BREAKING: EQE and pre-EQE postponed until further notice

Candidates for the European Qualifying Exam (EQE) and pre-examination awoke this morning to the news that the exams were cancelled. The exams were due to be held 16-19th March. Trainee patent attorneys across Europe have been preparing for the exams for months. Trainees are required to pass the exams in order to become European Qualified Attorneys. Postponement of the exam will hold back many in the profession who hoped to qualify this year.

Months of preparation...
Rumours began circling on social media that the exams would be cancelled late last night. These rumours were partly sparked by EPO's statement on COVID-19, published online. The following message was sent to candidates this morning.

"Dear Candidate 

In response to the latest developments about the spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Supervisory Board of the European qualifying examination has decided in line with the EPO's precautionary measures to cancel the EQE planned to take place 16-19 March 2020.  

The Supervisory Board is currently assessing the feasibility of organising the examination at a later stage in the current year. We would kindly ask for your understanding that due to the complex logistic arrangements related to the organisation of the EQE, this assessment will require some time. The Examination Secretariat will revert back to you as soon as there is a decision taken by the Supervisory Board. Also please understand that due to the high number of enquires received, answering individual questions will take more time than usual.

We sincerely regret this highly unsatisfactory situation for all concerned. Further information will follow in due course, in particular related to the reimbursement of fees".

Preparing for the pre-exam and EQEs is not a trivial matter. The pre-exam and Paper D in particular require candidates to have detailed knowledge of a mountain of European patent law at their finger-tips.  If the exams are to be rearranged for later this year, candidates must be given appropriate time to prepare. The exams would also have to be arranged so as not to conflict with national qualifying exams. The UK exams, for example, take place in autumn.

IPKat understands today's announcement from the EPO will have caused distress to candidates. We are awaiting a statement from CIPA and further news from the EPO.

UPDATE: CIPA has issued an online statement.
BREAKING: EQE and pre-EQE postponed until further notice BREAKING: EQE and pre-EQE postponed until further notice Reviewed by Rose Hughes on Thursday, March 05, 2020 Rating: 5

155 comments:

  1. I'm doing all 4 papers this year and I'm absolutely gutted. all that preparations and time sacrificed

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    1. I am truly sorry for you.

      The EPO position is disastrous and I can't understand how so many in social networks seem to view it as a necessary evil.

      Once the decision is settled, I hope an Appeal will be filed.

      A complete cancelation of all exams is certainly not what European governments have in mind at this stage.

      Probably the reason is that the people who took this decision do not take subways.

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  2. This is big news. I suspect this is in large part the result of the situation in Italy though the rest of Europe may soon be as bad.

    An exam that has to be sat simultaneously across the continent is surprisingly vulnerable to this kind of thing.

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  3. It is regrettable and certainly preparing for the pre-exam and EQEs is not a trivial matter. However, in the interest of minimising the risks of contracting the disease and/or someone unknowingly spreading the virus, postponement should always be considered. And implemented. Better to get qualified slightly later than to end up with pneumonia or worse.

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    1. I understand the EPO's decision. its not their fault and they are only following advice from governments. However, this is having a huge impact on me. All this effort, work and preparations for 7-8 months. I've already taken days off from work for these exams and cannot afford to take more off. Its difficult to now prepare/plan next. Please do excuse the rant. Feeling a bit anxious

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    2. Except it's not the advice of governments. Except the zones in northern Italy, the official advice is "business as usual" at the moment.

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  4. Let's hope the EPO decide whether to reschedule (and if so, when) or cancel sooner rather than later. Are we all meant to remain in a revision limbo whilst we await a new date for the exams?

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    1. its crazy. the uncertainty is making it very difficult to prepare now. I can't concentrate

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  5. Erp, hold on, seems CIPA (and the other organisers?) weren't informed and want the decision reversed:

    "Statement on EQE cancellation
    The news of the cancellation of this year's European Qualifying Exams by the Supervisory Board of the EQE has come as a tremendous shock to candidates, their employers and to CIPA. Our student members invest a large part of their professional and personal lives in preparing to qualify as European Patent Attorneys and we share the sense of uncertainty, frustration and disappointment that they must be feeling this morning.

    At this stage, CIPA has not received official confirmation of the cancellation and our plans to host the EQE in Walsall remain in place. We will be communicating our concerns about the impact this decision will have on the UK profession to the Supervisory Board of the EQE. We will be asking that this decision be reversed and that all other options are considered. We will update members as soon as we know more."


    So, on behalf of the hundreds of UK candidates wondering if they should cancel their hotel and travel books right now or now, let me ask: What on earth is going on?

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  6. If I were to guess, I'd say the chances of postponement are small. Missing a year would be terrible for all concerned.

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  7. Its a pretty rubbish statement from CIPA. Why cast doubt in already stressed minds by saying:

    "At this stage, CIPA has not received official confirmation of the cancellation and our plans to host the EQE in Walsall remain in place."

    Sort it out behind closed doors, then issue a statement.

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    1. Wouldn't just blame CIPA on this. If the EPO didn't already talk to the organisers before cancelling that's really poor management on their part.

      Agreed that it's just silly to call for the decision to be reversed though. It obviously won't be and making out that it will just leaves people not knowing if they still have to prepare for potentially the most important exams of their lives or not.

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    2. Completely agree with this. Nobody was expecting CIPA to issue a comment, so dont see why they did this and create confusion rather than checking before sending.

      On a side note, great passion from CIPA about trainee welfare etc. Shame they couldn't channel that for P6.

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    3. CIPA probably heard about this the same time as everyone else, and will be as pissed off as everyone else. I can see why it wants to issue a statement immediately saying that it is working to cancel the decision. If CIPA didn't put something out immediately, people would be saying "what's CIPA doing about this?" etc

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    4. It's probably so that people don't cancel travel and accommodation arrangements, just in case.

      Fingers crossed it goes ahead in the UK. All the trainees in my firm have put in long hours of study for months on end, it's galling for the rug to be pulled out from under us. At the same time, I can't see the Supervisory Board being okay with e.g. the UK sitting it in March and e.g. Italy/Munich not sitting it until the danger has passed/not sitting it until 2021.

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    5. To be fair to CIPA, their statement may prevent people from immediately cancelling travel and accommodation plans, which would be very annoying if it turns out in a few days that the EPO reverses its decision.

      I don't hold much hope for that happening. The EPO would lose too much face by flip-flopping on it now.

