Certifications for drill rig operators introduced in US

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) in the US and the International Association for Foundation Drilling (ADSC) have jointly announced the introduction of a certification program for operators of drill rig equipment.

 The first Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) Workshop for the new drill rig operator program

The first Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) Workshop for the new drill rig operator program

Up until now, no independent mechanism has existed for foundation drill rig and anchor/micropile drill rig operators to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of their equipment.

"The unique challenges and operational practices required by drill rig equipment necessitated new certification exams different from any other CCO program," said NCCCO director of operations, Joel Oliva. "The new Foundation Drill Rig (FDR) and Anchor/Micropile Drill Rig (AMP) Operator certifications address a need identified by the industry for an operator certification specifically designed for operators of these specialised machines."

NCCCO developed the program in cooperation with the International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC). A task force of subject matter experts representing operators, users, owners, manufacturers, trainers, and other stakeholders developed the written and practical examinations that individuals must pass to become certified. Task force members identified the knowledge areas and tasks necessary for safe drill rig operation. Using sound psychometric principles and the very best practices of test development they developed examinations that are fair, valid, reliable, and legally defensible.

"ADSC has been delighted to work with NCCCO over the last two years in the development of this program, which will make a major contribution to ensuring drill rig equipment is operated in a safe and professional manner," said ADSC CEO Mike Moore. "By providing the industry with assessments that are specifically focused on the work that operators perform on a daily basis, we will ensure that operators are proficient and knowledgeable and thereby reduce risk and improve safety."

Noting that OSHA does not currently require operators of drill rigs to be certified, Oliva and Moore observed that employers are nevertheless required to ensure they are trained and qualified. "We fully anticipate safety-minded employers, general contractors and project owners, not to mention insurance companies, will recognise the value of CCO Drill Rig certification in risk mitigation, and leverage its power as a third-party independent evaluation tool," said Oliva. "By involving the entire industry in the program's development, we can ensure that the final product reflects current needs and brings value to the industry as a whole."