You want to perform the activity as a natural person
What are the conditions for entering the profession?
- not have been deprived of your civil and political rights;
- not have been declared bankrupt without being discharged;
- not have incurred any of the penalties referred to in law;
- have the required professional qualifications as listed in Article 5, § 1, 2° of the law.
If you have a relevant diploma awarded in Belgium or another State other than a Member State of the European Union, Finland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you must undertake a traineeship.
If you obtained your professional qualifications in a Member State of the European Union, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you are exempted form the traineeship. However, the Belgian Institute for Automotive Experts may decide that you need to undertake conversion training or a proficiency examination of your choice.
What are the conditions for practising the profession?
- have completed the training organised by the Institute for Automotive experts;
- be registered with this Institute;
- comply with the code of ethics;
- take out professional insurance;
- undergo ongoing professional training.
As an automotive expert, you must undergo ongoing professional training. This obligation requires you to follow at least forty-five hours of training over a three-year period, with a minimum of ten hours per year. The Institute for Automotive Experts monitors compliance with this obligation and organises training courses.
If you work as a self-employed automotive expert, you must cover your professional civil liability with an insurance policy. You must provide a copy of this insurance policy to the Institute for Automotive Experts when it asks for it.
You want to practice as a legal entity
If you want to practice the profession as a legal entity, the entity must meet the conditions for entering and practising the profession.
The legal entity can practice the profession of automotive expert if it complies with the following conditions:
- all managers, administrators, management board members and, more generally, independent agents working on behalf of the legal entity must be automotive experts registered on an Institute list;
- its purpose and activity must be limited to the provision of services related to the profession of automotive expert and cannot be incompatible with this;
- 60% of the units or shares and voting rights must be held, directly or indirectly, by natural persons authorised to work as automotive experts and registered on an Institute list;
- the legal entity may only hold shares in other companies and/or legal entities in an exclusively professional capacity. The purpose and activities of these companies cannot be incompatible with the role of automotive expert.
- the legal entity is registered on one of the Institute's lists.
The legal entity practising as an automotive expert is subject to the code of ethics in the same way as a natural person.
Registration as a trainee
In order to be registered as a trainee, you must:
- submit a traineeship application to the Institute for Automotive Experts;
- sign a traineeship agreement with an approved trainee mentor;
- satisfy the access conditions for the profession set out above.
The competent chamber of the Council of the Institute will notify you of its decision within one month of the date your application is submitted. If you comply with the legal and regulatory conditions, you will be registered on the list of trainees and you will be able to commence your traineeship.
The traineeship lasts for two years and, in addition to the hours of practical lessons, includes a minimum of two hundred hours of professional practice carried out in Belgium and calculated in full-time equivalent.
At the end of the traineeship, the competent chamber of the Council assesses whether you completed your traineeship in accordance with the requirements of the law and the traineeship regulations. It must notify you of its decision within two months of the last day of your traineeship.
Registration as a natural person
Once the traineeship has been finished and approved by the competent chamber of the Council, you must submit a request to register with the Institute for Automotive Experts as an automotive expert.
If you are exempt from the traineeship, or if you wish to practice as a legal entity, you must send your registration application directly to the President of the Executive Chamber with the documents proving that you meet the entry conditions.
The request to register with the Institute is free of charge.
As an automotive expert registered with the Institute, you must pay an annual subscription. The amount is set annually. For 2020, it is 950 euros.
Recourse if your registration is refused
If the Council of the Institute refuses to register you, either as a trainee or as an automotive expert, you can submit an appeal to the appeal commission.
The appeal must be submitted within three months of the notification date of the refusal decision.
At the ethical level
As an automotive expert who is a member of the Institute for Automotive Experts, you must comply with the ethical rules.
If it is proven that you failed in your ethical duties, you are liable to one of the following disciplinary penalties:
- a warning;
- a reprimand;
- a ban on accepting or continuing certain assignments;
- suspension for a term not exceeding one year;
- being struck off.
At the criminal level
Publicly and illegally bearing the title of automotive expert and illegally practising the profession are criminal offences and punishable by a fine.
At the civil level
Publicly and illegally bearing the title of automotive expert and illegally practising the profession may constitute civil wrongdoings for which you can be held contractually or extra-contractually liable.