Introductory Patent Paralegal Course (IPPC)

About the Course

The Introductory Patent Paralegal Course (IPPC) is the essential first step to becoming a Paralegal member. This course is only available from CIPA.

Running for over 20 years, the CIPA-run course has been instrumental in creating hundreds of fully trained Paralegals who are now confident to carry out their roles all over the country.

The course is completely virtual and will cover all of the topics new Paralegals need to be able to deliver day to day tasks confidently, e.g. patent principles, GB applications, and PCT with a mixture of webinar recordings, independent study and optional virtual support sessions (online).

The IPPC runs for around 12 weeks from September to December, with an exam the following January.

In addition to receiving a qualification, if you pass IPPC you can apply for paralegal membership at CIPA which would be at no additional charge to you until the next membership cycle. With your CIPA membership, you can enjoy webinars and networking opportunities, and you will also receive a regular newsletter with all the latest Paralegal news.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

Important notes:

  • The course has limited capacity and is first come, first served. Once we have reached maximum capacity, there will not be a waiting list; therefore, candidates will need to try again for next year’s course.
  • In addition, we are no longer limiting spaces on the course per firm.
  • Candidates should only use their own online account to make an application for the course and not that of another user. Doing so may risk the place being cancelled.

Payments can be made by credit or debit card at the time of application or by invoice. Invoices will need to be settled by no later than 26 August 2024 Failing to pay the invoices in time will mean losing the place on the course.

Click here to register

 

  • Key information
    Online Registration Opens 10:00am Monday 10 June 2024
    Online Registration Closes 5:00pm Friday 26 July 2024 (or when capacity is reached)
    Course cost £490 including VAT
    ICPA Exam fee £440 (no VAT applied)
    Total for course and exam £930 including VAT

    Please note: payments can be made by credit or debit card at the time of applying or by invoice. Invoices will need to be settled by no later than Friday 26 August 2024. Failing to pay the invoices in time will mean losing the place on the course. In addition, we are no longer limiting spaces on the course per firm, meaning firms are now able to enrol as many candidates as they wish.

    If you are applying from outside the UK, please reach out to us at [email protected] to discuss VAT exemption.

  • Course Structure

    Following the feedback from 2023, the course will run in a slightly different way to try to support students as much as possible. Most of the sessions will be pre-recorded as webinars to watch in students’ own time.

    The activity review sessions will be held as live webinars where students will have a chance to ask questions through the Q&A box. These sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the student and mentor hubs the same day.

    We will hold one optional virtual tutorial session towards the end of the course. This is intended for students if they need extra support. More information will be shared on this at a later date. Students will need to register and submit their queries in advance for this session. Sessions may be recorded, and registration will be taken as permission for recording and sharing the webinar.

    Below are key dates for this year’s course:

    Mentor Information Webinar 12:30pm Thursday 5 September 2024
    Introductory Unit 12:30pm Monday 2 September 2024
    Unit 2 GB 12:30pm Monday 9 September 2024
    Unit 2 GB Activity Review Live Webinar 12:30pm Friday 20 September 2024
    Unit 3 PCT 12:30pm Monday 30 September 2024
    Unit 3 PCT Activity Review Live Webinar 12:30pm Friday 11 October 2024
    Unit 4 EP and UPC 12:30pm Monday 21 October 2024
    Unit 4 EP and UPC Activity Review Live Webinar 12:30pm Friday 8 November 2024
    Unit 5 and Revision 12:30pm Monday 18 November 2024
    Unit 5 Designs Activity Review Live Webinar 12:30pm Friday 29 November 2024
    Online Mock ICPA Examination Thursday 12 December 2024
    ‘Face-to-face’ Virtual Tutorial Session TBC
    Online ICPA Examination Thursday 23 January 2025
    ICPA Examination results Monday 28 April 2025

     

  • Entry Requirements

    It is essential that candidates have a minimum of 6-12 months relevant work experience by the time the course starts.

    A prior qualification is not required.

    Mentors

    All students will be required to nominate a mentor who will be able to help them with the set activities and will be available to meet with them to answer any questions.

    The mentor can be a patent attorney, a senior administrator, or any other person able to provide active support and guidance. It is helpful if the mentor is a senior administrator or if they have successfully completed the CIPA Introductory Patent Paralegal Course, but this is not essential.

  • About the ICPA Qualification

    About the ICPA qualification

    This qualification includes the underlying principles, the essential legal background and the practice of Patent and Design Administration.

    It encourages the development of knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of the structure, personnel and functions of a patent department, including the work of patent attorneys and support staff.

    It encourages utilisation and expansion of candidates’ existing knowledge, and supports them in their day to day role and career aspirations.

    The assessment requires the development of skills in and understanding of the formalities role and is a gateway qualification for the advanced course.

