Each year, several hundred scientists from different backgrounds, all recognised in their respective disciplines, take part in independent expert groups. Coordinated by ANSES, the work of these groups is carried out within a structured framework and according to strict ethical principles.
For all its health risk assessments, ANSES implements the same collective expert appraisal process based on groups of experts.
The different types of ANSES expert groups
- expert committees (CESs), whose field of competence is defined by ANSES and validated by the Board of Administrators following an opinion issued by the Scientific Board;
- ad hoc working groups (WGs), set up for specific topics to support the CESs;
- emergency collective expert appraisal groups (GECUs).
ANSES is responsible for the scientific and administrative coordination of these groups.
Go to the list of working groups and GECUs
How are its expert groups set up?
To select experts in the various disciplines called for, ANSES issues public calls for applications.
ANSES selects the experts while taking into account:
- recognised scientific skills in the field covered (training, professional experience, scientific publications, etc.);
- independence with regard to the topics addressed by the group, with a rigorous examination of their public declarations of interests (PDIs);
- the balance of the desired disciplines and skills within the group.
Experts are appointed by ANSES intuitu personae for a specific period and mandate (four years for the CESs). The composition of the CESs is then validated by the Agency's Scientific Board. The groups are renewed regularly.
In what framework do the experts conduct their work?
ANSES has established a framework to guarantee the quality and independence of its expert appraisal work.
ANSES relies on reference documents that are binding on the scientists when conducting the expert appraisals:
- Decree on the Charter for health-related expert appraisal (in French)
- ANSES's Code of Ethical Standards (PDF)
- Fundamental principles and key points of collective expert appraisal (PDF)
- Framework memorandum on the expert appraisal methodology (PDF) (in French)
To find out more, read the page on ANSES's scientific expert appraisals
Output of the expert groups
The Agency's opinions are based on the groups' expert appraisal work and conclusions. The opinions and reports are systematically made public on the Agency's website, subject to respect for confidential information protected by law, particularly information covered by industrial and commercial secrecy. They state the expert groups involved, the question asked, the methodology used, the arguments developed and the conclusions reached.
Go to ANSES’s opinions and reports
Minutes are drawn up for all expert group meetings leading to the adoption of conclusions. The Agency draws on the conclusions to issue an opinion on a matter of public health or safety prior to an administrative decision. In accordance with Article L.1451-1-1 of the Public Health Code, the minutes include the agenda, a record of the debates, and details and explanations of votes, including the expression of minority opinions.
Go to the minutes of the expert committee meetings