering 
  • Physics 
  • Applied mathematics 
  • Applied science courses in non-destructive testing 
  • Construction technology 

Technical courses in: 

  • Heavy equipment mechanic/technician 
  • Welding technology 
  • Experience Form Submission 

At least two weeks before submitting their exam candidate applications, all crane inspector candidates must demonstrate their qualifications by filling out a form detailing their pertinent experience, education, training, and references. This experience form must be completed and reviewed by NCCCO prior to submitting applications for testing. NCCCO will process candidates’ completed forms within two weeks of submittal; after being reviewed, candidates are notified by email whether they are eligible to register for the written exams or if more information is required. A $50 Experience Form Processing Fee must be paid when the experience form is submitted. To avoid any delays, candidates are encouraged to be as detailed as possible when completing. Candidates must submit proof of experience (documentation, letters of recommendation, transcripts, résumé, etc.) along with their completed Experience Form submission. 


Certified crane inspectors must be in good physical health, as verified by a medical professional, sufficient enough to handle the physical demands that crane inspections require.


The Crane Inspector Written Examination consists of a Core Examination and specialty examinations for the Mobile Crane Inspector and Tower Crane Inspector certifications, and a single comprehensive exam for the Overhead Crane Inspector certification. Each candidate must also successfully pass the respective operator exam; however, currently CCO-certified operators are not required to take the corresponding operator exam, as long as they maintain their certification status in good standing.

The tables below detail the exams necessary to be certified for each crane type and the contents of those exams.


There is no formal practical examination for the crane inspector program. Images of real life situations are used in the written exam to test crane inspectors’ abilities to identify deficiencies and hazards.


Certification is valid for five years. Candidates must pass Written Exam(s) in the category(s) for which they seek certification. Candidates may take their Written Exams in any order. 

Candidates have 12 months after they pass their first exam to pass the corresponding exam(s). For example, a candidate passing the Crane Inspector Core Exam in January 2012 has until the end of January 2013 to pass the Mobile Crane Inspector Exam. The following table details the exams necessary for each crane inspector certification:

The following table shows each crane inspector exam’s contents and duration:


NCCCO–certified crane inspectors must comply with NCCCO’s Code of Ethics during their certification, as set forth below:

As an NCCCO–certified crane inspector, I will perform my work in a manner:

  • Free of bias with regard to religion, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, and disability 
  • So as to place the safety and welfare of workers associated with the lifting operation above all other considerations 
  • So as to protect nearby general public property and the environment 

In addition, I will:

  • Make my management aware if I have safety concerns relating to the inspections operations that I am performing 
  • Not knowingly violate safety-related regulations, warnings, or instructions set forth by OSHA, recognized safety standards, or the crane manufacturer 
  • Not misrepresent or knowingly deceive others concerning my experience or the capabilities of myself or the crane I am operating or inspecting 
  • Not misrepresent or misuse my certification card or the NCCCO logo, both of which are the property of NCCCO; and I understand that I must return the card to NCCCO immediately if required to do so 


NCCCO’S Ethics and Discipline Committee is responsible for establishing and implementing standards of conduct, such as ethical standards and policies and procedures for disciplinary action. Grounds for revocation of certification status shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Period of certification exceeded without renewal 
  • Evidence of falsification of any information on any documents submitted to NCCCO or its agents 
  • Evidence of non-compliance with NCCCO’s Substance Abuse Policy 
  • Evidence of culpability in an accident during certification period 
  • Evidence of non-compliance with medical requirements 
  • Evidence of non-compliance with the Code of Ethics 

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 inspectors are fairly and reasonably investigated and determined, and 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. 

Appeals should be addressed to:

Executive Director
National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)
2750 Prosperity Avenue, Suite 505
Fairfax, VA 22031

The decision of the NCCCO Board of Directors is final.


It is the policy of NCCCO that crane inspectors shall not use prescribed or over-the-counter substances that would impair their ability to effectively and safely perform their duties. 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 inspector may use such a substance or drug if it is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the inspector’s medical history and all assigned duties, and who has advised the inspector the prescribed substance will not adversely affect the inspector’s ability to perform an inspection properly and/or operate a crane safely.

NCCCO–certified crane inspectors shall comply with nationally recognized substance abuse testing provisions. It is a condition of certification that crane inspectors certified by NCCCO attest to their compliance with this Substance Abuse Policy. Non-compliance with this policy automatically revokes a candidate’s certification status.


Certified inspectors receive a laminated 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 inspector class, or updated cards for candidates who retake and pass an inspector exam they previously failed may be obtained from International Assessment Institute at a cost of $25. They may, however, hold only one inspector card at a time.

Please note that if a certified crane inspector is also a certified crane operator, rigger, or signalperson, a separate card (with separate expiration date) will be issued. 


Certificants who change their address must notify NCCCO as soon as possible. Failure to do so may cause important updates on the NCCCO program to be missed that could affect a certificant’s status
Changes of address should be sent in writing via mail, email or fax to International Assessment Institute (IAI) using the Change of Address form. Forms can be submitted to or mailed to:

1960 Bayshore Boulevard
Dunedin, FL 34698
727-461-2746 fax