Reason for a Signed Certification Statement
The USPAP Certification Statement is required to be included in all USPAP-compliant appraisals. Appraisals that do not include the Statement are not USPAP-compliant and should be avoided. USPAP’s FAQ #231 (2012-2013 version of USPAP) breaks down the mandated USPAP Certification Statement.
Question: Why does USPAP require an appraiser to include a signed Certification Statement in all written reports, and in the workfile for all reports, whether oral or written.
Response: A signed Certification Statement evidences an appraiser’s recognition of his or her ethical obligations. Except for the discipline-specific terms for professional assistance and the fact that STANDARD 10 [Business Appraisal, Reporting] does not require comment on a personal inspection, the appraiser’s USPAP Certification Statement is the same for all written reports covered by the USPAP Standards 1 through 10.
The elements of the Certification Statement that apply to appraisal “development” are listed as follows (this example was taken from Standards Rule 8-3 for personal property appraisals):
- the statements of fact contained in this report are true and correct.
- the reported analyses, opinions, and conclusions are limited only by the reported assumptions and limiting conditions and are my personal, impartial, and unbiased professional analyses, opinions, and conclusions.
- I have no (or the specified) present or prospective interest in the property that is the subject of this report and no (or the specified) personal interest with respect to the parties involved.
- I have no bias with respect to the property that is the subject of this report or to the parties involved with this assignment.
- my engagement in this assignment was not contingent upon developing or reporting predetermined results.
- my compensation for completing this assignment is not contingent upon the development or reporting of a predetermined value or direction in value that favors the cause of the client, the amount of the value opinion, the attainment of a stipulated result, or the occurrence of a subsequent event directly related to the intended use of this appraisal.
The element of the Certification Statement that applies to appraisal “development and reporting” is:
- my analyses, opinions, and conclusions were developed, and this report has been prepared, in conformity with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
The last two items have to do with disclosures relative to inspections and significant appraisal assistance provided by others:
- I have (or have not) made a personal inspection of the property that is the subject of this report. (If more than one person signs this Certification, the Certification must clearly specify which individuals did and which individuals did not make a personal inspection of the appraised property.)
- no one provided significant personal property appraisal assistance to the person signing this certification. (If there are exceptions, the name of each individual providing significant personal property appraisal assistance must be stated here.)
(Based on 2012-2013 edition of USPAP ©The Appraisal Foundation)