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Rigger Level I and Level II


A certified rigger is a person who has been trained and certified to handle and move loads. The level of certification depends upon the individual’s training, knowledge, skill base, and ability to perform functions related to the selection, inspection, and proper use of rigging equipment.

This person may be qualified in a craft or trade and carry an occupational title such as iron worker, electrician, carpenter, millwright, mechanic, laborer, mason, longshoreman, lineman, pipe fitter, boilermaker, and the like. (The persons described in the categories above will be referred to as rigger even though they carry another occupational title.)


NCCCO identified the following job duties for Rigger Level I certification. A Certified Rigger Level I can perform simple, repetitive rigging tasks when the load weight, center of gravity, the rigging, and rigging configuration are provided or known by the rigger through experience or on-the-job training prior to the rigging activities. Specifically, Level I Riggers should be able to demonstrate or have knowledge of how to:

  • Inspect rigging before use
  • Identify and attach rigging with basic knowledge of hitch configurations, capacities, and basic knots
  • Recognize associated hazards
  • Signal operations
  • Use various types of rigging equipment and basic hitches and their applications


In addition to knowing and demonstrating Rigger Level I knowledge and skills, a Certified Rigger Level II can select rigging components and procedures based on rigging capacity. A Level II Rigger can perform the following rigging tasks unsupervised:

  • Estimate load weight and center of gravity
  • Identify lift points
  • Determine and select rigging based on loading
  • Perform pre-use inspection of rigging and lift points
  • Identify and attach rigging with knowledge of hitch configurations and load angle factors, rigging capacities, and load integrity
  • Understand load dynamics and associated hazards

As applicable, Level II Riggers will also have a working knowledge of hoisting equipment, winches, jacks, industrial rollers, and similar equipment.


Requirements for certification include the following:

Candidates are permitted to schedule and take both the Level I and Level II written and practical exams at the same time; however, for Rigger Level II certification to be valid, Rigger Level I certification must also be current.


NCCCO certification examinations are designed for persons who have been trained to handle and move loads.


Written Examination

The Certified Rigger Level I Written Examination consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the test.

Practical Examination

The successful completion of an NCCCO Certified Rigger Level I Practical Examination demonstrates a candidate’s basic rigging competency.


Written Examination

The Certified Rigger Level II Written Examination consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the test.

Practical Examination

The successful completion of an NCCCO Certified Rigger Level II Practical Examination demonstrates a candidate’s competency in rigging a load for a level lift and for rotating a load.


Candidates must pass both Written and Practical Examinations to be certified for a five-year period. The Written and Practical Exams may be taken in either order. Candidates have 12 months from the time they pass their first Written or Practical Exam for each rigger level in which to pass the corresponding (Written or Practical) Exam.

Any tests passed within a 12-month period count towards certification. For example, a candidate who fails the Rigger Level I Written Exam in January 2011 but passes the Rigger Level I Practical Exam in June 2011 has until the end of June 2012 to retake (and pass) the Rigger Level I Written Exam.


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

There is no grace period after certification has expired. Candidates whose certification has lapsed must take the full Written and Practical Examinations to be certified again.

The Certified Rigger Level I Recertification Written Examination consists of 30 multiple-choice questions with a time limit of 30 minutes.

The Certified Rigger Level II Recertification Written Examination consists of 30 multiple-choice questions with a time limit of 60 minutes. 

NOTE: Rigger Level II certificants must only take and pass the Rigger Level II recertification written exam to maintain both Rigger Level I and Rigger Level II certifications.

There is no requirement for a Practical Examination for recertification.

Certified candidates may take their Recertification Written Examination(s) up to one year prior to their certification’s date of expiration. 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 will be available at regularly scheduled test administrations. Candidates wishing to recertify should contact the Test Site Coordinator who set up their initial certification. Candidates whose employment circumstances have changed should ask their new employer to schedule a test administration or register at open NCCCO Written Exam Test Sites.

For more information about recertification, please contact NCCCO’s Recertification Department at (703) 560-2391 or via e-mail at info@nccco.org.


NCCCO-certified Riggers must comply with NCCCO’s Code of Ethics during their certification, as follows:

As an NCCCO-certified Rigger, 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 load-movement activities 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 operations that I am performing

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

vi. Not misrepresent or knowingly deceive others concerning my experience or the capabilities of myself or the rigging operations I am performing

vii. Not misrepresent or misuse my certification card or the NCCCO logo, which are the property of NCCCO; 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, 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 the Code of Ethics

Certified riggers who wish to appeal a decision regarding revocation of their rigger certification must do so in writing to the Appeals Committee, stating the grounds for the appeal. Appeals 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. These complaint procedures have been designed to ensure that only valid and actionable complaints are investigated and considered. These procedures also give all parties involved in the complaint 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 riggers 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. The decision of the NCCCO Board of Directors is final.


It is the policy of NCCCO that riggers shall not use a prescribed or over-the-counter substance that would impair their ability to perform safe rigging practices.

This includes illegal drugs, controlled substances (including trace amounts), look-alike drugs, designer drugs, or any other substance which may have an effect on the human body of being a narcotic, depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen.

An exception to this rule is that a rigger may use such a substance or drug if it is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the rigger’s medical history and all assigned duties, and who has advised the rigger that the prescribed substance or drug will not adversely affect the rigger’s ability to perform safe rigging practices.

It is a condition of certification that riggers 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 riggers receive a laminated photo ID card at no cost when they certify for the first time and when they complete the requirements for recertification.

An NCCCO certificant may only hold one certification card at a time. Therefore, if a candidate has previously certified in another NCCCO program and subsequently becomes certified as a rigger or holds Rigger Level I certification and adds Level II certification, he/she may request an updated certification card. Updated or replacement cards may be obtained from International Assessment Institute at a cost of $25.


Certificants who change their address must notify NCCCO as soon as possible. Failure to do so may cause certificants to miss important updates on the NCCCO program that could affect their certification.

Changes of address should be sent to International Assessment Institute (IAI). They must be in writing, but can be sent via letter or fax. A form is provided for this purpose in the Candidate Handbook or the Handbook & Forms page. 

Read archive information on the development of the new Rigger Certification Program.

NCCCO Launches Rigger Examiner Training

NCCCO Launches CCO Rigger Certification

Certification for Riggers, Signalpersons Moving Forward

Rigger, Signalperson Certification Program Development off to Promising Start

NCCCO Plans New Certification Programs