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

Hosting Exams

Practical Examiner Program

NCCCO-accredited Practical Examiners are CCO-certified personnel who have been trained and authorized by NCCCO to administer the practical examinations for CCO certification programs. NCCCO Practical Examiners are recognized as professionals in their field and may offer their services for hire. Employers with NCCCO-accredited Practical Examiners on staff appreciate the convenience of being able to schedule in-house tests to accommodate changing schedules caused by weather, workloads, and other factors.

NOTE: NCCCO maintains an online directory of accredited Practical Examiners available for hire to assist employers seeking Practical Examiners to administer CCO Practical Examinations. Practical Examiners’ current accreditations are tracked in the Verify CCO Online (VCO) system.

Accreditation Requirements

Accredited Practical Examiners are authorized to offer the CCO Practical Exam at approved NCCCO Practical Test Sites. Scheduling of such tests is done through the Test Site Coordinator responsible for each site. Practical Examiners and Test Sites are permitted to charge additional fees beyond the NCCCO exam fees for the use of their facilities and/or services. The cost to attend a full workshop is $900 and the cost to attend a refresher workshop is $300.

Practical Examiner accreditation is good for five years. Once accredited, you will receive a Practical Examiner packet with the documentation necessary to conduct CCO Practical Exams. After the completion of a clean audit, you will also receive an official NCCCO accreditation card listing the programs for which you are accredited.

To be an NCCCO-accredited Practical Examiner, you must:

  • Be able to document some load handling equipment operating experience
  • Be certified by NCCCO in at least one operator category prior to attending a Practical Examiner Accreditation Workshop
  • Attend an NCCCO Practical Examiner Accreditation Workshop, during which your performance as an Examiner will be observed and evaluated
  • Pass the Practical Exam(s) in the presence of an NCCCO Auditor for the equipment type(s) you are seeking accreditation (even if currently certified)
  • Pass a Practical Examiner Accreditation Written Examination
  • Pass a Practical Examination audit
  • Have a direct email address to receive email notifications from NCCCO (this may not be a shared address)

If you fail a practical exam during the audit, within 30 days you must pass a practical test in that category administered by an NCCCO Auditor even if you are no longer seeking accreditation. If you fail the practical test again, your certification in that category will be revoked. To be certified in that category again, you must pass the appropriate written and practical tests. Prior to taking the practical test(s), you must notify NCCCO so that NCCCO can audit the test site and Practical Examiner.

Practical Examiners receive regular updates on the NCCCO Practical Examination Program. These updates are also posted on NCCCO’s website. We encourage you to share your experiences as a Practical Examiner with NCCCO so that others may benefit.

Accredited NCCCO Practical Examiners are not permitted to participate as Practical Examiners in any non-NCCCO crane-related certification programs.

Practical Examiners who have been assigned a username and password for the login section of the NCCCO website can recover their password via a link on the login screen. If the email address entered to retrieve the password is not the same as the one in the database the password recovery link will not work. Those who have not yet been assigned a password or provide the incorrect email should email the Practical Examiner Accreditation Team at pe@nccco.org to receive or recover their password.

If, at any time, you have questions about any aspect of the NCCCO Practical Examination Program, contact the Practical Examiner Accreditation Team at pe@nccco.org.

Provisional Accreditation

At the completion of the Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) workshop, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance. This verifies that you have attended and participated in an official NCCCO PEAP workshop. Within three weeks you will receive a notification letter from NCCCO informing you of your provisional Examiner accreditation status.

After completing and receiving the results of the PEAP workshop, provisional Examiners must request and complete a clean audit, where they will demonstrate the ability to set up and administer a practical exam with a mock candidate.

Provisional Examiners are required to be audited prior to the first Practical Exam that they administer; in other words, following accreditation they may not test until an NCCCO Auditor is present to audit their performance.  If a clean audit is not obtained, a second audit is required and a fee of $1,000 charged.

Provisional Examiners must also pass the practical exam administered by an Auditor. If unsuccessful, the provisional Examiner has 30 days (after receiving results) to schedule and pass the practical exam administered by an Auditor. The provisional Examiner is responsible for the Auditor’s expenses for the second attempt. Even if the provisional Examiner decides against pursuing accreditation, he/she must pass the exam administered by an Auditor to maintain certification. If the practical exam is not passed on the second attempt, certification in that designation is revoked and the candidate must take the initial written and practical exams again to certify.

As stated above, Practical Examiner candidates must pass a PEAP written exam, which is administered at the end of the workshop. If necessary, a second attempt will be administered at the audit. If the candidate fails the second attempt, he/she will need to attend a full workshop and complete a successful audit to earn accreditation.

