How do you become a Designated Engineering Representative or DER?

A DER is an individual, appointed in accordance with 14 CFR  183.29, who holds an engineering degree or equivalent, possesses technical knowledge and experience, and meets the qualification requirements of Order 8100.8D.

A DER may be appointed to act as a Company DER and/or Consultant DER.

  • Company DERs can act as DER for their employer and may only approve, or recommend approval, of technical data to the FAA for the company.
  • Consultant DERs are individuals appointed to act as an independent (self-employed) DER to approve or recommend approval of technical data to the FAA.

The followings are the General (but not the only requirements):

a. Interpersonal skills, including the following:

  • (1) Command of the English Language — Spoken. All designees must have sufficient command of the English language to allow the designee to perform assigned functions.
  • (2) Command of the English Language — Written. All designees must have the ability to write clear, concise, informative, and meaningful documents and reports.

b. Integrity, professionalism, and sound judgment: All designees must possess and maintain a reputation in the aviation industry, their profession, and the community for a high degree of integrity, honesty, professionalism, dependability, sound judgment, and a cooperative attitude. (Company applicants must include a statement from the company attesting to these attributes.)

c. Three verifiable character references are required to substantiate that the applicant possesses integrity and sound judgment. These references may be the same persons used for technical references.

d. The applicant must have significant experience in a direct working relationship with the FAA office in which the applicant seeks appointment. The applicant’s experience must be related to the processing of engineering data pertaining to FAA approval of the type in which the applicant is seeking appointment. The applicant’s range of activities in obtaining FAA approvals must have been adequate enough to enable the FAA to determine that the applicant is cognizant of the technical and procedural requirements involved in obtaining such approvals and that the applicant is well-versed in all pertinent regulation(s).

e. The applicant’s place of residence must be in the United States, but U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for appointment.

f. For company DERs, the applicant must report to a level of management in the organization sufficient to enable the applicant to administer the pertinent regulations effectively without undue pressure or influence from other organizational elements.

g. The applicant must have the ability to maintain the highest degree of objectivity while performing authorized functions on behalf of the FAA.

h. The applicant’s position within a company should not result in any significant conflict of interest.

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