NCCCO to Offer Exams, Examiner Workshops at CONEXPO/CON-AGG

New candidates and existing certificants alike will be given an opportunity to take a wide variety of Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (CCO)-written, practical, and recertification exams at CONEXPO/CON-AGG, to be held March 22 to 26 in Las Vegas, Nev. For the first time, practical examiner accreditation workshops for nearly all CCO programs will also be conducted onsite before and after the exposition.

"CONEXPO/CON-AGG is delighted that the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) has elected to schedule its OSHA-recognized and ANSI-accredited crane operator and related certification examinations at the 2011 event," said Megan Tanel, vice president of exhibitions and events for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the organization that operates CONEXPO/CON-AGG. "This will provide an exceptional opportunity for crane operators and those who work around cranes to ensure that they are professionally certified to work in compliance with the new OSHA rules that came into effect this past summer." Tanel also offered her congratulations to NCCCO on its celebration of its 15th anniversary of providing certification exams to the U.S. construction industry.

The once-every-three-years equipment showcase will feature over 2,500 exhibitors and is expected to draw over 140,000 attendees. "CONEXPO/CON-AGG provides an excellent opportunity for expo attendees to earn or renew their CCO certifications while attending one of the largest events of its kind in the world," noted NCCCO Executive Director Graham Brent.

In addition to NCCCO's main exhibit, CCO exam administrations, and practical examiner workshops, NCCCO will also participate in the Lift Safety Zone and the Construction Challenge, both of which promote safe practices on construction sites; they also illustrate the need for qualified personnel, which are now required by law under federal OSHA's new rules for cranes and derricks used in construction.

NCCCO's activities at CONEXPO/CON-AGG include:

  • Main NCCCO Exhibit (GL-3000)—get information about all CCO certification programs and all of NCCCO's activities around the exposition
  • CCO written, practical, and recertification exam administrations—recertify or earn new CCO certification(s)
  • Practical Examiner Accreditation workshops for most CCO programs—held before and after the main exposition
  • Lift Safety Zone (S-19722)—featuring demonstrations of how ground conditions can affect equipment's stability
  • Construction Challenge—24 teams of finalists from high schools around the country compete for the grand prize

A complete schedule of CCO certification testing and practical examiner workshops is available on the NCCCO website at

Main NCCCO Exhibit

NCCCO's main informational exhibit will be in its usual prime location at booth GL-3000 in the Grand Lobby by the North Hall next to Silver Lot 1 and just across from the Gold Lot, where the world's leading crane manufacturers will be located. NCCCO staff will be on hand throughout the exhibition to answer questions about all CCO certification programs currently available or in development. Visitors will be able to see videos of all NCCCO practical exams and enter a drawing for large model crane as well as learn about all of NCCCO's other activities at CONEXPO/CON-AGG.

CCO Certification Exam Administrations

On the first day of the show, Tuesday March 22, CONEXPO/CON-AGG attendees will be able to take any of the CCO written exams in dedicated rooms located near the NCCCO booth. CCO Signalperson and Rigger Level I practical exams will also be offered on the first two days. To register and get the complete schedule for written exams, Signalperson practical exams, or Rigger Level I practical exams, please contact Shawna Parham at [email protected]. Preregistration is required for all written exams and for the Signalperson and Rigger Level I practical exams.

On all five days of the show, CCO practical exams will be offered for mobile, tower, and articulating crane operators as well as Rigger Level II candidates. To register and get the complete schedule for any of these practical exams, please contact Erin Jones at [email protected].

Practical Examiner Accreditation Workshops

In the days before, during, and after the exposition, NCCCO will hold Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) workshops for CCO certificants seeking to become Practical Examiners for CCO programs. The three-day mobile crane PEAP will be held before the expo on March 16-18 and the two-day tower crane PEAP on March 19-20. On the last day of the show, March 26, the Signalperson PEAP will be offered. A Rigger Level I PEAP will be held on March 27-28 and a Rigger Level II PEAP on March 29-30. Please direct any questions about the PEAP workshops to Erin Jones at [email protected]. Preregistration is required for all PEAP workshops.

Lift Safety Zone

NCCCO is also participating in the Lift Safety Zone (LSZ) with the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Crane Certification Association of America (CCAA). Located in Silver Lot 4 (S-19722) and open throughout the exposition, the LSZ is an area where anyone working with and around cranes and other aerial lift equipment can find expert advice on safe setup and operation. The LSZ is geared toward crane and aerial work platform safety, with particular attention to how ground conditions can affect equipment stability in different positions and weather conditions. Live machinery demonstrations and the latest in simulator technology will be featured. Industry experts will also be on hand to give practical safety advice to those who operate, manage, and work with cranes and aerial lifts.

Several cranes and aerial work platforms will be on display to help familiarize CONEXPO/CON-AGG attendees with the hazards associated with each. The new OSHA rules for cranes and derricks used in construction (29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC) specifically address general contractors' increased responsibilities for disclosing ground conditions such as buried pipelines and hidden cavities, and the Lift Safety Zone will tangibly demonstrate the consequences that can result when operators are not aware of underlying conditions.

Construction Challenge

For the first time at CONEXPO/CON-AGG, NCCCO will be a sponsor of the Construction Challenge, an innovative career-education initiative designed to engage high school students with real-world, hands-on experiences in the construction industry. Through competition, youth teams explore key elements of the highly diverse industry such as new technologies, research, engineering, project management, product development, manufacturing, services, support, and career pathways.

"With the average age of the construction worker now 52 years," said NCCCO President John M. Kennedy, "there is a clear need to attract new blood into the workforce." And with the large number of baby boomer retirements, it's a problem that's getting worse. "Research indicates that the construction industry needs to add one million jobs by 2012," added Kennedy, "and some of them will need to be crane operators." This was a main reason NCCCO is taking this opportunity to expose Construction Challenge participants to the opportunities that a career in this industry can provide, he said.

In the Construction Challenge teams of high school students around the country compete to solve infrastructure and design problems using teamwork, creativity, and problem solving. The top 24 teams advance to the Championship Finals at CONEXPO/CON-AGG. Between 300 and 400 high school students are expected to visit both NCCCO's indoor booth as well as the LSZ. Students will learn about the roles of crane operators as well as related activities such as riggers and signalers from industry veterans who will be on hand throughout the show. They'll also have the opportunity to witness live demonstrations of crane and aerial lift equipment, and they'll get to try their hand at a CCO practical exam on simulators provided by Simlog.

"This is an important opportunity for potential new entrants to the industry to learn not only about the hazards inherent in construction, but also how to mitigate them through proper training and professional certification," said NCCCO's Brent. "And, of course, we hope they will go away with the idea that this industry—and crane-related activities in particular—might provide them a profitable career path."

NCCCO is among 19 sponsors of the Construction Challenge, among them AEM, Volvo, Caterpillar, Kobelco, Liebherr, Link-Belt Construction Equipment, and Manitowoc.