All of this must be completed within 12 months of attending operator program accreditation workshops and six months of attending Rigger and Signalperson accreditation workshops.

Within 12 months after attending a PEAP workshop and completing a clean audit, provisional Examiners must administer at least one live practical exam in that accreditation category; if they fail to do so, they must attend a Refresher Workshop before they are permitted to test. If they do not complete at least one exam in the 12 months after the Refresher Workshop, they must attend a full workshop.

Probationary Examiners

Once a candidate has completed a Practical Examiner Accreditation workshop and achieved a clean audit (which includes an audited practical exam), his/her status will be upgraded from provisional to probationary and the Examiner is fully accredited.

The purpose of this probation is to monitor new Examiners and ensure that they are following NCCCO’s policies and procedures. These procedures include proper notification of testing, proper cancellation notice, and cooperation in the audit process.

After 12 months the probationary Examiner’s history is reviewed to ensure that he/she has followed NCCCO’s policies and procedures. If the probationary Examiner has not been providing proper notification, the probationary period is extended at six-month intervals until such time that the policies and procedures have been properly followed.

Examiners are only required to complete one probationary period, but if an Examiner is required to re-attend a full workshop for any reason (going two years without conducting an exam, allowing accreditation to expire, failure to adhere to NCCCO policies), and he/she does not hold accreditation in any other program, he/she will have to complete another 12-month probationary period upon the completion of the other accreditation requirements.

Online Notification of Intent to Test

Probationary Examiners are required to notify the NCCCO Western Regional Office of their intention to test. This notification must be sent via the NCCCO website (www.nccco.org/login) no less than two business days (not including weekends or holidays) prior to testing. Once a site has provided test notification to NCCCO, this will be considered intent to test and the site may be audited even if no testing occurs. They must also notify NCCCO if testing plans change.

Other criteria for determining which Examiners must use the online notification system include:

  • Practical Examiners at new Practical Exam sites
  • Exceptionally high or low pass rates
  • Practical Examiners chosen via a revolving random selection
  • Practical Examiners who NCCCO has reason to believe have intentionally sought to avoid a Practical Exam Audit

For the final three criteria listed, NCCCO will indicate that you meet one or more of the specified criteria and when you will be required to begin using the online notification system.

Re-Accreditation

Examiners holding Operator program accreditations (Mobile, Tower, Overhead, Articulating, Service Truck, Digger Derrick, Dedicated Pile Driver, and Drill Rig) may attend any operator refresher workshop, which are held the day before full Operator Accreditation workshops. They are designed to cover all operator programs, not just the program addressed by the full Workshop that is usually scheduled for the following day.

Prior to the end of your five-year accreditation period you will be notified of your need to re-accredit. To re-accredit, you must meet the requirements for a CCO-certified operator and:

  • Attend a one-day operator Practical Examiner Accreditation Refresher Workshop (if you have more than one operator accreditation, you may attend just one refresher to cover all operator accreditations)

    or

  • Attend a full operator workshop to earn accreditation in an area you are not yet accredited (must complete all aspects of the workshop, including passing the written exam and completing the audit within the required timeframe)

NOTE: Rigger or Signalperson Practical Examiner Accreditation Workshops do not meet the above requirements for operator Practical Examiner Accreditation Refresher Workshops, and vice versa.

Refresher Workshop attendees are required to pass the Practical Exam Program (PEAP) Refresher written exam with a score of at least 70%. Attendees are given two attempts to pass during the Refresher Workshop. Failure to pass the second attempt will require attending a second Refresher Workshop, as long as the second Refresher is completed within the current reaccreditation policy guidelines.

Practical Examiners accredited in more than one operator program have only one accreditation period. Practical Examiners adding an operator accreditation will have that workshop count as a refresher for all previously held operator accreditations and will reset their five-year operator accreditation period for all operator accreditations.

For example, mobile crane operator Practical Examiners who subsequently add the tower crane operator accreditation will have their accreditation period reset and will start a new five-year accreditation cycle.

Practical Examiners whose accreditation has expired must return all confidential exam materials in their possession to NCCCO’s Western Regional Office.

Maintaining Accreditation

Accredited Practical Examiners must administer at least one Practical Exam in every 12-month period to maintain accreditation. Practical Examiners accredited in mobile, tower, overhead, or articulating cranes and/or digger derricks may administer a mobile, tower, overhead, or articulating crane or digger derrick operator Practical Exam to meet this requirement.

For example, if you last gave an exam March 2012, you are required to test again by March 2013. If, in April 2013, you have not yet given a test, to avoid attending a Refresher Workshop you must schedule and administer an exam no later than June 2013.

