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Kyle MumfordNov 25, 2019 8:15:00 AM2 min read

Crane Operator Certification Update - NCCCO to Remove Physical (medical) evaluation Requirement

Starting January 1st, 2020, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) will no longer require a physical/medical evaluation of operator certification candidates. Written and practical exams are not affected by the announced change. 

Candidates were previously required to agree to meeting the physical requirements of ASME B30 throughout their certification period. ASME B30 states that crane operators must demonstrate adequate vision, adequate hearing, and negative results on a substance abuse test among other physical requirements.  

“This is not in any way to minimize the importance of ensuring an operator is physically qualified, since physical examinations are a critical part of qualifying an operator,” said NCCCO CEO Thom Sicklesteel, “But they do not align with the certification component.” Certifications are based on crane type, he said, but physical requirements are based on the specific crane to be operated and can be materially different for cranes even within the same crane type. 


ASME B30. allows for a level of employer discretion in the physical qualification of mobile crane operators, saying that operators must meet their physical standards “unless it can be shown that failure to meet the qualifications will not affect the operation of the crane.”  

Sicklesteel expanded, “Jobs where the cranes are moving to multiple positions or that have higher cyclical work are typically more demanding. Employers are required to qualify their crane operators by determining whether they are able to operate the specific crane they will work on, perform the type of work they will be assigned, and address any accommodations that may or may not be provided. It is NCCCO’s view that only employers are in a position to determine an individual’s specific capabilities.” 

It is important to note again that this change to the NCCCO qualification process does not affect the requirements of the written or practical exam. The use of the words “physical evaluation” initially caused some confusion, briefly leading some in the industry to believe that NCCCO had made changes to their practical exam. NCCCO still requires both a written and a practical exam to become a NCCCO certified crane operator.  


As the landscape around crane operator certification, and other certifications in the load handling space evolve, ITI is the go-to destination for support. Training Solutions Advisors are at the ready to answer frequently asked questions, and describe the bevy of Training Solutions available for organizations and individuals ready to achieve NCCCO certification. Training Solutions include:


Online Preparatory Courses

Instructor Led Preparatory Courses at ITI Training Centers or Client Locations

A complete list of certification training options is available here, or speak to a Training Solutions Advisor today by calling 800.727.6355.

Industrial Training International endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), and provides training to prepare candidates for NCCCO examinations.

Kyle Mumford

Kyle is a part of ITI's design and development team. He holds a bachelors degree in education and has multiple years of experience as a public school teacher. In his free time he enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.