It is well known that expert systems are now achieving a variety of tasks with almost human expert performance. In some cases, expert systems are even better than humans. For example, expert systems are able to diagnose diseases, to fix failure in electrical networks, to create geological maps, etc. However they still are deficient in several domains. For example, they often remain brittle and do not integrate smoothly into industrial organisations. Therefore they require specialists to operate them. In this presentation, I will expose some of the causes that to my mind are responsible for that situation. By comparing the notion of competence in human beings and expert systems, I will point out some of the lacks of current systems. I will then give some clues for improvements and I will especially advocate the addition of a competence assessment module to the systems. Finally, I will discuss a possible architecture for this module and the repercussions on the core expert systems.A html version of the paper is available at http://ksi.cpsc.ucalgary.ca:80/KAW/ KAW96/KAW96Proc.html along with all the other papers accepted at KAW96.