Rigger Qualification vs. Rigger Certification: What You Should Know

What is the difference between rigger qualification and certification?

Last month, we covered the Latest Qualified Rigger Standards according to the new ASME B30.5 standard. If you missed that blog, you can read it here.

Something we didn’t cover, however, is the difference between rigger qualification and rigger certification according to OSHA and ANSI/ASME definitions.

Rigger Qualification

As a review, rigger qualification is primarily a designation given to a rigger by their employer, who must consider the rigger’s skills, knowledge, and experience to determine if the rigger is qualified for the specific operation in question.

Under the latest ASME standard, the employer must also obtain proof that the rigger has successfully completed written and practical exams, administered by anyone, that test:

  • Selection and use of applicable hardware
  • Applications of standard hitches
  • Estimation of load weight, center of gravity, angle, and load movement
  • Inspection of equipment

Qualified riggers do not have to be certified by an accredited organization or third party. A qualified rigger may very well be a person with extensive hands-on experience but no formal training or certifications.

Under the latest standard, OSHA and ASME require a qualified rigger to be present in any situation where a mobile crane over 2,000 lbs capacity is being used.

workers dressed in safety gear training during an ITI Masters Riggers conference

Rigger Certification

On the other hand, Rigger Certification is achieved by passing a written and practical exam administered by an accredited certifying agency.

Currently, ANAB – the ANSI National Accreditation Board – only accredits the NCCCO to deliver rigger certifications. The NCCCO offers Rigger Level I, Rigger Level II, and Lift Director certification programs.

While there’s no OSHA or ANSI/ASME requirement for rigger certification, due to the NCCCO’s credibility, CCO Rigger I or II certification is often a desired qualification on contract bids.

In some cases, certifications may also meet the requirements for an employer to designate a rigger as qualified. Specifically, the NCCCO Rigger II program fulfills the core competencies outlined in the ASME B30.5 standard for rigger qualification.

Qualification vs. Certification

The important thing to note is that rigger qualification and rigger certification do not have shared meanings. Each has its advantages.

The process to qualify riggers can be done with less preparation than is required for certification, and it fulfills OSHA and ASMI/ASME requirements. However, the qualification process may not always provide a means to fully evaluate whether a rigger truly has the technical knowledge and hands-on skills needed to perform a specific task.

Conversely, the certification process requires more preparation but covers testing on slings, knots, signaling, load control, and other safety issues. As such, it generally acts as a good yardstick to measure rigger ability.

Additional Info on Certification

Comprehensive training is generally needed for those seeking rigger certification to gain the technical knowledge and hands-on skills necessary to pass the exams.

Luckily, our friends at ITI (Industrial Training International) endorse the national certification program offered by the NCCCO and provide specialized preparatory training courses to persons seeking a NCCCO rigger certification.

For more information on NCCCO Rigger Certification Training, visit the ITI website at  https://www.iti.com/rigging-training/nccco-rigger-certification?hsLang=en-us.

workers dressed in safety gear talking during an ITI Masters Riggers conference

As always, for any of your liftingriggingpulling, jacking, safety, or material handling needs, please reach out to your local LGH representative or give us a call at 800-878-7305 to speak with one of our rental specialists.


LGH is North America’s largest single organization devoted exclusively to the provision of lifting and moving equipment for rent. LGH holds the most comprehensive inventory for hoisting, rigging, jacking, pulling, material handling, and safety equipment. With over 70,000 pieces, our lifting equipment is available for rent from 23 locations throughout North America, and our customers are supported by over 50 Rental Representatives nationwide.

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