CPATA is seeking to implement meaningful competency standards for the profession. Led by an external consultant, the College has already embarked on a multi-year competency initiative which will culminate in the development of a new qualifying examination regimen to be implemented in 2024 (read about our competency initiative here).
The approach taken by CPATA will be data-driven and strive to minimize unnecessary barriers to entry into the profession while evaluating candidate skills more accurately. The new exams will benefit from improved validity, reliability and psychometric defensibility.
Most of the details of the new exam process are still unknown. Policy decisions regarding the number of components for each Part, the number of hours of each component, the number of attempts permitted at each component/part and how long a successful attempt will remain valid have not yet been made.
The technical competency profiles currently under development will be used to inform the new exam structure, which will include two parts:
Part 1: Assessment of Technical Fundamentals
A computer-based, multiple-choice examination will be developed to assess basic technical knowledge competencies for patent agents and trademark agents.
Candidates must pass Part 1 to be eligible for Part 2.
Part 2: Assessment of Qualifying Technical Competencies
A computer-based examination will be developed to assess more complex technical knowledge and skills competencies.
The current versions of the Qualifying Examinations will be offered in 2022 and 2023. Class 3 licensees will be required to transition into the new exam process in 2024 if they are unsuccessful with the 2022 or 2023 administrations.
There will be no carry forward of previously passed Papers after 2023. For example, if a candidate has passed Papers A and B but not Papers C and D in 2022 or 2023, they will not be able to carry forward Papers A and B after 2023. In other words, they will start the exam process from the beginning in 2024.