Liebherr to become ECOL-approved training centre

Leading equipment manufacturer Liebherr has agreed to become an approved training centre for ESTA’s planned European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) after talks between the two organisations in August. 

The decision is a big boost for the ECOL project as it goes through its final testing before going live early in 2019.

When Liebherr is ECOL “approved”, it will be able to train and test operators for the ECOL-licence and can use the ECOL logo. In addition, Liebherr’s respected crane operator course can be credited to the ECOL licence.

Liebherr will have to make some small adjustments to its current training schemes to bring them into line with ECOL`s standards. This means that a current Liebherr- certified operator will probably have to carry out some extra training to gain an ECOL certificate although the exact details have yet to be agreed.

ECOL will also be able to use part of Liebherr’s certified e-learning system for Training and re-training purposes.

Christoph Behmüller of the Training Department at Liebherr-Werk Ehingen said that ECOL has long been supported by Liebherr and the crane manufacturers through FEM.  “ECOL is another important step towards more safety in crane operation. It is a great concern of ours to support and promote this project,” he said. 

The agreement means that any operator that passes the future “aligned” Liebherr training will also be eligible to receive an ECOL licence – provided the operator registers with ECOL and the organisation’s SkillRecord system that logs his or her experience

The issue of the acceptance of foreign ECOL licences by Liebherr for use in Germany will be covered by a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) as it’s currently arranged with other organisations across Europe.

“This is a great vote of confidence in ECOL from one of the world’s leading manufacturers,” said ESTA Director Ton Klijn. “I am very pleased with the outcome of our talks.”

He added: “This is just another example of the tremendous support that ECOL has throughout the industry, and how the project can be a major force for good – by raising standards, improving safety and making us more efficient.” 


n the meantime, ESTA is repeating its call for training organisations to send in their training schemes so that they can be validated against ECOL standards.

“The idea is to compare all of the national training schemes and to identify what is needed – if anything – for them to comply with ECOL standards,” Klijn explained.

“We are calling on any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible. We hope that training organisations across Europe will see working with ECOL as a great business opportunity.”

To date, ESTA has run one ECOL “test” pilot project at Mammoet’s training centre in Rotterdam. The next pilot project will take place in Denmark on September 17 and will be followed by two more, in the Netherlands and Italy, before the scheme goes live early in 2019.