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ZUMBau is a joint qualification initiative by the umbrella organisations of the construction industry – the German Construction Confederation (ZDB) and the Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB) – in collaboration with the Trade Association of the Construction Industry (BG BAU).

Sitting an examination in one of the examination centres approved by ZUMBau and acquiring a licence as “Certified construction machinery operator in the construction industry” provides proof of high-level professional qualification. This qualification is especially important in terms of accident prevention (prevention of injury to persons or damage to property). It also helps ensure the economical use of construction machinery. It also imparts a sound knowledge base in the practical application of the legal regulations for construction machinery, in maintenance, inspection, servicing, repair, and in work processes and organisation. All these aspects contribute to safety, efficiency, productivity and sustainability on the construction site.

The “Certified construction machinery operator” licence is available in the following machinery categories: Tower cranes; Excavators and loaders, Cherry-pickers; Large-diameter rotary drill rigs and pile-drivers; Demolition excavators and long-front excavators (in cooperation with the German Demolition Association); Compactors; Road pavers; Exploration and well-drilling equipment; Graders; Rope shovels; Truck loading cranes; and Bottom-slewing cranes. Around 18,000 “Certified construction machinery operators” have already qualified.

Employees who have achieved the “Certified construction machinery operator in the construction industry” qualification receive a certificate of competence. The registered check-card identifying a “Certified construction machinery operator” can be presented to regulatory body and trade association inspectors during construction site checks. When presented to clients and developers, the employee qualification can be used to promote services transparently. The qualification is proof of employees’ comprehensive instruction in the independent operation of construction machinery, providing the companies who employ them with a competitive advantage.

ZUMBau reviews and improves the qualification process by certifying examination centres, setting a uniform examination level throughout Germany, creating uniform certificates throughout Germany, and maintaining the federal central register for certified construction machinery operators.

The individual examination boards implement examination requirements that are uniformly valid throughout Germany. This ensures greater legal certainty of the quality attested to by certificates. BG BAU only participates on examination boards at approved ZUMBau examination centres.

All the approved examination centres are regularly audited by external experts according to strict quality standards.


Organisation structure


ZUMBau Organigram

ZUMBau is represented by an admissions board, consisting of two directors from the HDB and ZDB associations, as well as by two alternating chairs (HDB/ZDB), members from the examination centres, the BG BAU, and the German Demolition Association.

Special working groups and representatives apply their expertise to ensure that the examination requirements of the respective machinery categories are up-to-date.

External auditors attend meetings of the admissions boards and submit reports. 

Admissions board

The admissions board certifies organisations/institutions as accredited examination centres. Its members are drawn equally from the supporting organisations:

  • Zentralverband des Deutschen Baugewerbes e.V. (German Construction Confederation)
  • Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie e.V. (Federation of the German Construction Industry)
  • Deutscher Abbruchverband e.V. (nur bei den Maschinenkategorien Abbruchbagger und Longfrontbagger) (German Demolition Association; demolition excavator and long-front excavator categories only)

Collaboration of BG BAU

Representatives of the Trade Association of the Construction Industry are on the admissions board.


ZUMBau regularly assigns external auditors to audit examination centres.

Examination centres

Tests are conducted by approved examination boards in the examination centres accredited by ZUMBau.

Examination participants

Participants are generally company employees or apprentices in the construction industry.


Admissions board members

Federation of the German Construction Industry

  • Firas Ajouri (employer representative and alternating chair)  – current chair
  • Thomas Hackl (employer representative)
  • Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Hanemann (representative of a training/examination centre)
  • Dipl.-Ing. Dirk Siewert (chief executive of HDB Construction machinery and construction logistics committee and director of ZUMBau GbR)

German Construction Confederation

  • Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Adolf Kugelmann (employer representative and alternating chair)
  • Gabriela Gottwald (employer representative)
  • Florian Löffler (representative of a training/examination centre)
  • Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Domscheid (chief executive of ZDB Construction Machinery and Equipment committee and director of ZUMBau GbR)

German Demolition Association

  • RA Andreas Pocha (representative of the 3rd supporting organisation - demolition excavator and long-front excavator categories only)



  • Klaus Winkler
  • Ing. (FH) Klaus Blau
  • Dr.rer.nat, Dipl.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Bässler


Representatives of BG BAU

  • Dipl.-Ing. Volker Münch
  • Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Joachim Schulze
  • Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Klaus-Michael Krell




Construction machinery plays a central role on building sites. With increasing digitalisation and automation, more demands are being placed on construction machinery operators, and operating the machinery is becoming more and more complex.

In 2006, a joint qualification initiative was launched by the Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB) and the German Construction Confederation (ZDB) with the creation of an admissions board for examination centres testing machinery operators in the German construction industry (ZUMBau). Its members are drawn equally from the supporting organisations. The first step in this process was the qualification as “Certified tower crane operator”.

Since then, examination prospectuses for 14 machine categories have been developed, defining theoretical and practical examination requirements.

The BG BAU only deploys its staff to examination boards and examinations that comply with the above minimum standards for certified examination centres. Consequently, the admissions board requires examination centres to furnish explicit proof of the composition and suitability of an examination board, as well as details on the examination process, its contents, and the questions asked.

On passing the examination, each examinee receives a certificate of competence from the accredited examination centre to pass on to their company, and a check-card which he or she carries on construction sites to present to inspectors (from the regulatory body or trade association) on request.

c/o Zentralverband des
Deutschen Baugewerbes e. V.

Assessor d. B., Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Domscheid

Kronenstr. 55-58
10117 Berlin

c/o Hauptverband der
Deutschen Bauindustrie e. V.

Dipl.-Ing. Dirk Siewert

Kurfürstenstraße 129
10785 Berlin


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