Here we have to list a number frequent asked questions and answers that people might have about the ECOL system
- How does the ECOL system work ?
ECOL is a European Crane Operator Licence System for the operators of mobile cranes
ECOL is a European Operator Licencing System for the operators of mobile cranes as defined in the EN 13000 construction norm. Operators of tower cranes and overhead cranes are not yet included in the system. The ECOL system sets a standard for the training and examination of operators; it also sets a standard for the content and quality of the training and examination administered. The training itself is done by local training institutes established in the various EU countries. They will also arrange a local examination. The ECOL training and examination can be done in English, or in the operator’s own language, provided there is a training institute in their country.
Preconditions for taking part in an ECOL training and examination is that the operator is at least 18 years old and the holder of a valid EU class-C driving licence (truck driving licence).
- Who runs the ECOL System ?
ECOL is a non-profit organisation, structured as a foundation under Dutch law and governed by a supervisory board with representatives from crane users, crane manufacturers and crane operator labour unions.
The daily running of the ECOL organisation is in hands of the ECOL management, consisting of a general manager, a training manager and an office manager.
The educational standard is governed by the Committee of Experts.
For details on the persons in these functions please refer to the relevant section of the ECOL website.
- How can I get an ECOL operators’ Licence ?
A novice operator is required to follow the ECOL training programme at an ECOL certified training institute before he or she can be examined. Students who take the course (and examination) in their national language are required to take a language examination, demonstrating they have a minimal command of the English language. This knowledge is required for communication with the ECOL foundation.
An experienced operator has the possibility to follow the ECOL programme with a reduced duration:
Crane operators with less than four years (48 months) of operating experience have to do the full training and examination.
Crane operators with four to eight years (49 to 96 months) of operating experience have to do a three-week training, consisting of 40 hours practice and 80 hours theory, and take the examination.
Crane operators with eight or more years ( > 96 months) of operating experience have to do a one-week training, consisting of 16 hours of practice and 16 hours of theory, after which they will take the examination.
- What are the requirements to enroll on an ECOL operator training course ?
Preconditions for taking part in an ECOL training and examination is that the operator is at least 18 years old and the holder of a valid EU class-C driving licence (truck driving licence)
- Can I have my present licence converted into an ECOL licence ?
Converting your present licence into an ECOL licence is possible under the following conditions:
- your present licence has been issued under an ECOL recognised training schedule; (for the latest status on ECOL recognised training schemes please visit the relevant section of the ECOL website);
- you address an ECOL certified training institute to produce an application for licence recognition to ECOL on your behalf.
- You register yourself with the ECOL foundation after receipt of a positive decision on your application.
- What does the ECOL training course entail ?
The ECOL training consists of a theoretical and a practical part, each lasting a minimum of 120 hours. The theoretical training is given in a classroom setting. The ECOL norm allows a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 students per teacher.
Currently there are two types of practical training programs – in a school or in-company training.
In a school, the practical training is carried out using a modern mobile crane and with two students supervised by one teacher.
In-company practical training is given during an “apprentice program” in a company. The apprentice programme and the company in question have to comply with the requirements of the ECOL standard and rules. The compulsory documented minimal training time in-company is 240 hours and the in-company trainer of the apprentice should have an ECOL licence. The in-company training ends with a 40 hour practical finishing course in a school setting at an ECOL certified training institute.
- Is there a special training route for experienced operators ?
An experienced operator has the possibility to follow the ECOL programme with a reduced duration:
- Crane operators with less than four years (48 months) of operating experience have to do the full training and examination.
- Crane operators with four to eight years (49 to 96 months) of operating experience have to do a three-week training, consisting of 40 hours practice and 80 hours theory, and take the examination.
- Crane operators with eight or more years ( > 96 months) of operating experience have to do a one-week training, consisting of 16 hours of practice and 16 hours of theory, after which they will take the examination.
- What are the costs for obtaining an ECOL licence ?
The costs for obtaining an ECOL licence are divided into three categories:
- Costs for the training;
- Costs for the examination;
- Costs for the crane operator experience registration in the SkillRecord system;
Since ECOL does not carry out the training itself , the costs for a training programme are determined by the localECOL certified training institutes. These costs can vary based on the required duration, the type of program followedand the country the school is based in.
The ECOL certified training institutes are required to give you a quotation of training costs before you enrol on a course. We suggest you always ask a training institute for a quote before enrolling on a course.
For costs for examination and experience registration please refer to the relevant FAQ sections.
- What is the period an ECOL licence is valid for ?
An ECOL licence is valid for a period of 5 years (60 months) after the issuing date. Thereafter a renewal is required; if you have met the requirements to keep your licence valid you will receive a new licence without further training or examination. If one or more of the requirements have not been met in the five year period the ECOL licence was valid, you will need to retake the examination.
- For the operation of which crane types is an ECOL licence valid ?
An ECOL licence is valid for the operation of all mobile cranes as defined in the EN 13000 construction norm.
- What should I do when my ECOL licence will expire in the next three months ?
You should keep a close watch of your email, as ECOL will inform you of the expiry date of your licence some three months in advance. Upon receipt of this email you should apply for renewal if you wish to renew your licence. Should you not have received an email from ECOL when the expiry of your licence is only 8 weeks ahead, we suggest you contact the ECOL foundation as this indicates something might have gone wrong in the administrative process (forgot to inform ECOL of a change of email address ?).
- What is required to keep my ECOL licence valid ?
To keep your ECOL licence valid (“in good standing”) you are required to register your working experience in the SkillRecord system and to follow the required ECOL re-training sessions within the five year licence validity period. Also you must remain in possession of a valid c-class driver’s licence during the entire period.
- What are the costs for keeping your licence valid ?
In order to keep tour licence valid you have to stay enrolled in the SkillRecord registration system at a costs of €75,- per year.
Furthermore you will have to follow the compulsory re-training sessions consisting of 1 ECOL developed E-learning intake course , followed by 1 full day classroom based re-training.
- How do I register my experience under ECOL ?
After registering as a qualified operator you will receive an entrance code to the SkillRecord experience registration system. Here you can register your working hours and details by means of your smartphone. If you fail to log any working hours over a period of three months, you will receive a notification on behalf of ECOL to start registering. Failure to register your hours over a prolonged period will lead to removal of your valid licence registration form the ECOL licence databank.
- Who can validate the experience registrations I have made ?
Your entries in the SkillRecord experience registration system will have to be validated from time to time by your employers; if you are a self employed operator your client(s) will have to do this validation.
- Where can I follow the ECOL training course ?
Please see the section “Training Institutes” under the heading “Crane operators” for a map with the details of all ECOL trainers in the various participating countries.
- Who arranges the ECOL examination ?
Your training institute will arrange for your registration under the ECOL system and will also arrange for the examination at the end of your training period. Upon their request they will receive an examination date with a pre-avis of at least 14 days.
- What are the costs for an ECOL examination ?
The examination costs charged by the ECOL foundation to the candidates are:
- Theoretical examination: € 150,-
- Practical examinations: € 125,-
- Language examination fee € 50,-
If the theoretical and practical examination are taken on the same day at the same location there will be a reduced costfor this combined examination.
- Combined examination: € 225,-