All practising patent and trade mark attorneys have a professional obligation to ensure that they maintain their skills and knowledge at the necessary level to be able to provide a competent service to existing and potential clients. The principle of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or continuing competence is well established and its value is self-evident.
On 1 July 2023, the way IPReg requires attorneys to identify appropriate continuing competence activities and to record them, changed. It has always been the case that IPReg expects attorneys to undertake activities that meet the needs of the attorney’s individual practice and provide value to the attorney’s clients. However, instead of requiring attorneys to undertake a minimum of 16 hours of continuing competence activities, IPReg now expects attorneys to evaluate the activities undertaken, and properly consider whether those activities met the development needs the attorney identified.