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Certification Overview
Updated On: Jan 09, 2009

To ensure CCO examinations are psychometrically sound, fair and effective measurements of a crane operator's knowledge and skills, NCCCO teams the expertise of its subject matter experts with one of the nation's leading professional credentialing organizations, International Assessment Institute (IAI).  IAI played a vital role in the development of the NCCCO examinations, and continues to assist NCCCO in the administration and further development of written and practical examinations used in this national certification program. 

The CCO Mobile written examinations consist of a Core Examination and four Specialty Examinations. The Written Core Examination consists of 90 multiple-choice items; each Specialty Examination consists of 26 multiple-choice items.

The CCO Tower written exam consist of a single 50 multiple-choice item exam for which candidates have 60 minutes to complete.   The CCO Overhead written examination consist of 60 multiple-choice item exam which candidates have 60 minutes to complete.  All items have been developed by experts with knowledge and expertise in the area of crane operation, and all are reviewed at least four times before they are "field-tested" in an actual test administration: (a) items are first reviewed by crane operation subject-matter experts for content relevance, competency level, and importance; (b) IAI reviews each item for psychometric quality; (c) IAI editorial staff reviews each item for grammar, spelling, and usage; and (d) additional panels of crane experts review and validate all items prior to final approval.

Development of the written certification examinations involves panels of crane operation content experts who work with the staff of IAI to write and review all questions used in the examinations. Each examination contains a unique combination of items from the item bank; items are selected for the examination on the basis of the content areas and Specialties as defined by the test blueprints. The content areas have been developed through the original role delineation and serve to guarantee each test is consistent in difficulty and question content. Each of the written exams are based on the crane operator validation study conducted by NCCCO in conjunction with IAI.

The CCO practical examinations were developed as fair and objective assessment of the essential skills crane operator needs in order to safely operate mobile cranes. They were developed by experts from all aspects of the crane industry - crane operators, training directors, managers, supervisors, manufacturers - representing many thousands of hours of crane operating experience.

Minimum passing scores are determined following test construction. Each stage of this rigorous examination development process follows the standards established by the American Educational Research Association as outlined in its Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. These procedures are recognized by professional test developers nationwide in all professional disciplines. Their use by NCCCO and IAI ensures that only fair and reliable competency-based certification examinations are used in the assessment of crane operator competency.


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