CCAA and NCCCO to Develop Certification Program for Crane Certifiers

The Crane Certification Association of America (CCAA) and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) announced plans to develop cooperatively a certification program for crane inspectors, also known as “crane certifiers” or “crane surveyors.” The announcement was made jointly by both organizations at the Crane and Rigging Conference (CRC) held May 26–27, 2010, in Houston, Texas. CCAA and NCCCO mutually recognize the importance of safe crane operations and the role of certification in ensuring that personnel have the knowledge necessary to inspect and certify cranes. NCCCO will work with CCAA by providing test development guidance and psychometric expertise throughout the anticipated 10-month development timeframe.

“We are delighted to be joining NCCCO in creating a certification program for crane inspectors based on professionally developed assessment tools that will effectively test the knowledge required to certify cranes as meeting prevailing national standards,” said CCAA President Ed Shapiro.

According to Kerry Hulse, NCCCO Commission Chairman, the task force being assembled will be uniquely qualified to develop the comprehensive written tests that will provide the core elements of a fair, valid, and legally defensible certification program for crane inspectors.

“NCCCO’s unique ability to harness the knowledge of subject matter experts from all sectors of the industry—and to combine it with solid psychometric support—underpins its recognition as a respected, independent, and nationally accredited certification-program developer of the highest standard,” Hulse said. A “call for volunteers” will be posted on the NCCCO website for qualified experts to sign up to participate in the task force, he added.

“Any qualified person can answer the call," said Shapiro who emphasized that the certification program will be “blind” to either in-house or third-party certification. “It’s the same person where the certification program is concerned,” he said, adding he believes the certification program will raise the bar for both types of inspectors. “It means there’ll be a lot more qualified in-house inspectors, which will help improve crane safety,” he said. “There are very few third-party inspectors currently,” he continued. “I believe we’ll see a large constituency there” in the future.

NCCCO already has expertise specific to the development of the new program, said Brent. “NCCCO was contracted by the State of Washington to develop the crane certifier examinations for the new state requirement that went into effect last year,” he said. “We will be able to build on the specific experiences of that project in creating this new national program for crane certifiers.”

“With CCO certification programs now firmly established for crane operators, riggers, and signalpersons, it makes perfect sense to bring into the certification mix the person who inspects the cranes as being safe to be operated in the first place,” concluded Brent, adding that the time was right to move forward with this key component of the crane safety. “Certification can help to indicate who might be qualified to perform inspections,” he said.

NCCCO will also administer the final certification program, which will meet or exceed all current and proposed state and federal requirements for crane operator qualifications including OSHA’s proposed rule on cranes and derricks (C-DAC). Once launched in mid-2011, the CCO Crane Certifier Certification program will be submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for accreditation, now a hallmark of all CCO certification programs.

NCCCO has a history of working collaboratively with industry organizations. In 2004, the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) and NCCCO developed the CCO Overhead Crane Operator certification program. And in March of this year, NCCCO launched the product of its 18-month working relationship with the Articulating Crane Council of North America (ACCNA) in the form of its Articulating Crane Operator and Articulating Loader Operator certifications.