LEEA enters a new era

LEEA enters a new era - image

LEEA enters a new era

On 31st October 2023, LEEA held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) via Zoom, allowing the Association’s global membership to view proceedings. Ross Moloney, CEO at LEEA, gives his overview of a transitional year.

With over 1000 members globally, LEEA exists to ensure that zero accidents occur in our industry through tackling the ongoing battle with gravity, in addition to the tension between price and quality. We worked throughout 2023 to achieve this aim through clear and effective communication with the whole industry, including our members and those who use our industries.

The past six years have been characterised by strong financial performance, underpinned by careful cost management. Our positive financial decisions, including the selling of our office facility and investment in our e-learning capability have provided room and scope for the future.

At the end of this year Kat Moss will complete her two years of service as Chair of LEEA. It has been a period of transformation into a digital future, fast-tracked during from the post-pandemic recovery. We are all extremely grateful for her work and support. During her tenure, Kat was pivotal in many initiatives, such as the Lifting Technician Apprenticeship that is now being delivered in England.

Taking over as LEEA Chair in the coming year will be Oliver Auston. Dave Cormack will take the Vice Chair role held by Oliver Auston during the previous tenure. Other key LEEA board roles will be Derek Buck as Technical Committee Chair and Chris Towne as Learning & Development Committee Chair.


Transformational changes

The past year has seen a series of transformational changes for LEEA, not least in terms of learning and development, with the Association delivering training to over 300 students per month.

Since October 2022, there have been 3567 student training engagements and 2676 assessments completed. The past year saw all the courses on LEEA’s state-of-the-art Academy 2.0 being launched, with developments to the platform ongoing through next year. We are also pleased to see that the Lifting Technician Apprenticeship delivered in England already has its first cohort of students signed up.

The Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) region will see development of a pilot Licensed Training Centre and the Certificate IV in Lifting Equipment Testing Inspection and Certification will be available in this region. This package combines LEEA’s existing courses – Foundation, Lifting Accessories and Manual Lifting Machines, with an additional course to meet all the requirements from Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and to align to the role of Lifting Equipment Certifier. This is a significant step to having our certifiers recognised at the high level they deserve.


Membership development

Member Engagement Services have been busy throughout 2023 with 1662 total engagements including audits. We have been restructuring and re-writing the membership audit to ensure that it retains the rigour required to uphold the Association’s gold standard and provide customers with the assurance of excellence and compliance to standards and legislation.

In 2023 alone, the team has also attended six exhibitions in UK, Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur to promote our Association. Between October 2022 and September 2023, 109 new members joined, and the closure of the Development Member Grade has been a significant move.

Meanwhile, the LEEA TEAM Cards with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology were fully rolled out, with over 2800 in circulation across our Full Membership. NFC enables the intelligent TEAM cards to be instantly updated by the LEEA team when new qualifications are added and provide instantly verifiable data when required.


Extending our global reach

LEEA’s global reach was further extended in 2023 with the first international LiftEx, held in Sydney, Australia, with the full support of the established ANZ Regional Council. With this council operating successfully throughout the year, LEEA took the next step in our ‘hub and spoke’ strategy to increase greater local autonomy by launching the Regional Council in Middle East.

Building relationships with agencies and legislators in many countries is another vital aspect of LEEA’s global work. LEEA held an audience with the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to discuss impact of UKCA marking. Featuring strongly among our work with international agencies was the commencement of our audit on behalf of the Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF). This allows AWRF members to opt to go through an additional process that will see them being audited by LEEA, which gives them support and assistance in ensuring that they are operating at the highest of levels.


Increasing our technical expertise

The vital work carried out by the Technical Committee to develop and deliver best practice guidance is a clear benefit of LEEA membership. Its success and growth has resulted in an increase in proposals for new guidance documents and is supported by well attended sub-committees and working groups.  Four new members have joined the LEEA Technical Committee. They are Rob Messenger, Sales Manager Lifting and Lashing Systems at RUD Chains Ltd; Wan Djawad, Technical Director at Durham Lifting Ltd; Richard Oldknow, Consultant at YOKE Industrial Corp; and Craig Jenkins of Brandon Hire Station. They will join the many members contributing their expertise to the wide range of technical support offered by LEEA.

Our Technical Forums representing our different supply chains offered LEEA members an insight into the various reports and documents produced by the Technical Committee. They also offer an opportunity for members to question and comment on them and give members the chance to ask directly any burning technical questions they may have.

LEEA’s Technical Services team, meanwhile has been working hard. It sits on 67 committees and also answers questions sent to the Technical Triage. There were 959 questions between October 2022 and September 2023, resulting in the team responding to more than 100 technical queries per month, with 72% of enquiries on the same day and 100% within two days.

Our expertise is instrumental in the creation of a dedicated Global Industry Standards and Legislation resource.


Social media hits

The Business Support Services team processed 39,000 email queries from training and assessment bookings and queries, membership applications, processing publication orders and general enquiries. Our leeaint.com website had 128,000 visits. Since December 2022 our social media following has grown by 3,916 (+15%) and the LEEA YouTube Channel has gained 7906 video views. There have been 1890 installations of the LEEA Connect App, with the 2.0 version, launched in the summer, now available to non-members.

LEEA’s programme of webinars oriented to address the lifting challenges faced by end users continued throughout 2023, looking at sectors including the military, utilities and construction.


Global Lifting Awareness Day (GLAD) took place on 13th of July 2023, filling the social media channels with #GLAD2023 hashtag accompanied messages and stories promoting the Lifting industry globally.  End users, lifting inspectors, individuals and companies, trainees, apprentices and students, trade associations and organisations as well as media publications all took part. LEEA held its own packed programme of activities to celebrate the day, which included Launch of new LEEA online training course, an Accredited Training Scheme webinar, a Guidance video on BS 7121 series of standards, a LEEA Technical Forum, a presentation from LEEA’s charity of the year, the launch of the LEEA Connect app 2.0, a presentation on the Lifting Equipment Technician End Point Assessment and a digital roundtable discussing the digital future of the industry. On 12th July, LEEA held the successful Parliamentary Event, where member companies were able to engage with MPs.


Moving ahead

We now look forward to ambitious and exciting plans for 2024, LEEA’s 80th year, and into the future. Moving ahead, LEEA will continue to travel down its a future path to deliver better. There will be a personalised approach to learning and new courses right across the membership footprint, with improved access by building regional training capacity. We will conduct a thorough review of our closed book assessment and far better knowledge transfer across all functions including better member consultation. The technical audit will be sharper and better focused technical audit and there will be a risk-based approach underpinning short notice follow up visits.

LEEA will be raising its profile and awareness like never before, while proactive policy work will be at unprecedented levels, and we will directly target end users including creating an offer to support them. Under the Board’s direction, LEEA will soon be better resourced, have more capacity and will consequently have more impact on the industry we serve.

In closing, we have achieved much this year through being innovative and ambitious. We have exciting plans for the future, which I look forward to reporting on in 2024. We are well placed to look to the next era of LEEA – it is going to be an exciting one.

back to articles

Need technical advice?

For technical advice on lifting equipment matters, email our Technical Services team. This service is free to members and we will reply within two working days.

Email Technical Advice
Armed Forces Covenant
BSI Mark
Association Excellence Awards 2019
Association Excellence Awards 2021
CPD Member