Education review

and online exams

In October 2021, a series of recommendations were released by a review group aiming to improve and modernise the training and examination of patent attorneys in the UK. The recommendations were the conclusions of the Mercer Review, commissioned by CIPA Council, and were intended to encourage further discussion and debate between key stakeholders that will lead to improvements in the systems, mechanisms and processes in place for patent attorney education, training and assessment.

The main recommendations aim to create:

  • A common standard of assessment for all trainees, regardless of the training route taken.
  • A relevant curriculum, which prepares trainees for the demands of patent attorney practice, now and in the future.
  • An open and fair training and assessment system which promotes diversity and inclusivity, where all trainees are equally prepared, regardless of where they work and any specific needs they might have.

The UK patent attorney profession changed in response to the world in which it operates. The review began just before the pandemic hit, but the impact of COVID-19, in particular the need to move at pace to online examinations, reinforced that the time was right to review the training and assessment of student patent attorneys.

The Mercer Review was commissioned by CIPA Council to examine the education, training and assessment arrangements for entry as a Registered Patent Attorney (RPA) onto the UK Register of Patent Attorneys maintained by IPReg and for election as a Fellow and Chartered Patent Attorney (CPA) of CIPA.

The review was conducted independently from the governance of the CIPA, and Council views itself as a stakeholder in the process, alongside partner organisations involved in the organisation of the education process.

Whilst CIPA is the Approved Regulator for the UK patent attorney profession, it is required by the Legal Services Board to delegate its regulatory activities to an independent regulatory body, IPReg. CIPA Council wanted to use its position as the representative body for the profession to carry out a review which was broad in scope and not limited to the regulatory focus.

Download Annual Report 2021

In PDF Format

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