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    6. if you look at the other blog - delta patents. Some candidates are already cancelling their hotels,travels etc... to get as much money back as possible. My firm is also telling me to do this asap.

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    7. what should I do? just wait. for how long. Worried that we won't be given a refund for hotels, travels etc.. if we continue to wait.

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    8. "At the same time, I can't see the Supervisory Board being okay with e.g. the UK sitting it in March and e.g. Italy/Munich not sitting it until the danger has passed/not sitting it until 2021."

      Am in two minds about this. Standard practise is to have a back-up paper to issue just in case the main exam becomes accidentally compromised. The EPO almost certainly have a back-up paper they could use with the exam centres which cannot go ahead with the exam whilst the ones that can would sit the original one. It could be done.

      At the same time the exams are supposed to be the same and held simultaneously.

      At any rate, whatever decision was made should have been discussed properly before hand. This very clearly was not done.

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    9. I thought of that, but even with the back up system it's everyone doing the same paper. If you have two different exams in the same year you'd likely get people complaining that one version was easier than the other, especially if you had a situation like the 2018 pre-EQE, with ~8/80 questions awarding marks for both True and False - the problem of not grading on a curve. We'll see how the chips fall - I sincerely hope the UK goes ahead with the exam this month, but I don't know how likely that is.

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    10. I happen to know, from a usually reliable source, that CIPA knew about the cancellation from lunch time the day before the EQE announcement was made. Whilst they may not have been told 'officially', they did know, and could easily have done something before the announcement was released widely.

      However, from what I've heard, it took until that evening to organise a meeting to discuss it, and then until the next morning to prepare a statement that had been approved by the necessary people, and issue it.

      Whilst I accept it can take some time to sort these things, CIPA's delayed response in this instance really didn't help matters. Once the official announcement they should have just left it alone. How can they claim to speak for the trainees, when those making these decisions haven't been trainees in decades?

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  8. I can't see postponement happening, it's not like the virus is going away any time soon and we've not reached the peak of the epidemic yet. Organizing venues across multiple member states suffering different levels of viral outbreak at different times is going to be a logistic nightmare.

    Regarding the pre-exam, it wouldn't be unreasonable to allow sitting of the main exam without the pre-exam for those that were registered for it this year. In the event of complete cancellation, the venues will need to be large enough to house twice the usual number of candidates, so the most we can salvage is to not hold back the pre-EQE cohort by a year.

    The EPO should just allow each member state to make its own decision as to whether to continue with the exam on the original date, or not at all, based on their own situation. At least some people will get a shot that way, because there's very, very little hope of it taking place at any other time between now and EQE 2021. The fact that CIPA weren't consulted on this is rather concerning.

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    1. Agree with this. The UK isn't stopping people flying in (i.e. to stop the spread from Europe) nor is it stopping public gatherings.

      Why does the EQE feel it has to take actions in excess of national governments?

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    2. July-August 2020 still looks possible, no? Judging by the situation in China, where the spread of the disease seems to have been slowed to a great extent (even accounting for likely underreporting by Chinese authorities) it is possible to beat it within a few months.

      Agreed that the apparent lack of communication with local organisers like CIPA is very concerning.

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    3. "Why does the EQE feel it has to take actions in excess of national governments?"

      My guess is that the situation in Italy, where schools and universities have been closed, travel limited etc. is the decider. The exam has to take place simultaneously across Europe with the same paper, and that wouldn't be the case if the Italian candidates weren't allowed to sit it because of the situation there.

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    4. July-Aug would be a terrible time - Summer holidays. so NO. October possibly.

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    5. I'm not sure about July-August 2020. It seems the current aim, at least here in the UK, is to delay the peak of the epidemic to the summer to ease the strain on the National Health Service, and with a hope that there's a seasonal component to how the virus is transmitted. With that in mind, there may still be a wave, and potentially larger at that, of cases across Europe in the summer.

      Harsh as it may sound, I don't think going ahead with the exam without Italy is that bad of a solution. Not very nice for Italian candidates, certainly, but if they can't sit it anyway due to national-level decisions, it makes no difference to them whether their colleagues across the border are able to have a go this year.

      As an aside, I'm not sure that it's fair to say the Chinese authorities are underreporting. It's easy to fake the absolute numbers, but far more difficult to fake a trend. Given the rate of increase, the reported numbers and observed numbers would be off by orders of magnitude by now if they were significantly underreporting.

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    6. not sure july august being summer holiday time is a valid ground for not holding a replacement set of exams then...

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  9. I think its fair if the EPO apply some sort of discretion to the EQE candidates especially the main EQEs. This sort of thing has not happened before so I can only sympathise with this year candidates.

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  10. Should PEB exams in October be moved from October or postponed until we get clarity for EQEs. its going to have knock-on effect especially for individuals taking them.

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    1. what knock-on effect would it have? most take the UKs before the EQEs anyway or will have planned to take them in october after the EQEs - can't see why this would have any impact

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    2. Would disagree with the statement that 'most' take the UKs before the EQEs - whilst that is the situation at some firms, a lot use entirely different approaches.

      For instance, I (and I know others too) did FD1/P2 last year, had planned to do PreEQE this year, no UKs this October to give maximum time to concentrate on Main EQEs next year, and then follow up with FD4/P6 in October 2021.

      If the EQE is cancelled this year, and I and my collegues have to sit the PreEQE next year, then that does have a knock-on effect (do I do UKs this year now? do I not? that all depends on when the EQE is rescheduled for, or if it is just cancelled)

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    3. I strongly disagree too. Most trainees in my firm concentrate on getting EQEs first before sitting the UK exams. In fact, a lot f firms ask trainees to sit the EQEs first before sitting the UK exams. So it has huge knock on effects.

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    4. A significant number of candidate actually take EQEs first before UK exams. Some take 1 UK exam, pre-EQE followed by main EQEs and then do another exam.

      Not being able to do main EQEs means candidates will not have to consider sitting FD2, FD3.

      So it has many significant impacts on individuals.

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    5. Also - how can training courses be ran (normally) early May/June, July/August for UK exams and Oct/Nov for EQE exams with all this uncertainty. It has a MASSIVE impact and many knock on effects.

      We must also bear in mind that candidates are taking a financial hit i.e. loss of earnings and have also wasted a lot of time preparation time. Many consequences and It is a serious matter.

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  11. Why on earth would EPO not tell CIPA. Such poor communications from all invovled. Its not like Coronavirus suddenly appeared. They knew this was an issue since January so EPO should constantly be in contact with CIPA. I don't think its CIPA's fault if EPO didn't tell them however communications across EPO and CIPA must improve.

