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Lift Director

Certification Policies


Requirements for certification include the following:


NCCCO certification exams are designed for lift directors who have been trained and/or have extensive knowledge due to their experience in the crane industry. These exams are intended for candidates desiring to be lift directors.


Certified lift directors must be in good physical health, as verified by a medical professional, sufficient enough to handle the physical demands that directing lifts requires.


The Lift Director Written Examination consists of a Core Examination and Specialty Examinations for the Lift Director—Mobile Cranes and Lift Director—Tower Cranes certifications. Each candidate must also successfully pass the respective operator exam and/or the Rigger Level II 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. Similarly, those who are certified as Rigger Level II do not need to take the Rigger Level II written exam.

The Core Lift Director Exam contains 40 questions that must be completed in 60 minutes. The Lift Director—Mobile Cranes Specialty Exam contains 15 questions that must be completed in 120 minutes. The Lift Director—Tower Cranes Specialty Exam contains 15 questions that must be completed in 60 minutes.

The table below details the exams necessary for each Lift Director certification.



There is no formal practical examination for the lift director program. Lift plan drawings are used in the Specialty Exams to test lift directors’ abilities to identify hazards and resolve issues related to the lift. These exams will, in essence, serve as the practical component.


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 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 Lift Director Core Exam in January 2012 has until the end of January 2013 to pass the Lift Director—Mobile Cranes Specialty Exam.

If a certified Lift Director—Mobile Cranes subsequently becomes certified as a Lift Director—Tower Cranes by taking the appropriate written exam(s), the five-year certification period for Lift Director—Tower Cranes begins at the same time as he/she was originally certified (i.e., certifications for all Lift Director designations expire on the same date, regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them).


NCCCO–certified lift directors must comply with NCCCO’s Code of Ethics during their certification.


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 lift directors 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 lift directors 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 a lift director 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 lift director the prescribed substance will not adversely affect the director’s ability to perform his/her duties properly.

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

Please note that if a certified lift director 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