National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


Lift Director

Certification OverviewCCO Certified Lift Director-150x

Welcome to the CCO Lift Director certification program. The NCCCO Lift Director Task Force that developed this certification program was made up of experts from all aspects of the crane industry—management, crane users, trainers, and safety supervisors—who together represent many thousands of hours of crane-related experience. These volunteers gave freely of their time and expertise with the primary goal of improving the quality of lift direction and promote additional training among lift directors.

CCO Lift Director certification is available for the following designations:

  • Lift Director—Mobile Cranes (MLD)
  • Lift Director—Tower Cranes (TLD)


Visit How to Test for instructions on applying for and taking CCO written exams.


Requirements for certification include the following:


The Lift Director Written Examination consists of a Core Examination and Specialty Examinations for the Lift Director—Mobile Cranes and Lift Director—Tower Cranes certifications.

The Core Lift Director Exam contains 45 questions that must be completed in 60 minutes. The Lift Director—Mobile Cranes Specialty Exam and Lift Director—Tower Cranes Specialty Exam each contain 50 questions that must be completed in 90 minutes.

The table below details the exams necessary for each Lift Director certification.

LIft Director Exams 2024

CCO has three options for taking written exams: Online Proctored Testing (OPT)Test Center Testing (TCT), and Event Online Testing (EOT)Decide which option is best for you.


The practical exam component of the Lift Director certification is incorporated in the written specialty exams through the use of scenario-based questions using custom-designed lift plans and crane load charts. These real-world scenarios test crane lift directors’ abilities to read, understand, and interpret documents commonly seen in the field.


Certification is valid for five years. Candidates must pass written exam(s) in the category(s) for which they seek certification. Candidates may take their exams in any order. Candidates have 12 months after they pass their first exam to pass the corresponding exam(s). For example, a candidate passing the Lift Director Core Exam in January 2024 has until the end of January 2025 to pass the Lift Director—Mobile Cranes Specialty Exam.

If a certified Lift Director—Mobile Cranes subsequently becomes certified as a Lift Director—Tower Cranes by taking the appropriate written exam(s), the five-year certification period for Lift Director—Tower Cranes begins at the same time as he/she was originally certified (i.e., certifications for all Lift Director designations expire on the same date, regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them).

If the new designation is added within the final 24 months of his/her certification period, the certificant is exempt from recertifying for the new designation after five years; after that, however, certificants must recertify for all designations during the 12 months prior to their certifications’ expiration date. This ensures that all of the certificant’s lift director designations maintain the same expiration date.

Candidates for certification or recertification may petition for an extension of NCCCO’s standard timeline(s). NCCCO staff shall have the discretion to make the initial determination of whether a requested extension should be granted. Petitions for an extension of time are generally denied absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances. Denials of such petitions may be appealed to the Appeals Committee.


The following policies apply to all CCO certification programs:

These policies are also covered in the Candidate Handbooks for each program.


Certified lift directors receive a laminated photo ID card at no cost when they certify, add a designation, or recertify.

Replacement cards may be obtained from NCCCO at a cost of $25 and ordered online.

Certification cards remain the property of NCCCO, are not transferable, and must be returned to NCCCO upon demand.


CCO certification is valid for five years. Recertification candidates must complete all recertification requirements during the 12 months prior to their expiration date.

Review recertification requirements for CCO-certified Lift Directors.

Get complete instructions on How to Recertify.