    After all, the exams take place every year so there is no excuse for poor communications on both sides.

    I feel so sorry for EQE candidates this year. Nightmare.

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  12. Preparing for the main EQEs is no small task. I have a family and have been locking myself away from family and friends for weeks preparing for these important exams.

    I do understand the EPO's decision but its extremely upsetting to put in all this hard work and made so many tough decisions on my personal life to take these exams only for it to be taken away.

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    1. You have my sympathies. I am in the same boat. I have young kids who I'd be out with on the weekends if not for exam prep. Last year sat all four and that was a real trial, only Paper A to do this time round but it's still not easy.

      Right now, because of the confused communications, I have no idea if I should be revising this weekend or not.

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    2. I'm doing all 4. done all the papers I could possibly do and now don't know whether to continue or not. I'm actually exhausted but the main problem is I can't do those same papers again. I've seen them! so this is not going to go well.

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    3. to continue revising now?! if so - give yourself a break, no point revising now for an exam 6 or 12 months down the line! if you're talking about revising again in the future, then it's a tricky one but there's probably papers you won't remember so well

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  13. https://twitter.com/TheCIPA/status/1235538598889308160

    @TheCIPA: To avoid any further confusion - we are NOT saying the EQEs are going ahead. Merely that we have received no confirmation from the Supervisory Board of the EQE. We do not organise the exams and had no say over their cancellation. https://twitter.com/IanLeighJones/status/1235523875020181506 …

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  14. Regarding communication with CIPA -my understanding is that the EPO only discuss the EQE's in the UK with the UK IPO. The IPO then delegate the organisation to CIPA. It is too long of a chain. This is part of the reason for the Ashton Gate concourse mess a few years back and difficulty communicating the number of available places the first time Walsall was used as a venue.

    My thoughts go out to the trainees who have spent a lot of energy preparing for these exams.

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  15. My heart sincerely wishes for the exam to go ahead in at least some countries, but my head tells me it cannot. It would be irresponsible to go ahead in Italy now, therefore the whole lot must be postponed or cancelled. It would be totally unacceptable to go ahead without Italy being involved.

    This is the only reasonable decision. Also better to say now rather than wait until next week.

    I don't think it would be possible to use the back-up paper in just a few venues for a whole host of reasons. Marking and moderating two papers in one year would be difficult. People would complain that one was easier or that some candidates had more time to prepare. Also, the second paper wouldn't have a back-up so what would happen if it were compromised?

    Unfortunately, I'm not holding out a lot of hope for a postponement either. Could the venues across all countries be arranged in time? Can a time be found that doesn't clash , e.g., the UK exams? Would sufficient invigilators be available? Can the 2021 session still be arranged while the 2020 session is re-arranged? Can it be marked in time so that candidates know whether they need to prepare to re-sit in 2021?

    I hate to be a pessimist but I think the next EQE will be held in March 2021.

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    1. That's so crazy. Its going to massively impact candidates personal and professional lives.

      I can only feel for this year. Through no fault of their own. Can CIPA or EPO do something.

      Doubling the number of candidates in 1 year is going to also be impossible to cope with.

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    2. I'm not sure I agree that it would be "totally unacceptable to go ahead without Italy being involved", sure it's not great for those in Italy, but it would mean many others could still continue.

      As to whether there's a difference in difficulty between the paper and the back-up paper, I don't see how that is any different to a difference in difficulty between the papers of different years. So long as they're each marked and moderated independently of one another, what does it matter if there's a difference in difficulty?

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    3. I find myself agreeing somewhat with Halcyon.

      The situation is similar to the Italian exam centre burning down on the day of the exam - in that situation surely the exams would just go ahead everywhere but Italy?

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    4. OK, that's fair. It was a bit of a sweeping statement.

      Still, I have a hard time accepting that only the Italian part of the exam be cancelled.

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  16. I think rescheduling is highly unlikely. No exams are likely to take place in the next 3 months. June - Italians have their national exams. July/Aug - everyone (in the EPO) on holiday. September is a potential but as previously mentioned in the comments organising the EQEs are done at least a year in advance. October - UK exams. And you then start getting too close to the Feb 2021 exams (eg results available in time for resitters to reapply for 2021 and revise etc). Plus: Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives

    Article 1
    European qualifying examination

    (2) The examination shall normally be held once a year. The period between two examinations shall not exceed twenty-five months.



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    1. They have to be capable to holding substitute exams with less than a year's preparation. There was always the possibility of something like an exam hall burning down or something like that occurring. Similarly clashes with national exams can be compensated for by e.g., moving the national exams to November/early December.

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  17. The main reason appears to be that the EPO aren't allowing their staff to travel to exam centres. And the rules of the EQE say that EPO staff have to be present.

    But it shouldn't be that difficult to make an exception to that rule, provided that suitable local invigilators can take responsibility. However, that needs to be arranged immediately. Surely it's better than the exam goes ahead as planned in places that it can do so, rather it doesn't go ahead at all?

    Today's statement is disproportionate and completely against current government advice. The current guidance is "business as usual" in Europe, other than in northern Italy. People's careers and so people's livelihoods are at stake here, and it will cause massive disruption to the industry as a whole. If examinees are concerned about the risks of the virus, they are not compelled to take the exam and can wait until next year - rather than having everyone thrown into their boat.

    If, as appears most likely, there isn't an EQE until March 2021, then there has to be an additional EQE in autumn 2021 for people resitting. It's entirely unfair that people should have to wait an entire extra year to resit and wait more than 2 years from now to get qualified, just because they accidentally do a slightly wrong amendment in Paper B for example.

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    1. in exactly what way will it cause massive disruption to the industry as a whole?

      not saying it's not unfortunate or frustrating but what an overstatement! There is also no automatic right to have an exam annually - i think the rules are at most 25 months apart...

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    2. No autmoatic right to an annual exam, true. But in the same way there is no automatic right to oxygen or water, but you'd (briefly) complain like hell if you weren't getting them.

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    3. "It's entirely unfair that people should have to wait an entire extra year to resit and wait more than 2 years from now to get qualified" There is a one year extra delay for everybody. Those who would have failed, for example for a "slightly wrong amendment in paper B", would not qualify until after 2021 anyway. So they would already be waiting one year to qualify. There isn't an extra two year delay for those who would have failed this year's exams.

