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


NCCCO and ADSC to Develop Foundation Drill Rig Operator Certification

Fairfax, VA, February 23, 2017—The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and ADSC – The International Association of Foundation Drilling have announced plans to jointly develop a certification program for operators of foundation drill rigs. The official announcement was made at ADSC’s Annual Meeting in La Quinta, CA, in February.

NCCCO Chief Executive Officer, Graham Brent, said he was delighted that the two organizations had reached agreement to develop the program. “We haven’t the slightest doubt that the result of this collaboration will be a top-notch certification program that will contribute immensely to the safe operation of foundation drill rig equipment.”

Michael Moore, Chief Executive Officer of ADSC, said that NCCCO’s track record of success and industry acceptance had weighed heavily in its favor when being evaluated for this collaborative effort. “NCCCO’s expertise in the development of operator certification programs for the crane and heavy equipment industries, as well as the widespread adoption of its programs throughout these industries, are just two of the many reasons ADSC believes that NCCCO is the ideal organization to develop and administer this new program.”

NCCCO is now in the process of creating a Task Force that will start by defining the knowledge and skills required for certification. Staff from the two organizations, along with representatives from equipment manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, engineers, service providers, and safety personnel, as well as other expert volunteers, will work together over the next 12-16 months to develop the program. Task Force chairman, Kevin Sharp, Northstar Sharp, Clairmont, Alberta, said the Task Force’s first meeting would be April 24-25, 2017 in Dallas, Texas.

NCCCO ADSC signing

Graham Brent, NCCCO (front left), and Mike Moore, ADSC (front right), sign the agreement between their two organizations at the ADSC Annual Meeting in February, observed by (back row, left to right) Denny Smith, PhD, NCCCO; Dan Thome, Nicholson Construction (ADSC Vice President); Al Rasband, Malcolm Drilling (ADSC Immediate Past President); Lance Kitchens, Russo Corporation (ADSC President); Mauro Scanga, Deep Foundations Contractors (ADSC Treasurer); and Roy Kern, Equipment Corporation of America (ADSC Associate Members Chairman).

Key to creating a high-caliber certification program is to call on a wide range of experts, said Denny Smith, Ph.D., NCCCO’s Director of Certification Program Development, and project lead on this effort. “The new program—which will be made available in 2018—will draw on industry support, subject matter expertise, and psychometric guidance,” he said. “All the elements of this new Certified Foundation Drill Rig Operator program will be developed according to the same strict standards that have become a hallmark of high-stakes CCO certification programs.”

Content for the exam will be based on field experience. A professional job task analysis will serve as the foundation to the examinations, ensuring its development is informed by the best practices of real-world applications.

“As with all CCO certifications, the new Certified Foundation Drill Rig Operator program will be fair, valid, reliable, and legally defensible,” said Dr. Smith. The program would consist of both written and practical examinations, he said, that will be administered by independent third-party examiners trained and authorized by NCCCO. “This will ensure that both NCCCO and ADSC will remain free of any conflict of interest with respect to the certification decision,” Dr. Smith added. Successful completion of both written and practical elements will result in eligible individuals being certified to operate foundation drill rigs.

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The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) was formed in January 1995 as an independent, non-profit organization by industry to develop and administer a nationwide program for the certification of crane operators and related personnel. Since then, NCCCO has administered over one million nationally accredited written and practical examinations and issued more than 350,000 nationally accredited and OSHA-compliant certifications in all 50 states. For all the latest NCCCO news, follow @NCCCOorg on Twitter.

ADSC – The International Association of Foundation Drilling is a 501(c)6 trade association that works to protect, promote, foster, and advance the interests of members engaged in the design, construction, and manufacturing of equipment in and for the drilled shaft, anchored earth retention and micropile industries. The ADSC-IAFD encourages the use of the technologies designed and constructed my its members to foster safe and ethical business practices. We develop, collect, and disseminate scientific and industrial data to the industry and agencies whose activities and/or interests correspond to that of the ADSC-IAFD Vision. For updates and further information, visit

For questions, please contact:

Graham Brent, NCCCO,  or Emily Matthews, ADSC,

Download a PDF of the press release.