NCCCO Awarded ANSI Accreditation

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) last week announced that it had been awarded accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for all three of its crane operator certification programs.

The CCO crane operator certification programs - mobile crane operator, tower crane operator and overhead crane operator - are now accredited by ANSI to the ISO/IEC 17024 International Standard for organizations that certify personnel.

The decision of ANSI's professional certification accreditation committee to award accreditation came after rigorous on-site and field audits by ANSI assessors of NCCCO's management systems and psychometric procedures.

Singled out for particular mention by ANSI was NCCCO's practical exam program. ANSI assessors commended NCCCO and International Assessment Institute (IAI), the firm that provides test processing and development services to NCCCO, for the “preparation, administration and execution of the practical exam.”

In particular, ANSI applauded the manner in which the tasks for the practical exam had been selected, the objectivity and clarity of the criteria that had been established for practical examiner observations, and the systematic way examiner observations had been integrated into the scoring process.

“Accreditation by ANSI of the CCO crane operator certification program is a remarkable validation of the vision, determination and dedication of the hundreds of volunteers from across the country who worked tirelessly to establish this national program of crane operator proficiency and who, over the last 10 years, have strived to maintain it,” said John M. Kennedy, NCCCO president. “Candidates and employers alike can now be assured that, with ANSI's independent verification of NCCCO's policies and procedures, CCO certification meets the highest professional standards of examination development and administration and that each and every CCO certification card is backed by the ANSI guarantee of program excellence unequaled in this industry.”

Accreditation of CCO certification by ANSI is a major milestone in the history of this organization, according to Graham Brent, NCCCO executive director. “A central part of NCCCO's goal since its inception has been to establish a national testing program that is fair to all candidates, while at the same time is both a valid and a reliable assessment of essential crane operator knowledge and skill,” he said. “ANSI's accreditation of all three CCO certification programs is clear testimony that that goal has been achieved.”

Accreditation of certifying bodies is increasingly being required by state regulators in their attempts to ensure quality of the certifications issued, Brent noted. Fully two-thirds of the states that have requirements for crane operators now require or recognize CCO certification.

In addition, Brent reported that new signal person and rigger certification programs are on track to be introduced in 2008. The task forces for these certifications, which began development in April, will meet again in October.

The NCCCO is a non-profit industry organization formed to develop effective performance standards for safe crane operation to assist all segments of construction and general industry. Since NCCCO began testing in April 1996, more than 250,000 written and practical exams have been administered to more than 50,000 crane operators in all 50 states.