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    4. Let's not get carried away. Surely anyone can see, once they have calmed down, that this was inevitable given the current situation? Yes, it is a shame that careers will be on hold for a year and that ramping up with prep again, especially for those with small children is not going to be easy. But given the way the virus is spreading, it would have been irresponsible for them to hold the exams. Btw, I am one of those who will be affected career-wise and who has a small child to look after.

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    5. The knock on effects needs to be taken into account. If the exam is rescheduled to October. Candidates (pre-Eqe and retakers) won't have enough preparation time for 2021.so the knock on effects are significant.

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  18. More evidence as to why having an approach of coursework/exam mixture is good. Relying entirely on exams as we see in this situation has too much of a large impact on everyone.

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    1. If there was a coursework/exam mix then the exams would still not be going ahead and people would still not be able to qualify.

      If it was coursework-only then there would still be the possibility of cancelled classes and assessments.

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    2. totally agree Gilman Grundy - v few would want a coursework element introduced

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    3. The EQE format is fine as it is. There's no need for coursework. Furthermore, the point seems irrelevant here, since the exams would still be held and candidates would still need to prepare for them.

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  19. I can't see the main EQE being rescheduled this year. However, I think it may be possible to reschedule the pre-exam (e.g. in early September). This takes much less time to mark, so you could run it and still have time to get the marks out and give the people who passed register/revise for the 2021 EQEs. Not ideal, but at least a smaller cohort would be affected.

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    1. Makes more sense to just give all those registered for the pre-exam a pass - the benefit of the pre-exam is in the preparation (which has now been done by effectively all the candidates), not in the sitting of a particular paper. There's no point in going to the massive trouble and expense of rescheduling for (only) one paper which 80-90% of sitters should pass, not if the main papers aren't rescheduled too.

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    2. Agreed. remember there are plenty of people who are on ghe register who never sat a pre exam. Or if they don't want to go as far as cancelling it why not let people sit the paper locally under the supervision of a qualified attorney?

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  20. Can CIPA make a decision about the PEB exams in October (around July time) to avoid candidates wasting precious time preparing for the exams only for it NOT to go ahead. Of course - if the outbreak gets worse, who knows when it will end.

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    1. This would be the most ideal situation. IT will certainly prevent a lot of candidates going through the pain as we have just witness those poor EQE students have gone through.

      If the situation doesn't improve in June, I think CIPA should call it off. Students/firms would understand especially if they know in advance and not waste time for preparation.

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    2. I think this would be sensible for CIPA to call it off if EQE re-scheduled in June or October or the situation with corona virus doesn't improve. Providing an announcement in June would be most appropriate. Firms and candidates would understand and it won't have a lasting impact than cancelling 2 weeks before candidates are due to take the exam.

      That way, candidates don't have to waste their energy and money (a lot of candidates have to pay from their own pocket) for courses.

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  21. We need a definite answer, is it on or off? Look at INTA. People need time to get refunds and whatnot.

    I am in two minds about it proceeding though. Just reading up on the WHO guidelines which state that there should be a 1m separation from people who show symptoms but there are reports of people may not show symptoms even if they are infected or in the far east, people who have symptoms that are so mild that they are not showing it outright. Us youngsters will probably recover easy but it's the spreading to the older folks which is the worrying part. And not to mention the possible after-effects of the disease. Reports that SARS gave honeycomb lungs etc etc.

    Having said that, if UK is not having that many cases, don't see why CIPA can't push ahead.

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    1. It's off. CIPA will not make them change their minds. It has been handled poorly but it is done now.

      There's a post in this thread drawing an analogy to an exam centre burning down. It's an interesting comparison, but the difference here is that one exam centre has burned down (Italy) and fires have already started in the others.

      Clearly there was no contingency plan in place, other than the back-up paper.

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  22. If EQE exams are rescheduled to after September time - I think CIPA would need to cancel the PEB exams in October. It is a nightmare for everyone involved but some attorneys are examiners for both EQE and PEB and not to mention candidates don't have time to prepare for both exams. Some firms will push their candidates to take both no matter what which is not sensible.

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    1. I would have to agree although its a disappointment. Given the circumstances and if true, I think CIPA will have to cancel the PEB exams this year. Its unfair but EQE candidates must be the top priority now.

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    2. Assuming the EQE is moved to September/October, it is probably the sensible thing to cancel PEB exams. PEB being cancelled is a pain because this is not CIPA's fault. But if you create too many exams in the same period - firms will struggle to cope in this period.

      You also have the problem of providing enough invigilators for both set of exams. EQE needs to trump national exams this year is my view.

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  23. This year’s European Qualifying Examinations have been cancelled by the Supervisory Board of the EQE. We expect no change to that.
    Over the past 24 hours we have made representations to the Supervisory Board on behalf of our members, without success.
    We will now focus on achieving clarity and certainty on plans for rescheduling the EQE and will communicate developments to our members as they emerge.

    Thank you for trying CIPA.

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  24. A slightly related question; Has there been any sign of the EPO cancelling hearings? I have an appeal hearing in July and I am wondering if it will be postponed.

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    1. The EPO's guidance to my mind is unclear on this. "External partners" who have visited affected areas cannot visit, but I've no idea if I (an attorney) am an external partner or not.

      I've heard rumors that the EPO is being more lenient about moving the dates of hearings on these grounds, but only rumors.

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    2. Hearings are <50 people so I think they're going ahead as normal.

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  25. Obivously a massive disappointment for those of us who've been studying for months in preparation.

    However, I urge everyone to remember the huge amount of effort and work our colleagues put into making these exams happen every year. I imagine they're having as stressful a time as we are right now.

    Let's be kind to each other.

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  26. If a new sitting is organised this year, I do hope that the EPO will provide candidates the option of choosing between writing the paper(s) this year and next year, and/or to refund or credit the registration fees, despite what the OJ notice states. But a superseding OJ notice would be necessary laying out all the details (deadlines, procedure, etc.).

    But since the COVID-19 panic is still ongoing, and its ultimate scope still uncertain. It is unlikely that the exam could be rescheduled before the usual registration deadline sometimes in September.

    Moreover, IIRC, grading the papers takes about five months, and a delayed 2020 sitting would collide with the organisation of the 2021 paper.

    A candidate sitting the 2020 paper rescheduled say in October would have to wait until 2022 to resit it, if s/he didn't apply for the 2021 edition in time.

    In view of the mess, I wager is therefore that there will not be a 2020 sitting at all. I would be (pleasantly) surprised if the EPO were to act fairly or generously with the 2020 candidates in registering for the 2021 paper.

