June 6 - The European association for the abnormal road transport and mobile crane rental industry, ESTA, has established the European Crane Operator License (ECOL) Foundation.

Currently, each European member state has its own rules in the field of professional competency and certification of crane operators. ESTA believes that the development of ECOL will raise the safety standards across Europe, reduce training costs, make the industry more efficient and benefit experienced and qualified crane operators.

The ECOL Foundation will supervise and monitor the system of education, examination and maintenance.

A meeting of ESTA's ECOL working group in May agreed to start the trial of the project at the beginning of February 2018.

"Once everything is in place, we will trial the system with selected groups to ensure that it is working effectively before it goes live," said Ton Klijn, ESTA's section cranes vice president.

Assuming the trial goes to plan, ESTA will be in a position to request the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) to have ECOL registered and recognised at EQF Level 2 across Europe.

Klijn added: "Any operator that has the necessary initial education and experience and can prove it, will not have to start from scratch, but will find it straightforward to obtain an ECOL certificate."