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Katie ReganApr 10, 2024 3:53:07 PM3 min read

A Guide to Lift Director Training and Certification [Resource Links Included!]

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a Lift Director? What goes into it and who qualifies for the role? It can’t be that hard, right? Well, in the U.S. Lift Directors are in fact subject to stringent training standards outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

tandem lift-2Comprehensive training is absolutely essential, covering every facet of lifting operations and safety protocols. This includes proficiency in planning, executing, and supervising lifting activities. Why go to such lengths, you might ask. Well, Lift Directors are entrusted with the critical task of overseeing lifting operations, ensuring they are carried out safely and effectively. From planning and execution to supervision, their expertise is indispensable in maintaining a secure working environment.

According to ITI Cofounder and Senior Consultant Mike Parnell, “Lift directors must know a little about every aspect of the crane operation, but more importantly, they know how to listen. While lift directors do not have to be a master rigger or certified crane operator, they need to be able ask the right questions and work in concert with a lot of different people on the job site."TrainingSolutions-Header-LiftPlanning-1-1

Employers must designate a competent person as the Lift Director to oversee and direct lifting activities. Below is a brief breakdown of factors that come into play:

Qualifications: Lift Directors must meet specific qualifications, which may include:

  • Successful completion of a recognized training program for Lift Directors.
  • Possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing.
  • Extensive knowledge, training, and experience, as determined by the employer.

Training: Employers must ensure that Lift Directors receive training in areas such as:

  • Identifying and addressing potential hazards.
  • Understanding load dynamics.
  • Developing and implementing lift plans.
  • Ensuring compliance with applicable regulations.

Certification: Certification for Lift Directors can be obtained through:

  • Completion of a nationally accredited Lift Director certification program.
  • Qualification through an audited employer program.

Evaluation: Employers are responsible for evaluating Lift Directors to ensure they possess the necessary skills and knowledge. The evaluation includes assessing the Lift Director's ability to:

  • Develop lift plans.
  • Oversee and direct lifting operations.
  • Ensure compliance with safety regulations.

For further details, you can always refer to OSHA 1926.1424.

Looking to learn more? Join us for a free webinar!



Thursday, May 2, 2024


Whether you're already a seasoned lift director or simply someone who is still getting their feet under within the field, we invite you to join ITI Co-founder and Senior Consultant, Mike Parnell for a free webinar where he will present the Top Ten Considerations to Identify Lift Plan Categorization. We'll discuss ASME P30.1-2019 as well as run through an actual Risk Assessment. Those who register for the free event will be able to download an example risk assessment along with a lift plan, that they can work through alongside Mike Parnell as he presents the content. A blank Critical Lift Plan is included in the downloadable content for use in future lifting activities.

The live session will place a special focus on:

  • Potential Hazards to Persons
  • Hazards in Proximity to the Work Area
  • Complexity of Load Handling Activity
  • Adverse Impact from Environmental Conditions
  • LHE Capacity and/or Performance
  • Rigging Capacity and/or Performance
  • Adverse Commercial Impact
  • Site Requirements Unique to the Load Handling Activity
  • Repetitive Lifts


Those looking for a deeper dive via our instructor led training course, should consider attending the one-day Lift Director course that we offer at ITI Training Centers as well as client site locations (that’s right, our instructors will come to you!) addresses the responsibilities of a Lift Director as identified by 29CFR1926.1400 (Federal OSHA), ASME P30.1 Lift Planning and ASME B30.5 Mobile and Locomotive Cranes. Participants are provided an outline of the recommended knowledge and skill subjects that should be mastered in order to become a competent Lift Director. A hands-on session is offered that involves the completion of a lift plan.


About ITI

Industrial Training International (ITI) is a global leader in the design and delivery of learning solutions for organizations conducting crane, rigging, and load handling activities. Founded in 1986, the company originally specialized in instructor-led training, field services, and consulting. ITI has since grown to also produce live online, and on-demand courses delivered via the ITI Learning Hub and has been recognized with numerous industry association awards for its groundbreaking virtual reality crane simulator solution. For more information about ITI, visit