What is ECOL?
ECOL is an European Operator Licensing System aimed at 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 standard has different training programs for novice operators and for operators who already have a national licence and a number of years of operating experience. Please refer to the relevant sections of the website for detailed information.
The ECOL training and examination can be done in English, or in your own language, provided there is a training institute in your country.
A precondition for taking part in an ECOL training and examination is that you are at least 18 years old and hold of a valid EU class-C driving licence [truck driving licence].
Once you are licenced under the ECOL programme, you are required to register your experience as crane operator in the SkillRecord experience registration system on a weekly basis. This registration involves the type of crane operated and the type of work performed.
This allows you to prove your experience as operator to new employers or new clients.
For more information on SkillRecord please refer to www.skillrecord.com
A novice operator is someone who wishes to be trained as an operator, but has no previous experience in this field and holds no licence as crane operator.
If you are a novice operator, you are required to follow the ECOL training programme at an ECOL certified training institute before you can be examined. You can follow the ECOL training and examination in English or in your national language, provided there is a training institute in your country. 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.
The ECOL training consists of a theoretical and a practical part, both of which are required to have a duration of 120 hours minimum.
The theoretical training is given in a classroom setting, where there can be interaction between students. The ECOL norm is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 students per teacher.
Currently there are two types of practical training programmes – training in a school or in-company training.
School training: The practical training is administered in a school setting using a modern mobile crane and with two students supervised by one teacher. The students alternate as crane operator and as rigger during the practical training. The training duration is 120 hours.
In-company training: The 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 a logbook has to be kept during the practical training, recording the assignments executed.
The compulsory documented minimal training time in-company is 240 hours and the in-company trainers or mentors of the apprentice should themselves have an ECOL licence.
The in-company training ends with a 40 hour practical finishing course in a school setting.
If you are an experienced operator, there is a possibility to follow the ECOL programme with a reduced duration. The training time required according to different levels of experience is below:
- 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 three-weeks of 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 one-week of training, consisting of 16 hours of practice and 16 hours of theory, after which they will take the examination.
Operators wishing to apply for a reduced training duration should contact an ECOL training institute to have their Reduced Training Time application prepared and sent to the ECOL foundation.
An application for a reduced course duration on account of previous experience requires the operator to demonstrate that:
– they have a national licence;
– they can show the record of their experience (employment as operator) signed off by previous employer (s)
The ECOL foundation will charge a fee for assessing the application. (see Licence cost section)
Read more: Esta ECOL
Head of Education Henrik Helios
T: +45 7920 1178
M: +45 6161 8352