FAQ - European patent administration certification

Is this exam only for candidates from EPO member states?

No, the exam is open to everyone.

How often can I enrol for the EPAC?

You can enrol every year.

How often does the EPAC take place?

It takes place once a year, at the end of the year.

If I hold a similar national certification, am I automatically entitled to the EPAC?

No, you must take the EPAC.

Where can I find out more about tailormade EPAC training courses?

The EPO provides training material for EPAC candidates. This material is available in English only and can be accessed via EPAC Training material.

How can I follow the training programme? Will courses be online or classroom-based onsite? How comprehensive is the training material? How much will I have to pay?

Courses will be available online and free of charge. They will provide access to over 20 PowerPoint presentations and related documents. Almost all the topics defined in the syllabus will be covered.

To enrol, do I need proof that I have been on a course?

You can enrol for the EPAC exam without following any courses, and you don't have to enrol for the exam to follow the EPO's EPAC course.

How you prepare for the EPAC exam is up to you.

The EPO's Academy provides training materials, and external providers will likely offer EPAC courses in the future.

If I withdraw after enrolling, can I get a refund if I present a medical certificate?

No, enrolment payments are non-refundable (and cannot be used for subsequent enrolments).

Can I get an invoice for the EPAC exam fees?

No, candidates only receive a payment confirmation.

What is the minimum score I need for the full examination paper to be marked?

If a candidate gets less than eight points in the first part of the exam, then the second part is not marked. If, however, after a successful review process, the candidate gets eight points or more for the first part, then the second part will be marked.

How long are exam passes valid?

The EPAC is a certification – it is not valid for a particular period of time. By passing the EPAC you show that on the date of the examination you were able to manage the work of a patent paralegal.

Can I register for the mock exam without enrolling for the real exam?

No, the mock exam is only open to candidates who have enrolled for the real exam.

What are the technical requirements to sit the EPAC?

1. The examination system Wiseflow will be used for the EPAC online.

(a) Candidates require the necessary technical equipment as set out in the WISEflow documentation available on the WISEflow website.

(b) In particular, the lockdown browser will have to be used during the examination.

(c) This browser has to be installed and run with administrative privileges on the candidate’s personal computer.

(d) The use of iPads is not allowed.

(e) The examination will be remotely invigilated, and therefore a webcam, a microphone and speakers shall be connected. An external camera with a resolution of 720p HD with built in microphone is recommended, particularly if a large external monitor is used.

2. The hardware used by candidates must comply in particular with the following requirements:

(a) The microphone must capture the sound around the candidate and must be connected and active throughout the examination.

(b) The camera should be positioned centred above or below the frame of the active screen, but not more than 5 cm away from it. The camera is to be oriented to show a frontal portrait image of the candidate when looking at the screen. The camera must not be covered at any time.

(c) Speaker audio settings must be adjusted to pick up sounds from the internet browser at audible volume levels.

Should I use my corporate or my private environment?

Corporate computers and networks often have a strict security policy. In this respect, some candidates have experienced issues with the lockdown browser (e.g. interruption of flow), with the use of camera and microphone or with the reliability of the network connection used by the lockdown browser and IP address issues.

To mention some elements to be checked (list non-exhaustive): software rights management; screen or power savers; automatic system or software updates; hardware rights management for camera or microphone; virus scanners; change of IP addresses in corporate networks; firewalls security configurations.

If you experience issues during the mock examinations, which cannot be solved, it is strongly advised to either contact your IT department to solve the issues within your corporate IT Policy or most advisable is to use another (private) computer or network.

Will I need an internet connection?

Yes, you must ensure a robust and direct internet connection (not through VPN) for the duration of each flow. Whilst Wifi works in principle, we recommend a wired connection.

What are the system requirements?

To sit the examination, you require the necessary technical equipment as set out in the WISEflow documentation available on the WISEflow website. You should follow the WISEflow recommendations for configuring your environment: https://epo-wiseflow.ladesk.com/772936-Lockdown-computer-recommendations

The use of iPads for the exam is not allowed.

To install and launch the lockdown browser, you will need system administrator rights on the computer.

What about my screensaver, screen lock, or power-saving?

The screensaver (and any automatic lock after a period of inactivity) should be disabled. If this is not possible, the period should be set to as long as possible. You will have to take this period into account, avoiding that the screensaver or screen lock becomes active, because they can create instability and force the lockdown browser to close.

Similarly, power-saving functions should be disabled, such as those which cause the computer to automatically power off, sleep or hibernate.

What else should be deactivated on my computer?

Make sure that neither the virus scanner nor an automatic update nor any other program or app start during the examination. Start of a program or app during the exam can cause the lockdown browser to stop the examination.

Am I allowed to use keyboard shortcuts, special keys combinations, such as Alt+Tab, and touchpad gestures in the lockdown browser?

You are not allowed to use shortcuts (Alt+Tab, Ctrl+P or the like), key combinations and touchpad gestures in the lockdown browser, except the ones mentioned below. Using shortcuts is seen as an unauthorised action and can result in the lockdown browser to stop your examination.

The following Windows shortcuts are allowed, but only work in the editor (not in the “external internet resources”): Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Shift+V, Ctrl+F (and the corresponding Mac shortcuts).

Will calendars with EPO office closed dates or a schedule of fees be supplied with the examination papers?


Do I have access to the EPO legal texts and the PCT Applicant’s Guide in electronic form?

In the lockdown browser, you will have access to the EPO legal texts as "external resources". You will be able to navigate the webpage of the EPO legal texts located on the epo.org domain. Please note that archived versions of the EPO legal texts will not be accessible.

When consulting the legal texts, do not download the large pdf documents. Please navigate to the html version and the smaller pdfs only.

You will also have access to the PCT Applicant’s Guide as “external resources”.

I do not see the flows I am enrolled for. When are they available?

The flows will be made available in WISEflow shortly before the examination.

Where can I sit the exam and is anyone else allowed to be in the room with me?

You can sit the exam at any suitable location, e.g. your home or workplace. However, no other person is allowed to be in the room with you.

Will I be allowed to write my answers on paper and scan and upload it afterwards?

No, you will have to give your answers using the tools provided in the lockdown browser. It will not be possible to scan and upload your answers.

Will I be allowed to make notes on paper?

Yes, you will be allowed to make notes on paper, but they cannot form part of your answer.

How will my identity be checked?

You must hold your ID next to your face in each flow when taking the entry image. You will only be contacted should there be any issue.

How do I contact the support team in case of difficulties during the exam?

To contact the invigilator, you must use the integrated chat widget that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen once you are in the lockdown environment. Do not close the chat before you have received an answer, you can minimise the window with "-".

The invigilator can also contact you via the chat widget.

The chat widget is present in the first tab (editor tab) and remains active when you are on another tab.

If you cannot enter the flow and the chat widget is not available and only in an emergency case please call +49 89 2399 5155.

Communication via email will not be dealt with.

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