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  27. It strikes me as daft that for the pre exam at least, arrangements can't be made for candidates to sit the paper on their own premises under the supervision of a Professional Representative willing and able to certify that exam condition had been adhered to.

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    1. There is only 1 paper - it would have to be taken everywhere at the same time. Maybe this is the incentive to change things in the future.

      Delete
  28. I think it is going to be highly unlikely that the EPO will be able to postpone the exam. It's a logistical nightmare.

    However, wouldn't an alternative solution be to hold a partial EQE, i.e., only hold some of the exams. For example, I know that preparing for part D takes a substantially higher amount of effort than the other papers. Thus, would it not make sense to at least hold paper D in 2020?

    I can see several advantages over straight-out canceling the EQE in 2020, even for the EPO. Some example advantages include:

    organizing a single exam should be straightforward, even if it were held in all examination centers across Europe (e.g., finding a venue for a single day is far easier than finding a venue that would be free 4 days in a row);

    the back-log of candidates that would result in a very large attendance of candidates in 2021 or 2022 (depending on whether the pre-EQE is waived for 2020 candidates) could be mitigated;

    if the coronavirus is still an issue in the summer, this would substantially decrease any risk of spreading the infection (less candidates and the exam would only be held on 1 day instead of 4 separate days);

    2020 candidates who were preparing for all 4 exams will not be as disadvantaged because their preparation for part D would not go to waste and they would only have to prepare for parts A-C;

    the paper could be held later in the year because it would take substantially less time to mark 1 paper instead of 4 thereby avoiding the scenario where candidates would take the exam in autumn in 2020 and not know their results until after the EQE in 2021.

    Would appreciated some thoughts on this matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would support allowing candidates to take Paper D asap because the amount of work involved is substantial.

      As there will be less candidates, they could all be spread out throughout the exam hall (at least 2m) so they should be fine and within limits. If necessary, candidates could do them in multiple rooms in the exam venue.

      Delete
    2. I do support a partial EQE approach. I think its sensible to do this especially for D. I see no reason why it can't be done on a smaller scale and perhaps ease the burden on the EPO and national organisations to find venues that are large enough to fit hundreds of candidates.

      Can we lobby the EPO to see if this can be done. It would definitely help them logistically and I also think this is fair for the affected candidates this year who need to take Paper D. Paper D is probably the most amount of work.

      Delete
    3. By the way, the EPO mentions that it monitors several blogs. Does anyone know this IPKAT blog is being monitored by them?

      Delete
    4. This sounds like a great option, however if a candidate sat Paper D at a later date this year and did not pass that paper, would they have to wait until 2022 to resit it? Would EPO be flexible with registration?

      Delete
    5. Honestly I've never understood this perception that paper D is somehow the hardest or the most work. Papers A, B, and C also require a great deal of preparation.

      Delete
  29. I would say that the best channel for lobbying, giving ideas, pledging people/resources is via the epi. They work jointly with the EPO to run the exam, but they are going to be more open the patent attorney point of view. They have representatives from each EPC state. Probably their Professional Education Committee (PEC) is the right address. Does anyone know their e-mail address?

    ReplyDelete
  30. In my view any decision has to treat all candidates equally. Cancellation achieves this. Postponement does not. Allowing paper D to go ahead in 2020 also does not. A universal compensation of 45 marks for all papers and a pre-exam pass for 2020 candidates for their lost year would also achieve this aim. Lobbying will not yield anything since it is biased by definition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The point is that the candidates cannot be treated equally anymore, no matter cancellation or postponement. It would be better if the candidates can sit the exam at the later stage of this year. I mean, come on, some of the candidates would sit the computer-based exam. People should not always think about treating the candidates equally, because there is no absolutely equal treatment.

      Delete
    2. You are dreaming if you think that candidates will be awarded marks or compensation based on an EQE registration only. So, if the cancel the Olympic Games, should they give everybody a bronze medal?

      Delete
    3. I don't understand why rescheduling D or the other papers is not treating candidates equally. Yes, you have less time to study if you pass, but if that is a concern, then don't do the postponed exam.
      I think it is better to do the rescheduled exam - if you pass, you have more options.
      Look around what is going on in the world - your own national exams could be cancelled, and there are no guarantees that EQE 2021 will even go ahead.

      Delete
    4. I don't think Anon at 17:24 is actually advocating a universal compensation of 45 marks, because that would be just silly. I think s/he is just saying that that would simply achieve the aim of treating all candidates equally.

      Delete
    5. "universal compensation of 45 marks for all papers and a pre-exam pass for 2020 candidates"

      Are you sure that's enough? How about a brand new car? A cash prize?

      Delete
  31. Sad as this news is, it is a great time for firms to show how much they care about their trainees. Promotions and salary reviews don't have to be so totally dependent on qualification. Experience also counts. But I guess all firms already know this and how they react will be telling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a partner at a fairly large UK firm and I can tell you that our partnership's immediate reaction was that, as far as was practical, we would not hold trainee's progression back (internal promotion and salary rise) because of this.

      I expect that other firms will do the same.

      The sad thing though is whatever I'd like to do for our trainees, not being able to take the EQEs this year *will* hold some people back, at least in the short term. Whatever pay rise or promotion we give our people, being able to sign your own letters and attend hearings on your own is something you need the EQE pass for.

      Delete
  32. I do sincerely hope small and large firms + industry do not use this as an excuse to hold back trainee's progression and offer the pay rise/promotion they deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  33. A member of the epi PEC committee, Bart van Wezenbeek, responded to the discussions on LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/petepollard_eqe-disaster-recovery-plan-activity-6642085151847383040-Dltq "Good advice. Be assured that the PEC (professional education committee) of epi will try to reach the best possible solution for candidates and exam committee."

    ReplyDelete
  34. Terrible as the situation is, perhaps it also gives us the opportunity to look at how the profession in general considers what are important factors to becoming an attorney. I have always favour and value experience + ability of an individual above passing exams. Exams should only play a contributing factor for deciding salary increases and promotions. It certainly shouldn't be the "holy grail" for promotion and pay rises in my view.

    ReplyDelete
  35. With each day that passes, the decision to postpone looks more and more sensible.

    The posts in this thread suggesting that exams in the UK could go ahead are not ageing well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't recall it was ever suggested that postponing the exams was not sensible, it clearly was sensible inasmuch that it wasn't irrational. I understand that the frustration was that, whilst sensible, postponing the exams, at least in the UK, wasn't necessary, and at present that still seems to be the case.

