Crane Operators: classifications and licence requirements

Crane Operators : Nova Scotia Labour, Skills and Immigration, Building and Equipment Safety

You need a Certificate of Competency and Crane Operator Licence to operate a mobile crane, boom truck, overhead travelling crane or tower crane. As part of the certification process, you need to successfully complete:

Classification levels (certificate and licence)

Classification Licence Type Regulated cranes and rated lifting capacity
Class 1 Crane Operator 1 Licence Mobile crane Boom truck or mobile crane that:
  • is a power-operated machine with a boom
  • includes a hoisting mechanism that is an integral part of the machine

Lifting capacity: 91 tonnes (100 tons) or more

Exclusions: Excludes tower cranes, self-erecting tower cranes and overhead travelling cranes

Class 2 Crane Operator 2 Licence Mobile crane Boom truck or mobile crane that:
  • is a power-operated machine with a boom
  • includes a hoisting mechanism that is an integral part of the machine

Lifting capacity: 18 tonnes (20 tons) or more, but less than 91 tonnes (100 tons)

Exclusions: Excludes tower cranes, self-erecting tower cranes and overhead travelling cranes

Class 3 Crane Operator 3 Licence Mobile crane Boom truck or mobile crane that:
  • is a power-operated machine with a boom
  • includes a hoisting mechanism that is an integral part of the machine

Lifting capacity: More than 4.5 tonnes (5 tons), but less than 18 tonnes (20 tons)

Exclusions: Excludes tower cranes, self-erecting tower cranes and overhead travelling cranes

Class 4 Crane Operator 4 Licence Mobile crane Boom truck that:
  • has an articulating boom but no winch for lifting the load
  • is a power-operated machine with a boom
  • includes a hoisting mechanism that's an integral part of the machine

Lifting capacity: More than 4.5 tonnes (5 tons), but less than 18 tonnes (20 tons)

Exclusions: Excludes tower cranes, self-erecting tower cranes and overhead travelling cranes

Tower class Tower Crane Operator Licence Tower crane Lifting capacity: Any tonnage
Self-erecting tower class Tower Crane Operator Licence Self-erecting tower crane Lifting capacity: Less than 40-metre tonne (144.3 feet ton)
Overhead travelling class Overhead Travelling Crane Operator Licence Overhead travelling Crane Overhead travelling Crane Lifting capacity: Any tonnage

Application process

Once you meet all the requirements for the certification process, you can apply for a Certificate of Competency and Crane Operator Licence to operate a crane in Nova Scotia.

You can apply for a Certificate of Competency and Crane Operator Licence (with or without endorsements) for the class of crane operator certificate of competency you want.

Application form: Application for Certificate of Competency / Certificate of Qualification (PDF)

Endorsements

You can apply for an endorsement on a Class 1 or Class 2 Certificate of Competency for a lattice boom, overhead travelling crane or self-erecting tower crane. You need to complete additional required regulated hours for the endorsement (above the required classification hours).

Exams

All applications are assessed for approval to challenge the exams. The exam schedule is posted annually in November, and provides locations, exam dates and deadline dates for the following year. All applications need to be received on or before the deadline (late applications are denied).

Application for Certificate of Competency / Certificate of Qualification (Examination or Certification) (PDF)
Application for a Rewrite Examination (PDF)
Exam Reference Syllabus - Tower Crane Operators (PDF)
Exam Reference Syllabus - Overhead Traveling Crane Operators (PDF)
Exam Reference Syllabus - Mobile Crane and Boom Truck Operators, Class "A" and "B” (PDF)
Exam Schedule (PDF)

Recognition of international credentials

Applicants from outside Canada may need to complete a prior learning assessment if they don't meet the education requirements. They may also need to have their credentials verified by an evaluation agency.

Transfer of qualification

You can apply to transfer your credentials from another Canadian jurisdiction if you have a Certificate of Competency and Crane Operator Licence that's equivalent to the classification level you want to transfer to. You may need to have your credentials recognized and provide documentation issued by the jurisdiction you're transferring from. 

Application for Certificate of Qualification / Competency (Transfer of Certification) (PDF)

Application review process

It should take 10 days for Technical Safety to review your application. International and transfer applications can take up to 30 days to review. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your form hasn't been filled in correctly.

If your application is approved, you receive Certificate of Competency and Crane Operator Licence by mail. International and transfer applicants receive a Crane Operator Licence by mail.

Expired licence appeal process

You can submit payment for an expired licence up to 4 years from your current expiry. After 4 years, you need to contact Technical Safety to find out how you can pay for an expired licence and if you need to complete additional requirements.

Fees

Activity Fee
Exam (per paper) $39.80
Re-write exam (per paper) $39.80
Certificate of Competency and Crane Operator Licence $145.80
Licence renewal $72.90
Copy of Certificate of Competency $33.20
Copy of Crane Operator Licence $33.20
Transfer $72.90

Renewal

A Certificate of Competency is issued once and doesn't expire. You need to renew your Crane Operator Licence each year. You should get a renewal notice by mail before the renewal date. It's your responsibility to renew on time.

Address change

You need to notify Technical Safety of any changes to your civic address or mailing address. Send your address updates to safetybranch@novascotia.ca.