ISTAT Rome: Appraiser programme becomes more international

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The International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading's (ISTAT) is "internationalising" its appraiser programme after mainly attracting US candidates.

ISTAT's chairman of international appraiser programme Phil Seymour says in 2001, "only three candidates" were non USA-based. Today of the 13 applicants - only four are based in the USA.

"No targets are set," he says. "Over the last 10 years that there has been an overall increase of around nine people, however, the main change has been that there is a more 'international' feel and this trend is continuing."

There are a total of 45 certified appraisers including 17 seniors (four of whom are fellows appraisers) and 28 certified appraisers. Another 13 are at the candidate level and they have no certification rights or privileges until certified.

"The programme is under review and I have no doubt in that in the coming years there will be more opportunity to sit and re-sit exams in other locations. However, we have to look into the costs and logistics of the programme".

Seymour's mandate as chairman started this year in March and runs through March 2015.

"Currently there is only one paid administrator, Jack Feir who receives a modest retainer. The examination papers are marked by the two appraiser members of the international appraiser programme's board of governors. They volunteer their time and if we move towards more exams and more locations the administrative burden will increase accordingly. It is not a problem but we will need to look closely at the fees required to support a more robust programme. That process of research is underway."

During his term, Seymour aims to improve communication with the media and more generally with non-appraisers in ISTAT and the wider non-ISTAT market.

"I am focusing on creating a continuous development programme that will ensure that appraisers have to attend various industry events, provide data or articles to journals, rather than simply carry on being accredited by simply turning up at the annual event in the USA," he states.

Seymour also defends the appraiser's community, which has been challenged by its industry peers over the past few years.

"Some appraisal work has been the subject of criticism in the past in terms of the spread of appraised values. We need to educate not only our own members but the wider finance community as to how and why there can be divergence," he says

Data points, or rather lack of them, are the one of the main challenges. "This is not new - the more data points the better but the nature of aircraft transactions is that they more often than not remain confidential."

The appraiser programme is open to any candidates with high level education and two years full time appraisal work. The candidate needs to be sponsored by another certified appraiser with at least five years experience. Education includes the submission of two appraisal reports including inspection, as well as passing three written examinations: ethics, finance/appraisal, technical.