New EU directive shows urgent need for ECOL

Support for ESTA’s new European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) could be given added impetus by a new directive from the European Union.

The directive – EU2018/958 – says that “national rules organising access to regulated professions” should not be used to deny work to qualified professionals from other EU member states.

It comes into force on July 30 this year and includes crane operators within its scope. As a result, any crane operator with a licence recognised by their national authority will be able to work anywhere in the EU.

ESTA Director Ton Klijn said that ESTA supported the policy of free movement, but the directive raises issues for the crane industry and its clients due to the huge variance in operator training standards between different countries within the European Union..

“In many countries the training is of an excellent standard. But, to be blunt, in others you can get an official operators licence with very little training at all. We knew that this directive was in the pipeline, and was one of the reasons why ESTA started to develop ECOL.”