      Many candidates will have spent hundreds of hours revising for the exams, most of which will be wasted, if, as seems likely, the exams are not to be held within the next six months. Given the odds I'm sure that many candidates, myself included, would be content to accept a risk of personal harm that appears no greater than many day-to-day risks, for the potential gain of several hundred hours of free-time next year and a hefty pay-increase this year.

      I can only presume from the tone of your comment that you are not one of those candidates who have just potentially lost hundreds of hours of time and thousands of pounds in salary?

      I wonder what your response would be if the EPO turned around to you and said that you couldn't practice for a year, for reason of preserving fairness with EPAs in other countries?

      Delete
    2. "Given the odds I'm sure that many candidates, myself included, would be content to accept a risk of personal harm that appears no greater than many day-to-day risks, for the potential gain of several hundred hours of free-time next year and a hefty pay-increase this year."

      This really gets to the heart of why the EPO has made the right decision here. No candidate should have to "accept a risk" to participate in the exams, and of course they would feel pressurised to do so given all the reasons you laid out.

      Also you aren't just responsible for your own personal health in this instance. You may be correct that you will be fine (e.g. if you are in your 20s and in good health), but what if you pick up corona virus and pass it to someone elderly or infirm? There is a collective responsibility too when it comes to pandemics.

      Delete
    3. Hi.

      I'm sorry this happened to you. Really I am.

      I'm not one of the candidates affected and no, I wouldn't like it if the EPO told me I couldn't practice for year out of fairness to EPAs in other countries. But if the EPO told me I couldn't practice for a year in order to save many lives, possibly including my own, then I think I might feel differently.

      You see, it's not about the risks you'd be taking. It's about the risks to others.

      One day, all this will be behind you and you will feel better, I promise.

      I hope you and all your loved ones stay healthy.

      Best wishes,

      Anon @ 2020-03-12 08:38:00

      Delete
    4. That risk of infecting someone else exists every year at this time of year - everyone is now acutely aware of it. This year, for one disease, you are likely to find out that you have been involved in the transmission - that normally never happens.
      Unless you live with someone vulnerable, it is perfectly fine to continue with activities that you think are important and should go ahead. This will end at some point, and life will have to go back to normal.
      If you follow the WHO advice and abide by the official travel advice, what is wrong with that? In some countries, they are still having football matches and there are still a lot of people travelling. The WHO advises to use countries to use resources wisely where they will have the biggest impact. Follow the situation daily, and when necessary, take drastic measures, like self-isolation. That is individual responsibility.
      It is just as likely to catch it (you may even have already had it) from someone in your neighbourhood as someone in Munich.
      And if you believe that it is better for everybody that you stay home yourself, you can cancel your own activities/exams voluntarily. But please don't demand that everybody else does the same. A lot of firms give you a short-term contract, and if you don't qualify, you can look for another job. Trainees are often in competition with other trainees, and only so many can stay.

      Delete
    5. Well, yeah, but most years there's a functioning vaccine for the seasonal flu that is given to vulnerable groups.

      Seriously folks: this is far, far worse than your usual cold.

      And, actually, isn't it better that the exam is cancelled so trainees aren't forced to take unnecessary risks for the sake of their future careers (see also Anon @ 2020-03-12 16:21:00)?

      And, what if you do live with someone vulnerable? What about then? Sorry we fired you because you wouldn't go to do the EQE to protect your elderly grandfather who lives with you because that's the nature of your family set up? I'd suggest that employment tribunals across the EU would look upon that very unfavourably.

      In short, any employer firing people over this is not an employer you want to work for.

      I know it's rough. Trust me, I know. But there is more to life than exams, promotions, salaries, and patents.

      Delete
    6. "I know it's rough. Trust me, I know. But there is more to life than exams, promotions, salaries, and patents"

      The finals were cancelled for me, and the main thing I am annoyed about is the amount of time with family and friends I sacrificed to revise, for which a big chunk of that time will be wasted. It's the impact on my personal life in having to keep up to date on D just in case the exams are rescheduled, and then spending 6 weeks intensely revising when they announce when the exams will be.

      The point I'm trying to make is that the cancellation has meant that 'exams, promotions, salaries, and patents' are taking up even more of my life when I want to focus on other things. We all expected to be rid of the exams by the end of next week, now we don't know when that will be.

      Delete
    7. "In short, any employer firing people over this is not an employer you want to work for."

      That is perhaps true. But personally I would prefer to catch Coronavirus than be sacked, inasmuch that I reckon the detrimental effect on my physical health from Coronvirus would be far less than the detriment to my mental health resulting from being sacked, even by an employer that I 'don't want to work for'.

      It seems unlikely that the opposed positions of posters herein will become aligned. But my initial point was that the original poster's smug comment about posts "not ageing well" is not helpful. It doesn't reflect the poster being "the bigger man", it reflects he/she bearing no personal cost from the decision.

      Delete
    8. It is possible a lot of people in the discussion are either not patent attorneys, or do not realise (or remember) what qualification means or work for a good firm/company - but being qualified (nationally and especially before the EPO) brings the freedom that you can work independently - anywhere, for anybody.
      But changing jobs before qualification is a nightmare - there is suspicion about your abilities and motivation. If you are partly-qualified, it is a little easier (I have done this), as you have some independent proof of what you can do.
      And someone has to pay for all the courses/books and time you spend studying.
      If this carries on into May/June, it may mean that school exams are postponed or even cancelled - would these posters be fine if their kids stayed in school an extra year?

      Delete
    9. Me again.

      @SP - So the "personal cost" for me would be me or loved ones potentially dying of this disease in an overwhelmed hospital because of the rapid spread of the virus. Once again I think you haven't fully grasped the gravity of the present situation. I mean you no ill will, but please do a bit of reading on this subject. I assume you're a technically minded person so you should be able to get to grips with this.

      @Graver Tank - I do understand how much qualification means, really I do. I also had to pay for my own training. No, I wouldn't be super keen if my kids had to stay in school an extra year, but we are talking about an event the likes of which the world hasn't seen in 100 years.

      There is every chance that we will all need to be practicing social distancing and so on for most of the rest of this year. If we do not then thousands of vulnerable people will die before their time.

      Seriously, it's that bad.

      Delete
    10. "So the "personal cost" for me would be me or loved ones potentially dying of this disease"

      That isn't a personal cost resulting from the decision to cancel EQEs, that's a personal benefit to you from the decision.

      Your argument now seems to be that there would have been a personal cost to you associated with the EQEs not being cancelled, and you consider that cancelling the EQEs was correct because you don't wish to bear that personal cost. QED.

