BC Crane Safety reached a ground-breaking Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the European Crane Operator License Foundation (ECOL) recognizing that the certifications issued by the two organizations are equivalent and interchangeable.
The agreement is based on a detailed comparison and alignment of standards governing the safe and effective operation of mobile cranes.
“What this means,” says Fraser Cocks, Executive Director of BC Crane Safety, “is that mobile crane operators who are certified by BC Crane Safety are now eligible to work in parts of the EU without undertaking additional training or testing. It also means the same for EU operators who want to work here to help meet temporary surges in demand for operators to support major projects when we can’t find qualified operators in Canada.”
ECOL currently licenses operators in the Netherlands and Belgium but is working toward the inclusion of all EU states.
The crane operator profession impacts a wide range of sectors – from utilities to resource development and major construction projects. Canadian companies with global interests will have the ability to employ their Canadian operators on overseas projects, while providing assurance that they meet the highest standards of professionalism in the world.
“Agreements like this will enhance crane operator training on a worldwide level,” says Ton Klijn, Director of ESTA, the organization that established ECOL. “ECOL can improve both safety and employment flexibility, allowing good operators to work wherever they are needed – something that will be a significant plus, especially for the big international operating companies.”
The ECOL MRA is the first MRA that BC Crane Safety has agreed but the organization hopes to have further MRAs in place in the near future.