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Letters of Reference

Applicants for an Agent in Training Licence (Class 3) and those applying to be Class 1 Licensees must provide letters of reference with their application. They assist the Registrar in determining if the applicant satisfies the requirements for the licence class, and in particular the requirements of residence, good character1 and fitness to practice2. The letter may also address other registration requirements such as language proficiency, if the writer has knowledge relating to that.

What is the Registrar looking for?

There is no prescribed form or content for letters of reference. Anyone can act as a Referee.

To serve their purpose a letter of reference should contain the subjective knowledge of the writer.

To assist the Registrar, some things they should address are:

  • the referee’s knowledge of and connection with the applicant;
  • the circumstances in which they have known them, e.g., as a supervisor, a colleague, a friend or family member;
  • the applicant’s integrity and competence, considering the Referee’s understanding of the highest standards of the profession that are required to preserve the trust, respect and confidence of both members of the profession and the public;
  • If the letter is addressing residence, the basis on which the Referee can vouch for the Canadian residence of the applicant; and
  • If the letter is addressing language proficiency in either English or French, the basis on which the Referee can vouch for oral and written language proficiency of the applicant

A sample paragraph a Referee could use to contextualize their knowledge and provide information to the Registrar could state:

I understand a person of good character is one who demonstrates qualities of honesty, fairness, candour, trustworthiness, observance of fiduciary responsibility, respect for and obedience to the laws that govern our lives, respect for and compliance with professional ethics governing patent and trademark agents and respect for the rights of all involved in legal processes, especially those involving intellectual property. A person of good character shows respect for all persons regardless of personal characteristics or background and does not discriminate against anyone.

These characteristics should then be applied to the applicant.

The Letter of Reference should be signed in ink or digitally by the Referee and sent directly to registration-inscription@cpata-cabamc.ca , including the name of the person for whom the letter is provided.

The Registrar may contact the Referee for further information or clarification if required.

REFERENCES

1 Good character

College By-Law 3 (1) If the Registrar must determine whether an applicant is of good character, the Registrar must do so by assessing the applicant’s integrity and competence in accordance with the highest standards of the profession in order to preserve the trust, respect and confidence of members of the profession and the public.

2 Fitness to practise

College By-law (2) If the Registrar must determine whether a person is fit to practise the Registrar must do so by assessing the person’s ability to be a licensee with sufficient knowledge, skill and judgment that is not substantially impaired by a physical, mental or emotional condition, disorder or addiction.