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Frequently Asked Questions

Exam Retake Policy

What is the new NCCCO policy relating to retaking exams?

As of October 1, 2019, candidates who do not pass a written exam and need to retake the same exam in order to certify or recertify, must wait four (4) weeks to retake the same exam, or take an alternate form of the exam.

What does “alternate form” of the exam mean?

An “alternate form” of an exam is a test that is equivalent to the initial test form in content and difficulty, but with different questions.

Why is NCCCO implementing this policy?

It is important that each candidate be tested fairly. This policy prevents candidates who are retesting from having an unfair advantage on an exam because they are already familiar with the content. Requiring a waiting period after a failed exam is best practice in the certification industry and utilized by most certification bodies that hold a professional accreditation.

Am I impacted if I pass the written exam?

No, the majority of candidates that take NCCCO exams pass them at the first attempt and are not affected by this policy change. Only those who don’t pass exams and need to retake that exam will be required to take an alternate form of the exam or wait four (4) weeks before retesting.

What about the practical exams?

This change has no impact on candidates who need to retake the practical exam.

Which exams have alternate forms?

NCCCO Exam Management Committees are working on creating alternate forms for all written exams. Priority has been given to certification exams that are required by OSHA and as determined by volume. The Mobile Crane Operator Core alternate exam will be released via computer-based testing (CBT) in October 2019. The Tower Crane Operator and Articulating Crane Operator alternate forms will launch next, and no later than summer of 2020 all written exams should have alternate forms available.

If I need to retake an alternate form of an exam less than four (4) weeks after failing, how do I do so?

Alternate forms of exams will be available via computer-based testing (CBT) only. Candidates who are unfamiliar with the CBT process should review the policies before completing an online application. NCCCO staff will determine if the candidate is required to take an alternate form and process the application accordingly; no notation is required by the candidate.

I failed my Mobile Crane Operator Specialty exam. May I retest sooner than four (4) weeks?

While not an “alternate form,” candidates who must retake a Mobile Crane Operator Specialty exam already have the option of taking the exam using a different load chart. For instance, if a candidate failed a Lattice Boom Truck (LBT) exam using the Link-Belt load chart, they may either wait four (4) weeks to retake the same exam, or they may, without a waiting period, take the LBT exam using the Manitowoc load chart. This is true of all Mobile Crane Operator Specialty exams.

I failed my recertification exam and my certification expires before I’m permitted to retest, can I get an extension?

Certificants who fail a recertification exam and whose expiration date does not permit them to wait four (4) weeks to retest will be required to apply for full-length (initial) exams. Extensions cannot be granted on recertification. Retaking the full-length exam can be done at any paper/pencil or CBT test administration since it does not require an alternate form. Certificants are reminded that they may start the recertification process up to 12 months prior to their expiration date without “losing time” on their certification.

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