Subscribe to our news mailing list to keep up with NCCCO News and Industry Headline.




Requirements for certification include the following:


NCCCO certification examinations are designed for signalpersons who are trained and who will use hand and voice signals in crane operation.


A candidate must pass the written and practical examination in order to be certified.  Signalperson certification is valid for five (5) years.

Candidates have12 months from the time they pass their first exam (written or practical) in which to become certified.

Candidate who do not take and pass both the written and practical exam within the 12 month time frame will be required to start the certification process again from the beginning.


The Signalperson written examination consist of 60 multiple-choice questions.  Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the examination.


The Signalperson Practical Examination requires the candidate to demonstrate proficiency in giving both hand signals and voice commands. The practical exam also assesses the candidate’s understanding of crane dynamics and crane operations per OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1428.


NCCCO certification is valid for five (5) years.  Candidates must complete their recertification requirements during the 12 months prior to their expiration date.  This includes:

  • Passing the practical recertification examination
  • Compliance with the NCCCO Substance Abuse Policy
  • Compliance with the NCCCO Code of Ethics

Recertification candidates are allowed two (2) attempts to pass the Signalperson recertification practical exam before their certification expires.  Candidates who are unsuccessful after two (2) attempts must take and pass the regular Signalperson written and practical exams.

Certified candidates may take their Practical Recertification Examination up to one (1) year prior to their date of expiration.  Regardless of the date of the recertification examination within that one (1) 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’s recertification department at (703) 560-2391 or via e-mail at


NCCCO-certified signalpersons must comply with the Code of Ethics for Signalpersons during their certification period, as defined below.

As a NCCCO-Certified Signalperson, 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 consideration.

(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 which 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.

(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 required to do so.


CCO'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:

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

Certified signalpersons who wish to appeal a decision regarding revocation of their certification 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 fairly and consistently address alleged violations of the Code of Ethics. The complaints procedures have been designed to ensure that only valid and actionable complaints are investigated and considered, and 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 signalpersons 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 signalperson shall not use a prescribed or over-the-counter substance which would impair the ability to signal cranes safely.

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 signalperson may use such a substance or drug if it is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the signalperson’s medical history and all assigned duties, and who has advised the signalperson that the prescribed substance or drug will not adversely affect the signalperson’s ability to safely signal a mobile or tower crane.

NCCCO-certified signalperson's shall comply with the substance abuse testing provisions of ASME B30.5.

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

A certified signalperson may hold only one certification card at one time.  If a candidate has previously certified in any NCCCO program and subsequently becomes certified as a signalperson, (s)he may request an updated certification card.

Updated or replacement cards may be obtained from International Assessment Institute at a cost of $25.


If candidates change their address they must notify CCO as soon as possible. Failure to do so may cause candidates to miss important updates on the CCO 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 Handbooks and Forms page

Download the Signalperson Reference Manual

Read archive information on the development of the Signalperson Certification Program: