Education and Professional Standards Committee

Education and Professional Standards Committee

  • Scroll down the page to see the Committee's terms of reference, or click here to view as a PDF.

    Simone Ferrara (Chair)

    Click here to view a full list of committee members and their working group


    The members of the IPReg Education & Qualifications Committee receive the papers for information.  


    Education & Professional Standards Committee Terms of Reference

    1. Purpose

    1.1. The Education & Professional Standards Committee is a Committee of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA). The purpose of the Education & Professional Standards Committee is to advise Council on, and to carry out Council’s instructions on, all matters relating to professional standards and the education and training needs of CIPA members, and in particular to make recommendations on strategy and policy for CIPA on such matters.

    1.2. The Education & Professional Standards Committee draws its mandate and authority directly from Council. The Education & Professional Standards Committee reports to Council and is responsible to Council for all of its activities.


    2. Responsibilities

    Status & Learning

    2.1. To develop, support and promote the overarching professional standards (including skills, knowledge and competence) expected or recommended by CIPA for its members.

    2.2. To develop, support and promote a culture of continuing professional development (CPD) for CIPA members.

    2.3. To assist in developing and implementing education and training programmes for the benefit of CIPA members.

    2.4. To support CIPA members in acquiring the professional standards expected or recommended by CIPA.

    2.5. To assist members in complying with qualification and CPD requirements set for them by external regulatory bodies.


    Influence

    2.6. To liaise with appropriate external organisations (including relevant regulatory bodies, examination boards and training providers), stakeholders and influencers on matters related to the education and training of CIPA members, and in general, on any aspects of their work which affect, or have the potential to affect, CIPA members, and to represent the interests of CIPA members and their clients before such organisations.

    2.7. To engage with the membership and external partners on policy issues relating to education and professional standards, particularly in responding to consultations and in developing policy for CIPA and disseminating information both internally and externally.

    2.8. To develop, support and promote programmes, materials and events to raise awareness of, and inform about, careers in the IP professions.

    2.9. To keep under review, and to inform and advise Council on, both internal and external developments in education, training or professional standards, including those relating to professional qualifications or entry into the IP profession and those relating to the reputation and standing of CIPA or its members.

    2.10. To assist Council in the development and implementation of appropriate responses to such developments, in the interests of CIPA members and their clients.

    2.11. To assist Council and any other relevant Committee to develop, implement and disseminate policies and position statements insofar as they relate to education and professional standards matters, and to provide expertise and advice on policy issues relating to education and professional standards.


    Community

    2.12. To encourage and support expertise-sharing throughout the IP professions, both among CIPA members and between CIPA members and other relevant professionals.

    2.13. To encourage and support the sharing of resources between CIPA members for the purposes of education, training and professional development.

    2.14. To liaise with the Informals Committee regarding the interests of student members of CIPA, insofar as they relate to education, training and professional standards.

    2.15. To assist in the development and promotion of programmes for increasing diversity in, and widening access to, the IP professions through educational, training and external awareness-raising activities.


    3. Composition

    3.1. The membership of the Education & Professional Standards Committee is approved annually by Council. The Committee shall comprise a Steering Committee and any sub-committees/working groups in accordance with clause 3.4. The membership of the Steering Committee shall be as follows:

    a. The Chair;
    b. The Vice-Chair;
    c. Up to ten members of CIPA with an interest or expertise in education, training and/or professional standards; 
    d. Up to three lay members with expertise in education, training and/or professional standards (who shall not vote); and
    e. Members of CIPA’s staff with expertise in education, training and/or professional standards (who shall not vote).

    3.2. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall have the power to co-opt under terms it sees fit occasional non-voting members, who may be members of CIPA or external to it, based on the skills and expertise they bring to the work of the Committee.

    3.3. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall have the power to request the attendance of other members of CIPA’s staff and advisers where their skills and expertise are relevant to a matter under scrutiny.

    3.4. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall be responsible for taking any decision within the Education & Professional Standards Committee in accordance with the present Terms of Reference

    3.5. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall have the power to establish, and to carry out some of its activities through, sub-committees or working groups, and shall oversee the work of such sub-committees and working groups. A sub-committee or working group may comprise members of the Steering Committee and/or co-opted non-members.

    3.6. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall have the power to amend the present Terms of Reference as and when required and submit them to Council for approval. Any amended Terms of Reference shall become effective only if approved by Council.


    4. Quorum and voting

    4.1. The quorum for the Education & Professional Standards Committee shall be three voting members, one of whom shall be the Chair or Vice-Chair. A member attending via external conferencing facilities shall be counted for this purpose.

    4.2. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall strive to arrive at decisions by consensus. In the event of a vote a simple majority shall be required.


    5. Frequency of meetings

    5.1. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall meet at least four times each year, following a schedule which allows it to discharge its responsibilities and to facilitate timely and accurate reporting to Council.


    6. Chair

    6.1. The Chair of the Steering Committee shall be appointed by Council on an annual basis. Ideally the Chair shall be a member of Council but where this is not possible, Council shall appoint a rapporteur who shall be counted as one of the ten CIPA members appointed to the Committee. No Chair shall serve a term greater than five consecutive years.

    6.2. The Steering Committee shall elect a Vice-Chair from among the CIPA members appointed by Council. The Vice-Chair will take control of proceedings in the absence of the Chair but this is not a model for succession and there is no expectation that the Vice-Chair will succeed the Chair at the end of the term of office.

    6.3. The Chair of the Steering Committee shall be responsible for establishing and managing the governance of the Education & Professional Standards Committee in accordance with the present Terms of Reference.


    7. Communication and accountability

    7.1. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall report to Council on all the activities it undertakes, as and when required.

    7.2. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall work together with the Internal Governance Committee (IGC) in order to allow the IGC to perform its governance functions established in the IGC Terms of Reference.

    7.3. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall provide a written report to Council within one calendar month of each Committee meeting.

    7.4. The Education & Professional Standards Committee shall make whatever recommendations to Council it deems appropriate on any area within its remit.

    7.5. The minutes of each Education & Professional Standards Committee meeting shall be made available to Council and a report of each meeting shall be made for publication in the CIPA Journal or through other appropriate channels of communication.

    7.6. The Chair or the Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Education & Professional Standards Committee shall attend the CIPA annual general meeting to respond to questions or matters relating to the work of the Committee.


    8. Conduct and behaviour

    8.1. All members of the Education & Professional Standards Committee shall behave in a manner befitting the status and remit of the Committee and shall endeavour to attend all meetings in person or via external conferencing facilities.

    8.2. All members of the Education & Professional Standards Committee shall respect the sensitive nature of some the topics considered by the Committee, particularly when dealing with confidential data and information relating to CIPA members or other Committee members and other data subjects as defined by the Data Protection Act.

    8.3. Any allegation of conduct or behaviour not befitting the status and remit of the Committee will be investigated by Council and may result in a sanction being applied, up to and including removal from the Committee.