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


Frequently Asked Questions


Is recertification required for certification?

Yes, NCCCO requires recertification every five years to ensure knowledge has been retained and to accommodate technical changes in equipment, technology, standards, and federal laws. Although recertification requirements vary slightly between programs, generally to be recertified a candidate must:

  • Pass a recertification examination
  • Continue to comply with physical requirements
  • Continue to comply with NCCCO’s substance abuse policy

Some programs require that the certificant have a certain number of hours of documented experience during the certification period to avoid taking practical or initial exams. Please see the Candidate Handbook for the specific certification for more details on those hours and requirements if those hours have not been obtained.

How do I provide proof of hours for recertification?

Upon registering for the exam, you will sign an Attestation Statement on your recertification application, indicating that you have the required hours of related experience during your certification period; if hours have not been obtained you will check the appropriate box on the application. You are not required to submit documented paperwork to NCCCO.

What is the recertification application process?

Recertification may be completed via paper/pencil testing (PPT) or computer-based testing (CBT). Identify a Test Date and Location convenient for you, contact the Test Site Coordinator for that facility to make arrangements, and then apply for recertification exams online using PPT application or the CBT application

Do I need to submit a new photo?

If the photo on your original card meets current requirements (full face, no hats or dark glasses), a new photo is not required. If you wish to have a new photo on your card, you may email it to (be sure to include your full name and certification number).

Are there any reference materials to help study for recertification?

You will find a list of reference materials as well as comprehensive exam outlines on each certification program’s written exam page.

When does my certification expire?

Your certification’s expiration date appears on the front side of your certification card, below your designations. If you have lost your card, you may contact NCCCO to check on your certification’s expiration date or use the Verify CCO Online system.

I am running out of time to recertify. Can I ask for more time?

Candidates must successfully complete the required recertification exam(s) during the 12 months before their certification expires. There is no “grace period” after the date of expiration. Candidates whose certification has lapsed must take the initial written and practical examinations (if required for initial certification) over again in order to be certified.

Do you offer computer-based testing (CBT) for recertification?

Computer-based testing (CBT) is currently available for all NCCCO programs requiring a written recertification exam. Signalpersons must take a practical exam to recertify. Search for test dates and locations.

If I do not pass my exams, am I allowed to test again?

Yes. However, 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.

I failed my recertification exam and my certification expires before I’m permitted to retest, what should I do?

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. Retaking the full-length exam can be done at any paper/pencil or CBT test administration.

An additional option for candidates who need to retake a Mobile Crane Operator Specialty exam is to take the exam using a different load chart. For instance, a candidate who failed a Lattice Boom Truck (LBT) exam using the Link-Belt load chart may, without a waiting period, take the LBT exam using the Manitowoc load chart. This is true of all Mobile Crane Operator Specialty exams.

How many times may I take the recertification exams?

Recertification candidates are allowed two attempts to pass the recertification exams before their certification expires. Recertification candidates who are unsuccessful after two attempts must take and pass the initial written exams prior to their certification's expiration date.

How do I add another certification?

You may take initial exams for other programs in the same sitting as your recertification exams at any of the Test Dates and Locations or via computer-based testing (CBT).

What’s on the recertification written exam?

Although the recertification exams are shorter, they are based on similar criteria as your initial exam. You may want to review the written exam outlines (which are found in the Candidate Handbook) for your program, as they contain the key knowledge areas you will be tested on.

How soon before my certification expires can I recertify?

You may take recertification examinations up to one year prior to your certification’s expiration date. As long as you test within that one-year period, your new five-year certification period begins from your certification’s original expiration date. Candidates who recertify more than 12 months prior to their certification’s expiration date will begin their new certification period immediately, not from the end of their current certification period.

Next FAQ topic: Recertification Streamline

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