    Aims of the ICPA qualification

    The aims of the qualification are to develop:

    • the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with the filing and prosecution formalities of GB,
      EP and PCT patent applications;
    • an awareness of design formalities;
    • the ability to review correspondence to identify formalities deadlines and actions required;
    • an understanding of the critical importance of meeting legal requirements and deadlines.
  • THE ICPA Examination

    The examination, Introductory Certificate of Patent Administrators (ICPA) is administered by the Patent Examination Board (PEB). In registering for the examination, candidates are agreeing to be bound by the Patent Examination Board policies.

    Candidates and mentors should refer to the ICPA examination syllabus effective from September 2024 for full information about the syllabus content and the examination.

    The syllabus is assessed via a closed book examination. It is two hours in length with an additional 15 minutes reading time allowed before candidates may start writing. The law that will be assessed is the law that is current at the date of the last taught session of the course.

    The questions will test the syllabus subject content and learning outcomes. Each question paper will comprise of questions with a marks range from 1 to 15 and all the questions will be compulsory. The question paper will be out of 80 marks. All units, but not necessarily all the learning outcomes, will be assessed in all question papers.

    The questions will be:

    1. form-based;
    2. short answer questions such as data entry or date calculations;
    3. longer answer questions where an explanation is required;
    4. a short scenario with related questions. (The scenario materials will either be part of the question or provided as a separate scenario.)

    Additionally, questions may be set which relate to the scenario presented in any form-based question.

    If reasoning, explanation and/or calculation workings are required in an answer, the question will advise the candidate accordingly.

    Materials provided in the examination        

    Calendars for the relevant years and Patent Offices closure dates will always be provided where needed. Any other materials which the examiners wish candidates to have in order to answer a question will also be provided either as part of the question or separately.

  • Re-sitting the ICPA Examination

    If a candidate has failed an examination at or within 10% of the pass mark, they can sit the next scheduled examination without re-attending the course. If a candidate fails the examination at the second attempt, they will be required to retake the whole course and examination, regardless of the mark gained in the second examination.

    If a candidate has failed an examination by more than 10% below the pass mark, they must retake the whole course and sit that course’s examination.

    Online Registration Opens – 10:00am Monday 10 June 2024
    Online Registration Closes – 5:00pm Friday 26 July 2024 (or when capacity is reached)
    Virtual Mock ICPA Exam – Thursday 12 December 2024
    Virtual Final ICPA Exam – Thursday 23 January 2025
    ICPA Exam Results – Monday 28 April 2025

    Please note candidates for examination only will only receive last year’s course materials, and will not receive the materials for the current year. A list of all major changes in the course material will be provided, and students are expected to do research by themselves.

    Examination only cost (ICPA) – £440.00 (no VAT applied)

  • Policies

    Course payment

    Payments can be made by credit or debit card at the time of applying or by invoice. Invoices will need to be settled by no later than 26 August 2024. Failing to pay the invoices in time will mean losing the place on the course.

    Withdrawal policy

    If a candidate withdraws from the course, the fee paid is neither refundable nor transferable after registration onto the course has been confirmed by CIPA.

  • Quality Assurance

    Policy for the review, quality assurance and updating of learning materials

    The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the teaching materials for this course reflect the syllabus, meet the demands of the syllabus, are up to date, engaging, and free from error.

    CIPA is responsible for ensuring both the quality of the materials and that the reviews take place.

    Feedback from students and tutors

    Feedback will be sought from tutors and student. This data will be analysed and materials adapted or amended as required before the next course is delivered.

    Systematic review

    Periodically, and no less than annually, all the learning materials will be reviewed to ensure that the materials are accurate with regard to changes in the law and content. Data on the performance of candidates on individual examination questions will also be considered to confirm that the course materials are fit for purpose

    Reporting

    Information on feedback sought and/or given, the systematic review, and the details of any action taken, will be logged and stored. It will be available for scrutiny, to the external examiner and reported on as required.

    Policy for the quality assurance, monitoring and review of teaching quality

    The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the teaching quality on the course is consistently graded good or excellent by students.

    CIPA is responsible for ensuring both the standard of teaching quality and that the reviews take place.

    Tutor selection

    All tutors will be assessed against criteria including teaching experience and subject knowledge. The highest scoring candidates will be selected.

    Tutor training

    All tutors will be required to undertake training on the course content and course delivery before delivering the course for the first time. Thereafter they will be required to attend all or
    part of this or other training where either the course content has changed significantly, or where there have been performance issues.

    Quality of teaching

    • All students will be solicited for their judgement of the quality of teaching of the tutors.
    • Any complaints, informal student feedback, or tutor feedback will also be considered
      alongside the student assessment of the quality of teaching.
    • Tutors will be given the feedback from their students. CIPA will write to each tutor after each course and may a) invite them to teach again, b) ask them to attend training c) advise them of any issues that need to be addressed. CIPA reserves the right not to engage tutors who do not perform at the required minimum standard.

     

    Reporting and Analysis

    Information on the outputs of the quality of teaching process will be available for scrutiny by the Patent Examination Board (PEB) and the Principal Examiners.

     

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