Proposed Key Changes to The 2025 PEB Final Diploma Examinations

The Patent Examination Boad (PEB) submitted its application for re-accreditation of the Final Diploma (FD) to the Intellectual Property Regulator (IPReg) in 2022. IPReg re-accredited the FD examinations subject to PEB meeting 19 Requirements and two Recommendations. The PEB has carried out a full review of all four FD examinations, taking into account IPReg’s Requirements and Recommendations, as well as the recommendations of the Mercer Review Report.

The PEB notice to candidates with more information and timelines can be found here

You will find information about the proposed key changes to syllabi and examinations on this page below.

  • FD1 Advanced IP Law and Practice - Proposed Key Changes
    Key Change Rationale

    1

    Syllabus
    Syllabus presentation has been reformatted
    To provide more information and greater clarity for candidates and trainers
    Syllabus content is presented through learning outcomes and assessment criteria
    To provide greater clarity for candidates
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To meet IPReg Requirements
    Designs will no longer be tested
    Ethics will be tested in Part A in every session
    Understanding of patent law in Japan has been removed
    Global patent strategy with reference to China, Europe and the USA will be tested
    To update the syllabus content to better reflect the requirements of current professional practice
    To eliminate unnecessary duplication of content across FC and FD units
    To reduce the burden of assessment in FD1
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review
    Suggested Reading list has been completely reviewed and updated
    To provide improved support for candidates

    2

    Question Paper
    Part A will comprise three scenario-based questions totalling 25 marks
    Part B will comprise three longer scenario-based questions each worth 25 marks
    To focus assessment on application of the patent attorney’s professional skills rather than recitation of knowledge
    To reduce the amount of reading required in the examination
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review
    To reduce the burden of assessment in FD1
    Not all syllabus elements will be assessed in every session but will be assessed over time
    To reduce burden of assessment in FD1
    3 Mark Scheme
    Change from candidates accumulating marks to a more synoptic levels of response-style mark scheme which focuses the assessment process on achievement of the minimum competence standard
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review

     

  • FD2 Drafting of Specifications - Proposed Key Changes
    Key Change Rationale

    1

    Syllabus
    Syllabus presentation has been reformatted
    To provide more information and greater clarity for candidates and trainers
    Syllabus content is presented through learning outcomes and assessment criteria
    To provide greater clarity for candidates
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To meet IPReg Requirements
    Guidance is included on preparation for the examination
    Suggested Reading list has been completely reviewed and updated
    To provide improved support for candidates

    2

    Question Paper
    Requirement to annotate diagrams has been removed
    To respond to feedback from candidates
    To reduce the burden of assessment in FD2

    3

    Mark Scheme
    Change from candidates accumulating marks to a more synoptic levels of response-style mark scheme which focuses the assessment process on achievement of the minimum competence standard
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review

     

     

     

  • FD3 Amendment of Specifications - Proposed Key Changes
    Key Change Rationale

    1

    Syllabus
    Syllabus presentation has been reformatted
    To provide more information and greater clarity for candidates and trainers
    Syllabus content is presented through learning outcomes and assessment criteria
    To provide greater clarity for candidates
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To meet IPReg Requirements
    Some legal provisions have been removed from the content
    To remove duplication of content with other units
    Suggested Reading list has been completely reviewed and updated
    To provide improved support for candidates

    2

    Question Paper

    The number of claims and independent claims will be limited

    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review

    To reduce the burden of assessment in FD3

    3

    Mark Scheme
    Change from candidates accumulating marks to a more synoptic levels of response-style mark scheme which focuses the assessment process on achievement of the minimum competence standard
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review

     

     

     

  • FD4 Infringement and Validity - Proposed Key Changes
    Key Change Rationale

    1

    Syllabus
    Syllabus presentation has been reformatted
    To provide more information and greater clarity for candidates and trainers
    Syllabus content is presented through learning outcomes and assessment criteria
    To provide greater clarity for candidates
    To meet IPReg Requirements
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    Assessment of amendment, sufficiency, and advice to be incorporated in construction, infringement, novelty and inventive step
    To eliminate unnecessary duplication of content across FD units
    To reduce burden of assessment in FD4
    Suggested Reading list has been completely reviewed and updated
    To provide improved support for candidates

    2

    Question Paper
    Reduction in time for answering question paper to 4 hours
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review
    Pre-release material containing technical background information will be issued approximately two weeks before the examination
    To reduce the amount of reading material in the examination
    To enable candidates to familiarise themselves with the technical background to the invention, so that equality of access to assessment is enhanced for candidates with specific learning needs (such as dyslexia, ADHD etc) and for candidates from different technical backgrounds
    The assessment task provides improved clarity for candidates.
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review
    Not all syllabus elements will be assessed in every session but will be assessed over time
    To reduce burden of assessment in FD4

    3

    Mark Scheme
    Change from candidates accumulating marks to a more synoptic levels of response-style mark scheme which focuses the assessment process on achievement of the minimum competence standard
    To follow best practice in professional qualifications and assessment
    To respond to feedback from candidates, IPReg and the Mercer Review

     

     

     

FD1 Proposed Key Changes

FD2 Proposed Key Changes

FD3 Proposed Key Changes

FD4 Proposed Key Changes

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