Become a QPIP™

To become a Qualified Patent Information Profession (QPIP) there are two options:

Examination

QPIP certification can be obtained by successfully passing the QPIP examination. The ISBQPIP will organise the exams in an online format at least once every two years in February. The exams are open for patent information professionals in all countries and will be provided for five time regions across the world. The exams are spread over two full days.                                     

PER

There has been a one-time opportunity for experienced patent information professionals to obtain QPIP certification via Prior Experience Recognition (PER), based on provided evidence in most countries. In due course this PER opportunity will only become available for residents of China, India, Japan, South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

How to become a QPIP

For detailed information on the procedures please check the Articles and Rules. In particular, Rules 4 to 17 are relevant for those who wish to enrol for the examinations, and  Rules 18 to 21 are relevant for those who wish to apply for Prior Experience Recognition. Furthermore, it is advised to check the preview of the registration form before starting the application. 

Articles & Rules

The Articles are the legal instrument by which the ISBQPIP is established and the Rules are the implementing procedures that are used by the ISBQPIP to administer its duties.

Why Certification?

What are the reasons to set up a certification for patent information professionals? The advantages of becoming a Qualified Patent Information Professional (QPIP).

Frequentley Asked Questions

General

Is QPIP a license to practice?

The QPIP title does not give a license to practice, i.e. it will not be required in order to work as a patent information professional, but it indicates a competence level and ensures (future) employers that the QPIP is an all-round professional, being able to do any kind of patent related search and analysis.

Is there a fee for maintaining my QPIP registration?

A QPIP registration renewal fee will be due at the beginning of each calendar year to cover that calendar year. ISBQPIP is a not-for-profit organization, that will publish a financial report every year. As a not-for-profit organisation, the renewal fee will be set to ensure that all running costs are covered without a significant surplus accruing. For 2021 the annual renewal fee is set on EURO 100. For candidates who successfully pass the exam in February 2021, the examination fee includes the QPIP registration fee for 2021.

What is done with the personal information that I provide?

See Privacy Notice (link at the bottom of each page in the black area)

What are the tasks of the different ISBQPIP committees?

The major tasks of the committees are summarized below (for complete descriptions see the Articles and Rules):

Accreditation Committee: reviews applications for accreditation of training/course programs

Examination Committee: prepares the exam papers and reviews/marks the papers of the candidates (sub-groups may be formed to focus on specific aspects/technological areas of the exams)

Qualifications and Continued Professional Development Committee: reviews applications to enrol in the certification examination and reviews applications for Prior Experience Recognition. In addition, the committee will monitor developments in the profession to ensure that CPD requirements remain current. The committee will also assess activities to determine whether CPD points can be assigned, and if so, how many.

Regulatory and Disciplinary Committee: reviews complaints/appeals against acts/decisions of or within the ISBQPIP. In addition, the committee reviews complaints concerning alleged misconduct by a QPIP as well as assessing a QPIP's compliance or exemptions concerning the CPD requirements via a random audit.

The inaugural committee for each of these areas may need to develop procedures, forms and protocols in line with the Articles and Rules.

What is the time commitment involved in serving on an ISBQPIP committee?

Although the term of a committee member is typically three years, for the inaugural committees one member may step down (or be reappointed) after two years and one member should stay for at least four years to ensure continuity in the operation of the committee.

It is difficult to estimate how much work will be necessary to fulfil the different tasks of these committees. The amount of work will likely alternate between periods of more and less work at certain times throughout the calendar year. It is generally estimated that a committee member may spend anywhere from 3 hours to 10 hours per month or more depending on the circumstances.

It is likely that most of the tasks can be performed outside of business hours with perhaps the exception of any online communications (teleconferences or email correspondence) with other members of the committee that may need to be scheduled during business hours due to the availability of the committee members.

Exam

What are the requirements for enrolment for the examination?

(i) You must meet minimum work experience requirements:

At the time of applying for enrolment for the examination, you must have at least three (3) years of work experience with at least 60% of that time spent on searching patent information or a combination of searching and mentoring or a combination of searching and outsourcing or a combination of searching and overseeing search work of others according to the definitions in Rule 4.2 in each and every year of the 3 year period preceding the date of application.