      Delete
    11. Your argument now seems to be that there would have been a personal cost to you associated with the EQEs not being cancelled, and you consider that cancelling the EQEs was correct because you don't wish to bear that personal cost. QED.

      Yup. I want fewer people to die therefore you were right all along. Nice one.

      Delete
    12. Calm down. Remember, "one day, all this will be behind you and you will feel better I promise.". Useful comment or patronising Boomer? You decide.

      Delete
    13. Ha ha, nice.

      I will take patronising Boomer.

      Been a while since I got into an argument on the internet. Thanks for the diversion.

      Stay safe out there.

      Delete
  36. Given the situation - I cannot see the exams will be rescheduled in June.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way. Does anybody seriously believe they could? Hopefully in June the worst will be behind us.

      Delete
    2. The epi hinted that early 2021 is considered a possibility

      Delete
  37. Universities and schools are finding alternative ways of assessments. Why can't the EPO do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  38. There should be no automatic passes so pre-EQE candidates should not get automatic passes. Candidates sitting the main EQEs will not get passes and I don't see why it is fair that pre-EQE candidates get automatic passes.

    There should be some discretion applied by the EPO but everyone will need to sit the exams once the corona virus goes away (hopefully soon).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pre-EQE is not a qualifying exam, whereas the main EQEs are.

      Clearly no automatic passes will ever be given for main EQEs, as that would result in unsafe professional representation. However, waiving the pre-EQE will not ultimately affect the path the qualification in any way, as pre-EQE candidates will still have to pass the main EQEs.

      It has no negative affect whatsoever on the main EQE candidates, or the profession as a whole, to skip the pre-EQE for one year. It would be fair because current pre-EQE candidates would not be a more advantageous position to pass the main exams.

      Of course there may be some bitterness from EQE candidates who were not exempt from the pre-EQE, and understandably so.. but that's different to it actually being unfair.

      Delete
    2. I would strongly disagree with this. If there are no passes for EQEs then there should be no passes for pre-EQEs. Why not let candidates who are doing foundations this June to skip this and do the PEB exams this year.

      It must be fair for all candidates so exams.

      Delete
    3. The reason for the Pre-Exam was to prevent candidates attempting the Main Exam who were not prepared enough. If it is waived, this will probably happen again, burdening the markers with very poor efforts. I know a lot of people study very hard, but there are also a huge number who do not. If Pre-exam were to be skipped for one year, 2021 is likely to see a large number of poor attempts as many candidates hope for leniency there as well.
      Waiving would only be possible if the Pre-exam was abolished completely for all current & future candidates, with the necessary changes in the marking procedures. That might be a better discussion :-)

      Delete
    4. I don't believe that that is comparing like-for-like. The Main EQEs are a substantive qualifying exam, whereas the pre-EQE is just a barrier to take a further exam. Nobody would be given a free 'pass' in any case; they would simply be allowed to skip the barrier to take the qualifying exam.

      The UK foundations do give candidates a part-level qualification, so again that is not comparing like-for-like. I agree, it would be unconscionable to give away a level of qualification for free, but that isn't the case with the pre-EQE.

      Totally agree that a valid argument against waiving it is 'burdening the markers with very poor efforts'. However last year only 107 of the 920 people who took the pre-EQE failed, so I wouldn't say that would represent an unmanageable burden..

      Having said all that, it would obviously be best if the pre-EQE were reorganised, I just don't think it would be at all unreasonable if it weren't

      Delete
    5. The burden on the markers is due to the unprepared people taking the Main Exam papers - there are people who get less than 25 marks, and these have to be marked by two people independently. And by a third if the marks deviate too much. At this level on the C & D papers, these candidates had no chance of passing.

      Delete
    6. Giving a pass to pre-Eqe is not a good idea nor is it fair on candidates doing main EQE. A better way is to provide reasonable compensation for all affected candidates like discretionary marks.

      Delete
  39. https://patentepi.org/en/epi/news/a4e7106e-0f2c-4d35-af84-6b00f6f89f5c
    ".... many governments have taken measures to prevent spreading of the COVID19 disease, amongst them prohibition of public events with a certain size up to putting certain regions under total quarantine with an absolute travel ban.

    Additionally, many companies and employers have also put in place travel restrictions for their employees. It is not possible to carry out a complex pan-European EQE under those circumstances without putting at risk participants and organizers.

    We all do not know, how the situation will develop within the next months. We support and encourage therefore the Supervisory Board, the EPO EQE secretariat and all other bodies involved to explore all necessary measures to carry out an EQE for the candidates who planned to sit in March 2020 as soon as the situation will allow, either still within 2020 or only in 2021."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a very strong response. Maybe one day, the epi will take some initiative and set out their vision and plan for the EQE going forward.

      Delete
  40. I think it would be wise for CIPA/PEB to postpone the PEB exams this October. We are entering a long period of lock down and many of us will have to start looking out for each other and our older relatives. From the predictions, it is likely that most of us will get the virus.

    I do not think it is a good idea to proceed with the exams in October. It is clear that this is going to go on for 4-6 months. Many candidates' spring and summer months will be massively affected. It is much better to call this off early rather than risking many candidates going through revision and finding out that they can't do the exams.

    I suggest PEB exams in October to be cancelled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As regrettable as it is, it is the right thing for CIPA/PEB to cancel the exams as it is now clear that this is going to be a long period of time i.e. many months ahead. I totally understand the economic impact it has on candidates but firms and businesses will be hit hard in the next few months.

      Calling it off early will at least allow candidates not to waste their time revising. I do not see this epidemic slowing down in the next few months.

      Delete
    2. As government policy is to ask over 70s to self-isolate for 16-20 weeks, this would mean that many in our profession will have to go and look after their loved ones. It would put a huge burden on those candidates to also prepare for the PEB exams. Its disappointing but I agree that PEB exams in October should be postponed.

      We also do not know when EQEs will be rescheduled but it looks like it will be next year.

      Delete
  41. I would have to agree with this. I think CIPA/PEB should act within the next few weeks. Unfortunately, we need to think about the many months before the exams take place and its not credible/sensible to be allowing candidates to prepare for these exams in this moment. CIPA/PEB has a duty to contribute to the national effort.

    It is disappointing but the right thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Some national countries like Italy have postponed their national exams. PEB really needs to consider this. My personal view is that they should cancel October's exams. Its a question of when they should announce this rather than if.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry but where did you read about Italy postponing the national exams?? I'm enrolled for those and I haven't received any such communication.
      I'm not saying it cannot happen, but they haven't made any announcement in this regard as far as I know.

