Crane licences

You need a high risk work licence if you want to operate cranes in NSW.

The types of cranes we licence are:

  1. bridge and gantry cranes
  2. derrick cranes
  3. non slewing mobile cranes greater than three tonnes capacity
  4. portal boom cranes
  5. self erecting tower cranes
  6. slewing mobile cranes
  7. tower cranes
  8. vehicle loading cranes.
  9. concrete placing booms

Before you can apply for a national licence to perform high risk work to operate any of these cranes, a registered training organisation (RTO) must assess your training, skills and knowledge using the relevant 'assessment instrument' under realistic workplace conditions.

The definitions of different cranes are outlined in detail in the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. Listed below is only a general description of each type of equipment.

Bridge and gantry cranes (CB)

Bridge and gantry cranes are controlled from a permanent cabin or control station on the crane as well as those that are remote controlled with more than three powered operations (hoist, raise and lower equals one operation), including the application of load estimation and slinging techniques to move a load.

Derrick crane (CD)

A slewing strut-boom crane with its boom pivoted at the base of a mast which is either guyed (guy-derrick) or held by backstays (stiff-legged derrick) and which is capable of luffing under load.

Non slewing mobile cranes greater than three tonnes capacity (CN)

A non-slewing mobile crane means a mobile crane, of greater than three tonnes capacity, incorporating a boom or jib that cannot be slewed.


  • articulated type mobile cranes
  • locomotive cranes
  • non-slewing telehandlers (over three tonnes capacity, fitted with a boom and/or jib with a hoist rope and/or hook block).

Does not include vehicle tow trucks.

Note: Holders of a CN licence may also operate a reach stacker until 1 July 2017.

Portal boom crane (CP)

A boom crane or jib crane mounted on a portal frame that is supported on runways along which the crane travels.

Self erecting tower crane (CS)

A crane where the tower structure and boom/jib elements are not disassembled into component sections and it can be transported between sites as a complete unit with the erection and dismantling processes an inherent part of the crane's function.

Slewing mobile cranes (C2, C6, C1, C0)

A slewing mobile crane means a mobile crane incorporating a boom jib that is capable of being slewed. This excludes front end loader, backhoe, excavator and other earthmoving equipment when configured for crane operation.

There are four classes of slewing mobile cranes each with a different capacity:

  • up to 20 tonnes (C2) - incorporating CN & CV classes
  • up to 60 tonnes (C6) - incorporating C2, CN & CV classes
  • up to 100 tonnes (C1)  -incorporating C6, C2, CN & CV classes
  • over 100 tonnes capacity (C0) - incorporating C1, C6, C2, CN & CV classes

If a slewing telehandler is fitted with a boom and/or jib with a hoist rope and/or hook block, a C2, C6, C1 or C0 high risk work licence is required, dependent on the telehandler's rated capacity.

Tower cranes (CT)

A jib or boom crane mounted on a tower structure, demountable or permanent, including both horizontal and luffing jib types.

Vehicle loading crane (CV)

Covers the operation of a crane with a capacity of 10 metre tonnes or more, mounted on a vehicle to move a load onto or from the vehicle, including the application of load estimation and slinging techniques to move a load.

This allows the licence holder of a CV licence to operate a vehicle loading crane and conduct the full range of slewing operations without holding a slewing mobile crane licence, so long as:

  • the equipment is suitable for the task
  • the equipment is used within its operating parameters
  • the operator has been adequately trained.

Concrete placing booms (PB)

Covers the operation of knuckle type concrete placing booms, capable of power operated slewing and luffing to place concrete by pumping through a pipeline.

The pipeline will be attached to or forming part of the boom of the plant, and includes both vehicle and satellite mounted units.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to obtain a licence if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • complete a recognised training course and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO
  • can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work

Application process

The assessor will have the application forms you need for a new card after you have completed your training and assessment. You will then take those forms to your nearest Australia Post office as well as 100 points of ID.

You will also need to bring with you a passport sized and quality photo of yourself with your name and date of birth printed on the back, you can read our new application information sheet for more details.

The application fee is outlined in our list of fees and charges.

Replace a licence

Your high risk work licence can be replaced online or you can post your application to replace a high risk work licence to us.

Renew a licence

We will mail a renewal form to you two months before your licence is due to expire. You will need to complete the form and lodge it at an Australia Post office, you can read our renewal information sheet for more details.

If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, please contact us on 13 10 50.