National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995



Rigger Level I Practical Exam Outline


Candidates must pass a Practical Exam to be certified. Candidates may take their Written and Practical Exams in either order. Candidates have 12 months after they pass their first exam (Written or Practical) in which to pass the corresponding Written or Practical Exam.


Certified Rigger Level I Practical Exam

The Practical Examination is comprised of four main tasks that increase progressively in the skill level tested. Candidates’ skills are tested in demonstrating pre-use rigging inspection, rigging hitches, rigging connections, and basic knots. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the exam.

The following is an outline of the practical testing procedure for Rigger Level I certification.


Candidates must report to the Test Site at the scheduled time. The Test Site Coordinator is responsible for setting the testing schedule. During the Practical Examination, candidates are under the direction of the Examiner and must follow the Examiner’s directions at all times.



The following sections describe the specific tasks that candidates will be performing when taking the Rigger Level I Practical Examination. It is important that candidates understand these instructions. If there is anything that they do not understand, candidates should request clarification from the Examiner.


The Rigger Level I Practical Exam consists of four tasks:

Candidates will be required to complete all phases of the test in sequence. Once they have completed the Practical Exam they must leave the testing area. Only personnel involved in the administration of the test are allowed in the test area.


There is a 60-minute time limit for the Rigger Level I Practical Examination. If a candidate does not complete the exam in 60 minutes, the exam ends and the candidate will receive credit for the tasks (or sub-tasks) completed.


Before the test, candidates will watch a short candidate video showing all the tasks they will be required to perform during the examination. This video is also available on the NCCCO website and candidates must view it within 24 hours before their practical exam(s). Separate videos are available for Rigger Level I and Rigger Level II.


Prior to beginning the examination, the Examiner will ask each candidate for a valid (not expired) government-issued photo identification that includes date of birth, such as a driver’s license.

The Examiner will ask if the candidate has read the Candidate Information and Instructions and will answer any questions. The Examiner will have the candidate sign the score sheet indicating that the candidate understands the instructions for the test.


  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, you will inspect all of the rigging slings and hardware located in front of you. Select those items that meet ASME and OSHA Removal from Service criteria.
  • Place the selected items to one side and say “Done” to indicate that you have finished.


  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, you will be directed to demonstrate six different hitches.
  • After completing each hitch, say “Done” when you are ready to have the hitch evaluated.
  • You will rig a single straight-line hitch using the 5 ft. web sling and a 5/8-inch shackle on the eye bolt located on the round tube.
  • All other hitches will be rigged around the round tube.


  • You will have one minute to review the available rigging equipment for this testing session. The rigging has been inspected and is approved for use.
  • You will choose three task assignment cards—one of each color—for the three rigging tasks. The Examiner will read the cards aloud.
  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, gather and assemble the rigging materials that are required to complete the assigned task. You will then rig and suspend the 6 in. × 30 in. square aluminum tube, as described on the task assignment card.
  • When you have completed your rigging assignment, announce that you are “Done.” The Examiner will evaluate your completed rigging setup.
  • You will disassemble the rigging assembly before continuing on to the next rigging assignment.


  • At the Examiner’s indication to start, you will tie five different knots using a rope or ropes of different diameters.
  • When it is necessary, use the 4 in. round PVC pipe and eye bolt as your anchor point.
  • Tie each knot and say “Done” when you are ready to have the knot evaluated.
  • Place the tying rope on the table after the last knot has been evaluated.
Candidates must demonstrate the following basic knots:
  • Sheet bend
  • Clove hitch
  • Inside bowline
  • Square/reef
  • Two half hitches



  • Application of Eyebolts—Any time a shouldered eyebolt is applied, an additional washer may be used between the eyebolt shoulder and the top of the load. For securing shouldered eyebolts, double nutting and double washering is acceptable.
  • Application of Swivel Hoist Rings—For securing swivel hoist rings, double nutting and double washering under the load is acceptable.
  • Overlapping/Crossing Sling on a Double Wrap Choke or Basket—Any application of a sling in a double wrap choke or double wrap basket configuration shall not overlap/cross on the bottom of the load.
  • Location of Tag—If you wrap the tag against the load while performing a choker or basket hitch, the hitch will be scored as “Performed Incorrectly.”
  • Maximum Twist in Sling—Any sling that has more than a half twist (scored at the end of the task) will be marked as scoring deficiency.

Task 2: Rigging Hitches

  • If your task involves the use of hardware that requires a torque wrench for final tightening, you are only required to secure the hardware to finger-tight condition for the task assignment.
  • Softeners are not required for these tasks.
  • The use of a shackle with the double wrap choker is acceptable.
  • The straight-line hitch must be demonstrated as a complete system (eye bolt, shackle, and web sling). All elements of the system must comply with applicable standards.

Task 3: Rigging Connections

  • Any deviations from the instructions on the task cards chosen will result in scoring deductions.
  • If the finished rigging does not match the directions, the plane (same vs. opposing) in which the rigging is used shall be marked as “Incorrect.”

Task 4: Basic Knots

  • Inside Bowline—Be sure the free end is situated inside the loop.
  • Clove Hitch—The two free ends of the rope must pass each other and must be contained by the loops on the PVC pipe.
  • Square Knot—The free ends must be on the same side; you may use either both ropes or a single rope to tie the square knot.
  • Two Half-Hitches—The running end must cross over the standing end for the second hitch.
  • Sheet Bend—You must use two ropes of different diameters for the sheet bend. The rope with the larger diameter must be used as the “bight” end.


Once you have completed the Practical Examination:

  • The Examiner will complete your score sheet.
  • The Examiner is not permitted to review your score sheet or discuss your performance on the test.
  • Exam results will be mailed to you within approximately 12 working days of NCCCO’s receipt of the score sheet.
  • If you have completed all of your tests, you must leave the Test Site.