AND

(ii) At the time of applying for enrolment for the examination, you must have completed at least forty-five (45) search projects as defined in Rule 4.3 within the three (3) years preceding the application, the search projects being conducted in the course of business (not for personal interest). A single search project can include several individual searches that all aim to answer the question(s) posed by that search project.

AND

(iii) You must meet minimum technical qualifications such as a university degree or work experience in a scientific or technical field as defined in Rule 4.4.

AND

(iv) You must pay the application fee of EURO 100 which is non-refundable, after your application has been reviewed and you have been accepted for enrolment for the examination. Acceptable forms of payment will include bank transfer or credit card (Mastercard or VISA).

AND

(v) You must confirm that you will abide by the QPIP Code of Conduct.

The Rules and Code of Conduct can be downloaded from the Documentation page.

What is the examination fee?

The examination application fee is EURO 100 which is non-refundable. Acceptable forms of payment will include bank transfer or credit card (Mastercard or VISA). The examination application fee covers the QPIP registration fee for 2021.

PER

What are the requirements for becoming a QPIP via PER?

(i) You must meet minimum work experience requirements:

At the time of applying for PER, you must have at least ten (10) years of work experience with at least 60% of that time spent on searching patent information or a combination of searching and mentoring or a combination of searching and outsourcing or a combination of searching and overseeing search work of others according to the definitions in Rule 4.2 in each and every year of the 10 year period preceding the date of application.

AND

(ii) You must meet minimum technical qualifications such as a university degree or work experience in a scientific or technical field as defined in Rule 18.3e.

AND

(iii) At the time of applying for PER, you must have completed a minimum of five (5) Continued Professional Development (CPD) points as defined in Rule 23.7 which must be accumulated in the twelve (12) months prior to applying for PER status.

AND

(iv) Pay the application fee of EURO 175 which is non-refundable. Acceptable forms of payment will include bank transfer or credit card (Mastercard or VISA).

AND

(v) As a PER applicant, you must confirm that you will be willing to serve on an ISBQPIP committee if requested by the ISBQPIP or to participate in developing accredited training or courses related to the core competencies of the certification examination as defined in Rule 18.3b, or attending and evaluating public training courses. For further details, see Rule 18.3a.

AND

(vi) As a PER applicant, you must confirm that you will either teach or otherwise exchange knowledge by teaching or developing a course or attending one or more courses directed to each of the three core competencies of the certification examination as defined in Rule 18.3b at some point during the three years from the date you are registered as a QPIP.

AND

(vii) As a PER applicant, you must confirm that you will abide by the Code of Conduct.

I reside in China, India, Japan, South Korea or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, when can I apply for PER?

An opportunity will become available after the applications from the second PER window have been reviewed. Due to capacity issues, the PER window will be opened in stages for different regions of the world.

I am a patent examiner at a patent office. Can I apply for PER?

Yes, you can if you meet the requirements of Rule 18.3. There is no requirement for PER regarding the type of search projects that should have been conducted in the past ten years, so it is also accepted if you have done only patentability searches.

Where do I send my PER application to?

The completed form and all of the supporting documentation must be submitted electronically in legible PDF format by attaching the documents to an email correspondence to be sent to per@qpip.org .

Can I apply for PER if I have worked 6 years 100%?

Unfortunately the line has to be drawn somewhere. The requirement is 10 years of patent search-related work experience during which a minimum of 60% of the time was spent on searching patent information, mentoring, outsourcing or overseeing search work of others IN EACH AND EVERY YEAR OF THE 10 YEAR PERIOD preceding the date of application. Irrespective of whether the PER applicant has worked full-time or part-time, the applicant needs to be able to show that (s)he has 10 years of patent search-related work experience. Patent search-related work includes searching patent information, mentoring, outsourcing or overseeing the search work of others. Please refer to Rule 4.2 for further details about these patent search-related activities and Rule 4.3 for details about the different type of patent-related search projects.

If you would still like to be considered for PER, please include details about any special experiences or skills with which you can contribute to the activities of the ISBQPIP committees that should be taken into consideration when reviewing your application. This information may assist in deciding your eligibility for PER status.

What is the PER application fee?

The PER application fee is EURO 175 which is non-refundable. Acceptable forms of payment will include bank transfer or credit card (Mastercard or VISA). The PER application fee covers the QPIP registration fee for 2020.