Meissner takes ECTOL chair as work gets underway

Work on ESTA’s new European Crane and Transport Operators Licence (ECTOL) scheme is accelerating as the structure of the new organisation is created and approved.

ECTOL will be an umbrella body that will oversee both the existing European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) and the new European Transport Operators Licence (ETOL) which will initially focus on training for SPMT operators.

The three-person ECTOL Supervisory Board will be chaired by Klaus Meissner, ESTA’s Subject Matter Expert Cranes. He will be supported by manufacturer’s representative Lars Schødt from the TII Group and Arnold Niekamp from the Dutch trade union HZC, representing the interests of the operators.

The development of ECTOL and the ETOL licence began in earnest last year and came out of the work of ESTA’s expert SPMT working group. Concern has been growing in the industry at the lack of recognised training qualifications and the need to improve safety standards as the SPMT market grows.

ESTA has decided to develop the ETOL licence scheme using the operational and management structure of the existing European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) – a move that will be simpler and more efficient than creating a completely new organisation from scratch.

Beneath the Supervisory Board, a five-person ECTOL Management Board has been created. This will be chaired by ESTA Director Ton Klijn and will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the ECOL and ETOL programmes.

ECTOL will also have an 11-person strong expanded Expert Committee that will oversee training design and content, learning outcomes, exam content and occupational standards in both the ECOL and ETOL schemes.

This new expert committee will include transport and trailer representatives from a trade union, a trailer manufacturer and a trailer industry expert to sit alongside their existing crane sector counterparts.

Klaus Meissner said: “I am delighted to become directly involved in what is a hugely important project. ECTOL underlines ESTA’s commitment to improving safety and raising the standards of operator training right across Europe to the benefit of the heavy lifting and transport industry as a whole, and our clients.”