New EU directive shows urgent need for ECOL

February 10, 2020. 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.”

Big boost as ECOL receives EQF approval

December 6, 2019. ESTA’s European Crane Operators Licence project received another big boost this week with the news that ECOL has been approved by the European Qualifications Framework.

Earlier this year, ESTA applied to have the ECOL operator certificate registered and recognised by the Dutch NLQF qualifications framework. Through the NLQF it would be aligned with the EQF across Europe.

This week the NLQF agency confirmed that the EQF Assessment Committee has approved the EQF qualification of the ECOL standard for the level of EQF 3.

This means that ECOL is now an officially recognised European training standard for mobile crane operators and ECOL will have the right to add the EQF logo to its certificates.

ESTA Director and ECOL Chairman Ton Klijn said: “This is very good news indeed and a marvellous early Christmas present for all ECOL supporters. Official EQF backing is further evidence of the professionalism and high standards underpinning this project.”