NCCCO Launches Signalperson Certification Program

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) announced the introduction of a certification program for signalpersons, who will be tested on their understanding of basic crane operations and limitations and their knowledge of hand signals and voice communications.

The new program meets or exceeds all current and proposed standards and regulations that require personnel providing hand signals to crane operators to be qualified. It is designed to ensure that crane operators receive accurate information about where loads need to be placed, particularly important when lifting “in the blind.” Both written and practical tests are required.

“This practical exam requires candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of the signals without the use of actual cranes or crane operators,” said Dr. Anthony Mitchell, President of International Assessment Institute (IAI), NCCCO’s test development and services provider. “The development process ensures that the certification process is fair, valid, reliable and legally defensible,” he added.

NCCCO unveiled its plans for development of the new program in February 2007 and began a process that brought together subject matter experts, psychometricians and its own experienced staff to develop a program heavily demanded by the industry.

“The need for a signalperson certification program was a top concern for the crane industry,” said NCCCO President John Kennedy. “We have built a quality certification program that is expected to have an immediate impact on crane safety.”

The program follows the intent of the latest revision of the ASME B30.5 Mobile and Locomotive Crane and ASME B30.3 Construction Tower Crane standards, as well as the OSHA Proposed Rule (otherwise known as C-DAC) that will revise Subpart N of the Code of Federal Regulations for cranes.

“We have had great success to date in fulfilling NCCCO’s safety mission through administration of our crane operator certification programs,” said NCCCO Executive Director Graham Brent. “The already heavy pent-up demand for the signalperson program, coupled with our effectively designed certification examinations, will ensure a higher level of crane safety and professionalism in this industry.”

The signalperson certification program is NCCCO’s fourth personnel certification program. The success of the mobile, tower and overhead crane operator programs led to the industry’s request of NCCCO to develop a similar qualification process for signalpersons. To learn more, visit

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