The Expertise


Expertise means examining something with a view to its estimation, its evaluation. It is normally produced by an expert or by several experts (college of experts).

Furthermore, although an expert has experience in the field concerned, expertise and experience should not be confused.

Expertise can be given in the form of a consultation or an “expert opinion”.

In law, expertise is a decision support device, by researching technical or scientific facts, in cases where the decision maker is confronted with questions beyond his direct reach. Expertise requires the combination of three elements: a “diligent” mission, the realization of this and a report.

Expertise classifications

Regardless of the many fields of competence concerned, we can list the expertise according to its different principals – jurisdiction, insurance, companies, advisers and lawyers, government, NGOs, etc:

Jurisdictional, judicial expertise

Insurance expertise

Professional expertise

Public expertise

Private expertise

Secular expertise

Compliance expertise

Medical, psychological expertise …

Expertise in intellectual and industrial property or common property …

Transversally, the decision-making motivations of expertise can classify it into:

Risk and risk management expertise

Assessment expertise

Damage assessment (repair)

Expertise before saying right

Judicial Expertise

In France

In law, expertise is a technical or scientific investigation measure that a judge entrusts to an expert chosen from a list.

in criminal law, this measure is taken by the investigating judge as part of an investigation

in private and administrative law, the judge may also have recourse to expertise when the parties request it or on his own initiative.

Expertise is an exclusive prerogative of the judge and when the parties request it, the judge is not obliged to order it. The expert then carries out his mission under the supervision of the investigating judge in criminal matters, and under the authority of a judge responsible for the supervision of expert reports in civil matters.

The judicial expert exercises his mission in complete independence and submits a report in which he responds strictly to the questions put to him by the judge. He therefore provides the judge with a technical opinion on which he can rely to base his judgment. The expert’s conclusions are not binding on the judge but are nevertheless in practice decisive.

Out of France

The rules governing the appointment of experts and the functioning of judicial expertise are specific to each country. A reflection is carried out within the European Union by the European Institute of Expertise and Expert [archive] for the harmonization of these rules.

Public expertise

Its purpose is to aid public decision-making. It most often concerns areas of general interest (public health, environment, defense, etc.), with in France, for example, IRSN (Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety) and ANSES (National Security Agency health, food, environment and work) which represent this type of expertise.

Private Expertise

Its purpose is decision support, most often in the field of business. It allows the various resource managers and project directors to make their decisions with better knowledge of the facts, by gaining in-depth insight into certain issues and consequences (financial, human, etc.) of their decisions.

Private or amicable appraisal can be carried out as a preventive measure before any proceeding with a view either to reconciliation with the opposing party or to be produced in court. This type of expertise produced during the procedure and discussed in a contradictory manner by the parties and the magistrates is considered as opposable.

NF X 50-110 standard

Globally unique, the NF X 50-110 [archive] standard brings together the rules applicable to the practice of expertise, known as general requirements of competence and skills required to develop an expertise. We owe it to Afnor (French Association for Standardization), which developed it in 2002 and disseminated in May 2003. It represents a considerable advance towards the convergence of expert practices (amicable, private, judicial, etc.). The standard remains a recommendation, however, but does not have the force of law.

Compatible with the recommendations relating to quality management (ISO 9000), it establishes the principles of quality expertise, namely:

  • assess the question asked;
  • select one or more experts with the appropriate skills;
  • choose or develop an appraisal method appropriate to the question asked;
  • carry out actions (studies, interviews …) specific to the expertise requested;
  • critically analyze the data provided