The ECOL system has basically three actors, the industry, ESTA and the market.

1. The industry is 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.

2. ESTA is the organisation responsible for formulating the standards for crane operators and within the new ECOL Foundation, the conditions for education, validation and examination are established.

3. The market is those 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 crane operators pass their exams, they receive their ECOL licence and will be included in the ECOL register. However, they will have to keep up to date with changes in the industry and collect (learning) credit points to maintain their registration.

Establishing ECOL means developing a system that organises and administers the process of issuing certificates. As an industry association, ESTA will have a strategic supervisory role, but will not take part in carrying out training and examination

An ECOL Foundation is being established that supervises and monitors the system of education, examination and maintenance.

ESTA will set the criteria for being a licensed crane operator and what the key performance indicators are for staying a licensed crane operator.

The ECOL Foundation will set the criteria for becoming an ECOL-educator and for becoming an ECOL-examination institution in this field. Only when you are ‘ECOL-approved’  can you 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 diplomas, managing the register and organizing continuing education, and providing the knowledge bank with new high level content. This system will require good relationships between the industry and the education sector.

ECOL will only be a real success if organisations, governments, a labour unions, and industry associations all recognize and acknowledge it. Cooperative agreements and partnerships with different kind of stakeholders will have to be forged to make it work, with groups such as Governments and national bodies; the crane-using industries; Labour unions