What is considered as professional employment/training? Which kind of interruptions may affect my periods of professional training?

What kind of training is required?

The key criteria for the required training period are that the candidate trains in one of the contracting states to the European Patent Convention under the supervision of one or more persons entered on the list of professional representatives before the EPO (Article 134(1) EPC), as an assistant to that person or those persons, and that in the said period they take part in a wide range of activities pertaining to European patent applications or European patents (see Article 11(2)(a) REE). Whilst most candidates enter into a standard employment contract with the supervising professional representative or the company they work for, an employment contract is not required by the REE.

How does furlough affect a candidate's training situation?

Furlough can affect a candidate's training situation. If furlough interrupts the training period, this must be reported to the Examination Secretariat. If training and the required activities pertaining to it (see above) continue despite furlough, there is no need for any further action.

Who must report a change in the training situation?

The supervising professional representative and the candidate both have an obligation to report any change in the training situation as set out in Article 11(2)(a) REE. They have both agreed to this obligation by signing the training certificate. However, if the change has been reported by one of the two parties, there is no need for any further action by the other party. In case of doubt, both parties should report a change.

What are the possible consequences of an interruption of the training period?

If, due to an interruption of the training period (possibly as a result of furlough), the required overall training period is not completed, the condition for enrolment is not fulfilled and the candidate may not enrol for the examination.