Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the European qualifying examination
The Examination Secretariat,
Having regard to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives (REE) which entered into force on 1 January 2009 (OJ EPO 2009, 9), and in particular Article 9, paragraph 2, letter b, thereof, has decided with effect from 1 January 2012 as follows:
1. These instructions shall apply to both the pre-examination and the main examination, which consists of the four papers A, B, C and D.
2. After they have taken their seats in the hall, but before the starting signal has been given, candidates may ask questions orally regarding the conduct of the pre-examination or the main examination. After the starting signal has been given, any questions must be put in writing. Questions relating to the wording of the papers will normally not be answered.
3. For each paper, candidates shall occupy the seat they have been allocated in the hall for that paper, unless otherwise advised.
4. Candidates are advised to bring to the pre-examination or the main examination any books and documents they consider useful for answering the examination papers1.
5. Candidates may also bring additional materials, with the exception of the items mentioned under point 9(a) and (b) below. They may not, however, append any of these materials and documents mentioned under point 4, or any sections thereof, to their answer paper.
6. When the starting signal is given, candidates shall check that the examination paper is complete and sign on the coloured labelled cover sheet. They shall not write their name or initials on any of the sheets of EQE lined paper nor shall they use their name or initials in their answers.
7. Candidates who arrive after the starting signal may not make up the lost time after the closing signal unless, in exceptional cases, the chief invigilator decides otherwise.
8. The end of a paper will be announced five minutes before the closing signal is given.
9. Candidates are not permitted to:
(a) bring to the pre-examination or the main examination any electronic devices other than an analogue wrist watch with no additional options, unless express prior permission to use such devices has been given by the Examination Secretariat;
(b) use staplers or other materials that may disturb other candidates;
(c) include in their answer paper any prepared material (e.g. lists of abbreviations and/or time lines);
(d) paste or staple sheets of their answer paper together;
(e) open the envelope containing the examination paper before the starting signal has been given, unless instructed to do so by an invigilator;
(f) communicate with each other during the period between the starting signal and the closing signal;
(g) smoke in the hall or in any other part of the examination centre.
10. Eating and drinking are allowed as long as this does not disturb the other candidates.
11. Only with the explicit consent of an invigilator and provided that they hand in the question paper and their answer paper, candidates may leave the hall before the end of the time allotted for the paper. Candidates shall not be allowed to leave the hall during the last 30 minutes of the paper.
12. If a candidate disturbs other candidates during a paper, the chief invigilator shall be empowered to suspend him at once from the paper during which this occurs. The chief invigilator shall then draw up a report including any evidence of the disturbance.
13. If a candidate wants to file a complaint concerning the conduct of the pre-examination or the main examination, he shall submit it to the chief invigilator, together with a written statement of the facts, at the latest 30 minutes after the closing signal of the paper concerned has been given.
14. The invigilators shall take the names of candidates who do not comply with these instructions and report to the Examination Board any other relevant circumstances.
15. Candidates shall bring a black medium soft HB pencil and suitable eraser as well as a pencil sharpener.
16. In the hall, each candidate will be supplied with:
(a) a single copy of the examination paper in the three official languages of the European Patent Office,
(b) a personal answer sheet consisting of the coloured labelled cover sheet and answer page on the reverse side.
17. When giving their answers, candidates shall use the black medium soft HB pencil to fill in accurately and clearly the circles on their personal answer sheet.
18. When the closing signal is given, candidates must:
(a) stop writing immediately,
(b) place the personal answer sheet to one side of their desk and remain seated until the personal answer sheet is collected by an invigilator.
19. Answer sheets are corrected in the form in which they are handed in by candidates on the day of the pre-examination. Therefore any subsequent objections will not be considered.
III. Main examination
20. Candidates shall bring a black or blue pen.
21. In the hall, each candidate will be supplied with:
(a) a single copy of the relevant examination paper in the three official languages of the European Patent Office,
(b) a sufficient supply of lined DIN A4 labelled paper ("EQE lined paper"), to be used for writing their answers,
(c) a coloured labelled cover sheet,
(d) for Papers A and B, upon request and in exchange for the paper already received, a copy of the examination paper in the technical specialisation other than the one indicated on their application form.
22. When preparing their answers,
(a) candidates shall write legibly; illegible scripts will not be marked,
(b) they shall write with a black or blue pen only and not use any highlighter pens on the answer papers (the answer papers will be photocopied for marking),
(c) they shall write their answers on the EQE lined paper or on entire sheets of the examination paper only, unless they use the pre-printed opposition form as specified in Rule 25(3) of the Implementing Provisions to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination (IPREE),
(d) they shall write on the lined side of the EQE lined paper only and number each sheet at the top in consecutive Arabic numerals,
(e) they may also cut out parts of the examination paper and paste them on the EQE lined paper.
23. It is the sole responsibility of candidates to ensure that any cut and pasted parts are properly fixed to the EQE lined paper as answer papers will be photocopied for marking. Any cut and pasted parts not properly fixed and which might become unstuck or go missing during the photocopying process, will not be considered for marking.
24. When the closing signal is given, candidates must:
(a) stop writing immediately,
(b) place the answer paper together with the signed coloured labelled cover sheet in the envelope provided (no other documents may be placed in the envelope) and place it to one side of their desk and remain seated until the envelope is collected by an invigilator.
25. Should a candidate realise, before leaving the examination hall, that he has forgotten to place part of his answer paper in the envelope, he should inform the chief invigilator immediately. The part concerned must be placed in a separate envelope indicating the candidate's name as well as the date and time when the missing part was handed in and must be signed by the candidate. The Examination Board shall decide whether or not any such late-filed pages are to be deemed part of the answer paper and marked accordingly.
26. Answer papers are corrected in the form in which they are handed in by candidates on the day of the paper in question. Therefore any subsequent objections concerning the numbering or sequence of the answer papers, as well as comments on the content of the answer papers, shall not be taken into account.