If you are unable to conduct an exam within a 12-month period, an extension of up to 90 days may be granted, provided that you have an exam scheduled within that 90-day time period. To request an extension, please contact the Practical Examiner Accreditation Team at pe@nccco.org with the scheduled test date and location. You will be notified via email of the status of your request. If you are unable to schedule an exam within the extension period, you must attend a Refresher Workshop to maintain your accreditation.

Only one Refresher Workshop may be used to extend an accreditation category if no practical exam is administered during a 12-month period. After that, instead of attending a second consecutive Refresher Workshop, you must attend a full workshop. Following the successful completion of the full workshop, you will be subject to the terms and conditions of a newly accredited Examiner, including probationary status and a practical exam demonstration and/or audit.

Similarly, if you do not administer at least one Practical Examination in a 24-month period, you must attend a full Practical Examiner Accreditation Workshop. Examiners who must attend a full workshop will be considered probationary and are subject to the requirements of probationary Examiners.

NCCCO periodically emails Information Bulletins to all accredited Practical Examiners containing clarifications and updated policies. To remain in good standing, Practical Examiners are required to confirm via a link at the bottom of the bulletins that they have received, read, and agree to abide by the information contained therein.

Holding Multiple Accreditations

Practical Examiners may hold accreditation in several CCO programs. Accredited Practical Examiners may add a Mobile Crane category by passing the Practical Exam for that crane type at an NCCCO Test Site with an NCCCO Auditor present. To arrange for an NCCCO Auditor, please contact Erin Jones at ejones@nccco.org.

Given their similarities and differences in exam administration, accreditation programs are broken into three areas:

  • Operator (including Mobile Crane, Tower Crane, Overhead Crane, Articulating Crane, Digger Derrick, Dedicated Pile Driver, and Drill Rig)
  • Rigger (including Level I and Level II)
  • Signalperson

Each area has its own accreditation period (i.e., issue and expiration date). Within each area, adding an accreditation extends all accreditations within that area a full five years. Take, for example, a current Practical Examiner who holds Mobile, Tower, and Signalperson accreditations. If the Practical Examiner earned Mobile accreditation in January 2008 and added Tower accreditation in March 2010, both Mobile and Tower accreditations would expire in March 2015. If the Practical Examiner added Signalperson in June 2012, his/her Mobile and Tower accreditation expiration date would remain March 2015, and his/her new Signalperson expiration date would be June 2017. In summary, adding any accreditation within a specific area acts as a refresher for all existing accreditations within that area.

Similarly, each area has its own requirement regarding giving at least one exam every 12 months. For example, take a Practical Examiner who holds Mobile, Tower, and Signalperson accreditations. Giving one Mobile exam in a 12-month period would allow the Practical Examiner to maintain accreditations in Mobile and Tower, but not in Signalperson. 

To help Practical Examiners track all accreditation expiration dates, all accreditations are maintained on a single Practical Examiner card, and different expiration dates are noted for each area. Every time a new accreditation is added, the Practical Examiner receives an updated card.

Practical Examiners under current suspension or investigation are not eligible to add another accreditation. Practical Examiners who have been suspended in one program will have their accreditation(s) suspended in all programs for which they are accredited.

Maintaining Certified Operator Status

For your accreditation as an NCCCO Practical Examiner to remain in good standing, you must also continue to meet all the requirements of a CCO–certified operator. Therefore, in addition to the Practical Examination, you must maintain a passing status on the Written Examinations relating to the equipment types in which you are accredited as a Practical Examiner.

If your CCO operator certification expires before your accreditation period as a Practical Examiner does, you must certify again as an operator for your Practical Examiner accreditation to remain valid. If you fail your recertification exams and/or your certified-operator status lapses for any other reason, your Practical Examiner accreditation status will be automatically suspended in those categories and you will not be allowed to administer any Practical Examinations in the respective category(s) until your certification has been reinstated.

Practical Examiners Directory

NCCCO maintains an online directory of accredited Practical Examiners to assist employers seeking Practical Examiners to administer CCO Practical Examinations.

All fully accredited Practical Examiners are eligible for inclusion in this directory at no charge. Please note, however, that your listing is not automatic. You need to confirm that you wish to be included and that the contact information on file for you is current.

If you wish to be included in the Directory, please provide the information requested on the Request for Inclusion form on the Practical Examiner Handbooks and Forms page and submit it to NCCCO.

Audit Program

NCCCO conducts audits of Practical Test Sites and Practical Examiners in accordance with the accreditation requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Practical Test Sites and Practical Examiners are selected for audits on the basis of a variety of criteria, including random selection, in response to issues reported by candidates, unusually high or low pass rates, new Test Sites, or probationary Examiners.

