To whom it may concern
Subject: New law about Certified Engineers for Cadastre
16 July 2021
Our member, the Hellenic Association of Rural Surveying Engineers, has informed us about an ongoing consultation on a draft law introducing a list of certified engineers for cadastre.
Since CLGE is the leading European Association of Geodetic Surveyors and our Council has built a strong knowledge base about these matters, we take the opportunity to give you our advice.
First of all, we want to stress that your initiative certainly goes in the right direction. A strong and sound guarantee private or public properties and authoritative geoinformation is important in our modern economies. This requires the involvement of the government and its administration to ensure that this type of surveying activities are well regulated. The highest level of regulation is achieved when surveys are performed by civil servants (Finland, Sweden and the land of Bavaria). However, in all other EU Member States, the workload is shared by public and private surveyors and this can be seen as a good practice.
Considering the EU policy on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications, and the recent Directive introducing the Proportionality test, we are convinced that a “Smart Regulation” is required. We do believe that many surveying activities don’t require a strong regulation. The market regulates them in a natural way and no barriers should limit the free circulation of European Surveyors. However, as said before, when property surveying is concerned, the legal security of the country is at stake. In this case we advocate a strong regulation.
Over the years, CLGE has developed the Code of Professional Qualifications for Property Surveyors. Our experience has proven that a high university degree (Master), a sufficient traineeship under the auspices of an experienced professional (two years) and a final state examination are the cornerstones of a well-balanced initial education, required before starting the actual career of property surveyor. This initial high level has to be maintained and we recommend a sufficient mandatory Continued Professional Development (CPD of minimum of 3 days a year, preferably more), a compulsory professional liability insurance, an ethical code and high professional as well as technical standards, with an effective control of their respect by competent ethical and professional bodies.
We understand that most of this is present in the Greek system, accepting only rural surveying engineers and civil engineers holding a master degree to be present on the list of consultants and designers for public sector works . The only weakness we recognize in this system is that civil engineers can be appointed while they never were trained in effective cadastral or property surveying. This might be solved with a mandatory traineeship and a final state examination for them as well. Even if they have the right, they certainly lack the practical skills and experience to perform this highly demanding and state guaranteed activity.
We were informed that the new law will introduce a list for so called publicly appointed surveyors to perform some tasks for public property surveys. We would advise to use the term “publicly appointed” only when there is a real transfer of authority, from the state to the private professional. This is certainly a best practice and the strongest examples of this are present in Germany, Switzerland, Austria but also in Denmark, Luxemburg, France and Belgium. Many other Member States regulate even more than only property surveying. However, if there is no such transfer, the term “publicly appointed” should be avoided.
About the level of education, we saw that bachelors could get appointed on this list. For this part of the draft law, we express our strongest reservations. We do believe that bachelor surveyors are necessary in our economies for plenty of surveying tasks requiring no specific regulation, i.e. tasks that are regulated by the market itself. However, we are strongly against their appointment for property surveying and even more for publicly appointed property surveying. For this kind of jobs, they could only work under the authority of a public or private publicly appointed property surveyor, holding the qualifications in line with our code, as explained above. Property surveying and surveying of authoritative date are a very serious and complex activities, implying some state guarantees. The legal security they procure are one of the prerequisites of a well performing economy and cannot be jeopardized by a too lenient legislation.
Allow us to insist on the fact that our advice is not steered by a corporatist ideology. On the contrary, if we take this initiative to inform you, it is of course in the interest of the profession we represent, but also and even more in the interest of the citizens and the Greek and European society as a whole.
CLGE is available for further exchanges with you about this topic, and we are ready to send a delegation to Athens to discuss the above mentioned topics face to face.
Jean-Yves Pirlot Vladimir Krupa
CLGE Director General CLGE President