European Crane Operator Licence
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2018
The European Crane Operator License: one European standard for craft proficiency for crane operators, established by the industry, the benefit the industry. It will enable every crane operator in Europe to demonstrate that he meets the minimum European requirements of the industry and enhances safe deployment of personnel in Europe, possibly in the rest of the world.
The European Association of abnormal road transport and mobile cranes (ESTA) is the unique European arm for trade associations, representing mobile cranes and access platform, rental companies and abnormal road transport companies. In this organization seventeen European countries are represented through 23 national associations or private companies. ESTA’s primary objective is the ‘European harmonisation of rules and regulations for crane companies and hauliers, to represent our job activities in Europe and build our future’.
Currently each Member State has its own rules in the field of professional competence and certification of crane operators. These rules differ from country to country and range from compulsory to optional and even to no rules at all. These differences can lead to confusion which has a negative impact on safety. Another negative impact of these differences in rules between countries is that it prevents the mobility of drivers in Europe. For this reason ESTA has committed itself to developing a system for optimum distribution of safe and qualified crane operators within Europe in the near future:
one European Crane Operator License (ECOL).
Establishing the ECOL-license means establishing a system that organises and administers the process of issuing certificates. ECOL-system ensures that crane operators in Europe meet the common requirements of the industry, enabling the industry to have safe and qualified crane operating capacity all over Europe. The ECOL-license will be the instrument to differentiate between qualified and un-qualified personnel. The main challenge is recognizing and acknowledging current personnel that already measure up to the common requirements of the industry, as well as train and educate those who don’t, together with new operators coming into the industry.
ESTA, an association, will not take part in performing training and examination. A supervisory roll does fit an association. Therefor a foundation (ECOL-foundation) will be established that supervises and monitors the system of education, examination and maintenance. This means that ESTA as an association for the industry will set the criteria for being a licenced crane operator and what the key performance indicators are for staying a licenced crane operator. The ECOL-foundation sets the criteria for becoming an ECOL-educator and for becoming an ECOL-examination institution in this field. Only when you are ‘ECOL-approved you can train and test operators for the ECOL-license and have use of the ECOL-logo. Other tasks that will be assigned to the ECOL foundation are issuing certificates, recognizing diploma’s, managing the register and organizing continuing education and provide the knowledge bank of new high level content.
Stakeholders and target group
The ECOL-system has basically three actors: the industry, ESTA and the field of education. The industry: all the companies that employ crane operators, their clients and crane and lifting materials suppliers. Together they determine the job requirements of a crane operator and within which boundaries a crane operator receives the ECOL-licence.
ESTA will be the keeper of these job requirements and boundaries by formulating the professional standard for crane operators with criteria and key performance indicators based on the European Qualification Framework (EQF). Within the ECOL-foundation the conditions for education, validation and examination are established. In order to monitor the population of licensed crane operators and to what extent they maintain their skills and knowledge a register is built.
The field of education: the organisations that take care of education, examination and validation. Based on the professional standard for crane operators and the conditions for good education and good examination, they can qualify the crane operators. When the crane operator passes his exams, he receives his ECOL and will be included in the register of the ECOL-system.
The target group of this project and ECOL are the crane operators. During the project approximately 150 crane operators will be involved. Ultimately all crane operators of mobile cranes (in Europe approximately 222.000 crane operators) are involved since they will eventually obtain the ECOL-license.
The project team is represented by the national association of the major European countries (UK, Germany, France) and some smaller countries (Finland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway). The project team is completed with an educator, a crane operator’s representative and a manufacturer’s representative.
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