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means to be a
In Germany, the term expert is not protected by law. Many less competent individuals and companies prefer to call themselves experts. For this reason, the German legislation provides for the public certification. This is the public, official award to a special qualification for a certain area of expertise in business life.
Public certified experts do not have to go alone. They also work in teams in engineering consultancies, in laboratories, or in data processing centers. But they can always be held personally responsible for their work.
Only highly qualified experts can become publicly certified. The preliminary examination process is vigorous. If the qualification is not maintained the expert loses the status of being publicly certified. Similarly, trustworthiness and personal integrity are officially reviewed prior to certification. Publicly certified experts are sworn to independence and impartiality. This means that third parties, who normally receive their expertises, can rely on the results. After all, such an impartial expert's opinion also strengthens the customer's reputation and position. He cannot simply be accused of referring to an untenable, partisan expert's report. Because of this independence and impartiality the various standing rules of courts provide for publicly certified experts to be hired as court experts.
Publicly certified experts do not only work on expertises that determine facts or causes. They also do consultation work, take responsibility for regular checks and supervision. They apprais and estimate and act as arbitrators. I.e.: two companies can submit themselves by contractual agreement to an expert's finding and, in the interest of obtaining legal certainly quickly, can accept his decision as binding. For example, concerning the question whether a delivery corresponds to the contractual agreement or whether a system was installed in working condition.
Despite the very strict examination and surveillance of publicly certified and sworn experts, they are not bound to a uniform rate of remuneration or to a standardized contract. The companies and the experts negotiate their contracts without restrictions. Unambiguous rules concerning the scope of services, customer involvment and assistance, deadlines, remuneration and liability, copyright of the expert's opinion, but also concerning the applicable laws for transfrontier contracts and court of jurisdiction are undoubtedly advantageous for both parties' security. For this reason, some publicly certfied experts have their own standard business terms.
Conclusion. Calling in publicly certified and sworn experts is after all a security factor for the customer. It is for this very reason that German legislation has introduced the public certification. This special publicly certified position aims to assist companies that expect and reqire quality expert services in making selection.
Last updated 2004-september-08 Uwe Tychsen firstname.lastname@example.org