December 18, 2013— The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Personnel Certification Accreditation Committee (PCAC) has announced that the scope of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) ANSI accreditation has been extended to include the CCO Digger Derrick Operator certification program. This means that the CCO Digger Derrick Operator certification program is now accredited by ANSI to the ISO/IEC 17024 International Standard for organizations that certify personnel.
The scope extension of NCCCO’s ANSI accreditation to include the CCO Digger Derrick Operator program came after careful analysis of test data and careful audits of NCCCO’s management systems and psychometric procedures, as well as detailed scrutiny of its test development and administrative processes.
“ANSI and ISO provide the most rigorous accreditations available, so candidates and employers alike can now be assured that, with ANSI’s independent verification of this new program, NCCCO’s Digger Derrick Operator certification meets the highest professional standards of examination development and administration,” said NCCCO Commission Chairman Ellis Vliet. “As with NCCCO’s other ANSI-accredited certification programs, this certification helps to ‘close the loop’ regarding crane safety on the jobsite,” Vliet added.
“Achieving ANSI accreditation is a major undertaking,” said ANSI Senior Director, Personnel Credentialing Programs, Roy A. Swift, PhD, “and NCCCO can be very proud of this accomplishment. No other accreditation process demands the degree of psychometric or management disclosure that ANSI requires for accreditation under ISO 17024.”
“Accreditation of certifying bodies is a provision of OSHA’s new rule and is increasingly being required by state regulators in their attempts to ensure quality of the certifications issued,” noted NCCCO Executive Director, Graham Brent. “A central part of NCCCO’s goal since its inception nearly 20 years ago has been to establish national testing programs that are fair to all candidates while at the same time are both valid and reliable assessments of essential knowledge and skills,” Brent said. “ANSI’s accreditation of this new certification program is clear testimony that that goal is being achieved.”
Digger derricks are multi-purpose machines primarily designed to dig holes, set poles, and position materials and apparatus. Due to digger derricks’ unique configuration and versatility, users and manufacturers requested that NCCCO create specific operator tests for this specialized equipment. Although digger derrick operators are excluded from OSHA’s operator certification requirements for utility work under 29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC (Cranes and Derricks in Construction), digger derrick operators are required to be certified for work such as erecting signs, lights, and telecommunication lines, as well as other construction work. “The request for this new program reflects a general trend among employers from many different industries seeking a means of ensuring operators are qualified to operate equipment safely,” said Joel Oliva, NCCCO Manager, Program Development and Administration. “It’s particularly noteworthy in this instance given the absence of a federal requirement for the utility industry.”
It’s a position supported from within the industry. “Regardless of the regulatory requirements, we see the same safety benefits accruing for our digger derrick operators as CCO certification has provided for our crane operators over the years,” said Wilson Yancey, Vice President of Safety at Quanta Services, a leading provider of specialized contracting services for the electric power, natural gas and pipeline, and telecommunication industries.
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