Once a site has been selected for audit, the Test Site Coordinator or company representative from the site may be notified by letter from NCCCO prior to the scheduled audit day. In addition, the Auditor will contact the Test Site Coordinator or company representative to verify the testing date and the site address. Unannounced audits may also be conducted.

It is a condition of Practical Examiner accreditation and Test Site status that all test site personnel, including the Test Site Coordinator, Practical Examiner, and Proctor(s), cooperate fully with the NCCCO Auditor during the audit process.

Practical Examiners who have been audited and have been notified that an additional audit is required will be responsible for the expenses incurred by NCCCO for the additional audit. Any Practical Exams conducted by the Examiner will not be scored until NCCCO has been reimbursed for the incurred expenses.

When a second audit is required, a $1,000 fee will be charged for each second audit administered to a provisional Examiner.

If multiple provisional Examiner audits (initial and/or second audits) are requested concurrently, and one of those audits is a second audit, the following rules apply:

  • Provisional Examiners may schedule up to three audits for a single day.
  • As long as one of the audits is a second audit, and the applicable fee of $1,000 is paid, no additional audit fees will be charged for the other one or two audits.
  • The multiple audits (up to three) must be capable of being completed in a single day. Any additional days will be charged using applicable fee schedules.
  • Only Practical Examiners and audits included in the original audit scheduling request may be bundled together for purposes of the foregoing pricing discount.
  • No additional Practical Examiners or audits may be added to an audit day or otherwise bundled for pricing purposes once the audit has been scheduled.

Program Sanctions

Practical Examiners are responsible for ensuring proper test administration policies have been met, including but not limited to NCCCO policies on unsafe acts, score sheet completion, professional conduct, and site report and/or crane/equipment report completion. Practical Examiners are also responsible for ensuring the timely dispatch of properly completed score sheets and other required test administration paperwork to NCCCO.

NCCCO’s Program Integrity Team (PIT) is responsible for ensuring that matters involving program integrity and ethics/discipline are addressed and managed in a timely, efficient, and systematic fashion. In general, PIT procedures shall be applied so as to treat all parties fairly and equitably, and to ensure that all applicable matters are handled in a constructive, impartial, and timely manner.

Examiners are subject to being sanctioned (i.e., having their accreditation(s) suspended and/or revoked) if they commit three Major Infractions within a five-year period. For purposes of this rule, a Major Infraction is defined as follows:

  • Failure to record any scoring aspect on a score sheet
  • Administering a practical examination at an unregistered or suspended test site
  • Submitting a candidate score sheet 30 days or more after a test administration
  • One or more unsafe act submissions that do not qualify as unsafe acts
  • Incorrectly recording a circumvention if it changes a candidate’s pass/fail
  • Any three minor infractions during any one-year period will be deemed to be a Major Infraction. For purposes of this rule, a Minor Infraction is defined as follows:
    • Incorrect or non-submittal of test notifications
    • Not signing a score sheet either by Examiner or Candidate or Proctor
    • Practical Exam scoresheet(s) submitted more than ten calendar days after the Practical Exam (up to 29 days)
    • Incomplete, missing, or incorrect Site Report and/or Crane/Equipment Report submissions
    • Testing at a registered but inactive site (e.g., annual site fee not paid)

In the event that an Examiner is sanctioned, he/she will be responsible for any expenses incurred by NCCCO in the retesting of candidates whose scores have been invalidated as a consequence of irregularities or uncertainties caused by the sanctioned Practical Examiner. Sanctioned Practical Examiners must immediately return all confidential exam materials to NCCCO.

Any Practical Examiner whose accreditation has been revoked on the basis of a willful violation as outlined in the PIT procedures and who is required to submit a request for re-entry to the Practical Exam Management Committee must make that application either in person or via telephone. Upon successful completion of the Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) workshop, readmitted Practical Examiners are responsible for the cost of subsequent provisional audits.

Change of Address

If you change your address, you must notify NCCCO as soon as possible. Failure to do so may cause you to miss important updates that could affect your accreditation.

Changes of address or other contact information should be made directly to your Profile in the Practical Examiner area of the NCCCO website. To update your Profile, log in to nccco.org/login and then click on “Profile” in the upper right corner to view and edit your information.

Inter-Rater Reliability Policy

Inter-rater reliability exams are used for statistical reporting purposes and are used to measure the reliability between examiners. Where two examiners are available, the second examiner can serve as proctor. Inter-rater reliability exams conducted by the second Practical Examiner will count toward the one exam administration per year accreditation requirement. The second exam (IRR exam) will not be considered for scoring unless information is missing on the primary score sheet. Additional information (e.g., candidate applications, photos, and fees) should not be submitted for the second score sheet. To request an IRR score sheet, please contact Erin Jones at ejones@nccco.org.