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


Frequently Asked Questions

Recertification Streamline

What exams do I take for recertification?

To improve fairness across all exams and candidates, the majority of CCO Exam Management Committees have elected to migrate away from shortened recertification exams, replacing them with the initial (longer) certification written exams to be taken by all candidates, whether for initial certification or to recertify as required every five years.

Essentially, only a single exam will be available for a program and will be taken by both initial and recertification candidates.

Which programs are affected?

All operator programs as well as the rigger and crane inspector programs. Specifically, those holding certifications in the following areas can expect to move to a single exam for both certification and recertification:

  • Articulating Crane Operator (ABC, ABW, ABL)
  • Crane Inspector (MCI, TCI, OCI)
  • Dedicated Pile Driver
  • Digger Derrick Operator
  • Drill Rig Operator (FDR, AMP)
  • Mobile Crane Operator (LBC, LBT, TLL, TSS, STC)
  • Overhead Crane Operator
  • Rigger (RIG-I, RIG-II, TTR-I)
  • Tower Crane Operator

Programs not listed above have no change to the recertification process or exams required.

How does this make certification fairer and more reliable?

Exam Management Committees determine, through a Job Task Analysis process, the requisite knowledge and skills required by individuals who perform the work associated with the certification. An exam outline (or blueprint) is then created to ensure candidates are tested on the essential knowledge areas. CCO has determined that abbreviated exams (recertification candidates) do not provide the same high level of reliability and validity that is demonstrated by the longer exams (initial candidates). By testing all candidates regardless of certification status on the same exam, this change levels the playing field for all and ensures that all candidates are tested equally.

Has the application process changed?

No, candidates are still required to apply online for either computer-based test or paper/pencil exams. Applicants indicate if they are an initial or recertificant candidate and select the exams they want to take. This change provides a more streamlined application process for the candidate and reduces application delays and extra fees associated with applications that in the past may have been submitted for the incorrect exam(s).

Do I have to take the practical exam at recertification?

The practical exam requirements for recertification are not changing. 

Operators are required to take a practical exam as part of recertification. However, some programs have waivers for this requirement based on certain criteria.

Signalpersons are, as always, required to take the practical exam at recertification but not a written exam.

How many questions will be on the exam(s) I have to take?

Each exam has a different number of questions and time limit. Click here to see specifics on the exams you will take.

updated 03/10/22

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