In partnership with the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA), the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is developing a new certification for operators of dedicated and purpose-built pile driving rigs.
The move reflects NCCCO’s continued expansion into a broader array of certifications as the organization enters its 20th year. The goal is to provide a diverse set of certifications that encompasses the construction industry’s many specialized equipment operating activities and provide the same safety, insurance, and risk reduction benefits that NCCCO’s other certification programs have delivered since 1995.
Joel Oliva, director of operations and program development at NCCCO, said the key to creating a top-notch certification program is to call on a wide range of experts.
“The new program—which will be made available in early 2016—will draw on industry support, subject matter expertise, and psychometric guidance,” Oliva said. “All the elements of this new Pile Driving Rig Operator certification will be developed according to the same strict standards that have become a hallmark of all CCO certification programs.”
NCCCO and PDCA have created a task force to define the knowledge and skills required for certification. Staff from the two organizations, along with representatives from manufacturers, equipment suppliers, contractors, service providers, and safety personnel, as well as other expert volunteers, will work together over the next year to develop the program.
Content for the exam will be based on field experience. As with other CCO certification programs, a professional job task analysis will serve as the foundation to the examinations, ensuring its development is informed by the best practices of real-world applications. The project is being guided by psychometric consultants from the International Assessment Institute (IAI), the testing services company used by NCCCO since 1999.
“As we always guarantee with CCO certifications, the new Pile Driving Rig Operator program will be fair, valid, reliable, and legally defensible,” Oliva said.
Not to be confused with the existing CCO lattice boom mobile crane certification that covers pile driving operations through crane attachments, the Pile Driving Rig Operator program will deal with equipment used in the construction industry for the express purpose of driving piles.
The program will consist of both written and practical examinations that will be administered by independent third-party examiners trained and authorized by NCCCO, thus ensuring both NCCCO and PDCA remain free of any conflict of interest with respect to the certification decision. Successful completion of both written and practical elements will result in eligible individuals being certified to operate dedicated pile driving rigs.
Stevan Hall, executive director of PDCA, said that NCCCO’s track record of success and industry acceptance had weighed heavily in its favor when being evaluated for a potential partnership.
“NCCCO’s expertise in the development of operator certification programs for the crane and heavy equipment industries, as well as the widespread adoption of its programs throughout these industries, are two of the many reasons PDCA believes that NCCCO is the ideal organization to develop and administer this new program.”