      Delete
  43. As a potential candidate, I would appreciate a decision within the next few weeks rather than later nearer to October if PEB/CIPA would cancel these exams. We would all understand the decision if they call it off but don't leave it late. As many have said, it is better for us if we don't have to go through the pain of revising and then find that we can't do the exams. Due to the current situation, it would not be unreasonable to call it off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. July is plenty of time to make such an announcement.

      Delete
  44. There has been new updates from UK government. I think CIPA/PEB would have no choice but to cancel October's exams. Its a shame but it doesn't seem right in these exceptional times. PEB/CIPA should call this off as early as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  45. The peak is calculated to be around June. 16-20 weeks of isolation is a long time. Its a horrible situation but PEB exams need to be cancelled. It would significantly ease worries of candidates if they announce it soon. Everybody will understand.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Yep - I would agree with the above thoughts although disappointing as it is, the best thing is to cancel PEB exams now and notify everyone in advance.

    I would be surprise if CIPA/PEB haven't been discussing this already.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Does anyone know CIPA/PEB are actively reviewing this thread. Could someone pass this onto CIPA.

    There are now genuine concerns about the spread of this virus and I don't think we should press ahead with examinations this year (also taking into the many months of preparation before October).

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thus could last till August/September. No way PEB exams can go ahead this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The exams are due in October, July is quite enough time to announce their delay/cancellation.

      There may not actually be any "end" to this crisis. There is the next ~6 months when the health service needs to build up capacity to deal with it, and giving the health services time to do it is the reason for all the measures that have been announced. What happens when they do have enough capacity?

      Delete
  49. They should probably make a decision before registration is opened. My view is that it should be called off this year.

    ReplyDelete
  50. End of June/early July should be the right time although personally, I don't see why they need to wait till July to cancel.

    Its clear that this is going to hit us through the whole of summer/early autumn and possibly until next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This will end eventually and we have to get back to normal - it seems early to cancel activities for October. Besides, actually taking exams should be manageable. For some school state exams, they are talking about having desks spaced further apart, fewer people per room etc. It may mean that you have to be flexible in your preparation and use whatever time you have available to study.

      Delete
    2. I think we need to have wider considerations as exams are not just on the day but has many months of preparation. Some will catch it, others will have more caring responsibilities during this crisis and unfortunately some will lose their loves one. Preparation will be disrupted so I think its not bad to cancel PEB exams during these testing times.

      Delete
    3. My workplace is also closing down - we are expected to work from home so training will be affected in some way. Work is gearing up to cope with potentially half of their work force. Trainees are now expected to fulfil other roles and not to concentrate on training. These things need to be considered so I think it is only appropriate to cancel PEB exams this year.

      By the End of June - if situation is not improving, it should be cancelled.

      Delete
    4. Yeah this isn't going away by June.

      I'm not even sure it would be sensible to hold an in-person EQE in March 2021. Solutions for doing the exams remotely need to be found.

      Delete
    5. Some people will have their preparation disrupted, and others will now have extra time to study (you are now being forced to make the social sacrifices that you would normally have to make when you study).
      Obviously if someone around you gets sick, or you get sick, then it is completely different. But I don't understand why you cannot start your preparation now? - surely, many of the things you learn will also be useful in your job. You can take it easy closer to the exam.

      Delete
    6. 1. You can't expect someone to revise when potentially they might have an EQE rescheduled date later in the year. This rules out EPO candidates as we know

      2. Universities have cancelled their exams and are trying to find alternative ways of assessment. This may not be possible and exams for QMW or equivalent are cancelled. This rules out candidates who haven't got foundations if exams cannot go ahead.

      3. JDD courses are often run between May to Aug. This will probably get cancelled as groups are now banned. Lack of course available during crucial revision period.

      4. Massive disruption to industry and firms. Many firms will suffer through this period. Some employees may be asked to take time off or work part time or be laid off. This massively affect personal finances and well being.

      5. Health and well being of candidates who may now be asked to take on more caring responsbilities

      6.coronavirus is likely to last for months.

      Taking in all these factors will have a massive impact on preparation time. These extradionary measures will probably last through summer and early autumn. In these extradionary events and if there is prolong period of it, PEB should cancel exams in Oct as a significant portion of candidates won't be prepared. They need to announce it early than the EPO did to minimise any distress and time wasted.

      Delete
    7. This situation is so serious and much bigger than any of us who have imagine. Revision is probably least on everyone's mind. I think PEB would need to cancel and announcing this in June would be most appropriate.

      We are in for a long period of disruption. 18 months is latest prediction.

      Delete
  51. I am not sure if it is the same people on here as before, but there were a lot of voices urging the EQE to find a way to go ahead, even if certain countries (like the Italians) could not attend.
    Surely it is better to have the exams take place as normally as possible - many people will be able to prepare, and some will be disrupted. And you avoid them having to be pushed back and disrupting other exams.
    Most of the courses are looking at online options. It is not ideal and it is chaotic, but it will not be impossible to study for many people.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Unfortunately there is no training going on in my firm. This is purely survival mode. I'm more worried about my job over the next few months than exams.

    I think it should be postponed if things do not improve by the end of June.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I be surprised if any exams are going ahead this year.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I guess October PEB exams will almost certainly be cancelled.

    This situation is going downhill. 12 weeks may be slightly better but there is no way we are going to recover pre-coronavirus in 12 weeks. People are going to lose jobs, loved ones and have extreme financial/emotional burden. It will take a whole year to recover from this

    ReplyDelete
  55. The supervisory board have been absolutely shocking in their silence and non-communicative responses to their candidates and stakeholders since 5th March. No communication whatsoever after the decision.

    They should resign or stop paying themselves.

    We've asked for a helpline to be set up for weeks - nothing none.

    Emails are not responded too.

    No further communication at all if it is just as simply as "we can no longer realistically hold any exams in 3 months time".

    I understand times are hard but this is when the EPO should be providing more leadership.

    They are so inflexible in their thinking. The supervisory board members should resign in my view. They have been terrible ever since the decision was made to cancel/postpone!

    ReplyDelete
  56. As the situation deteriorates rapidly, I am also joining the group who thinks that it is no longer feasible to hold PEB exams in October.

    ReplyDelete
  57. It looks like Olympic game is going to be cancelled but the arguments made for early cancellation i.e. making the decision now seems very reasonable.

    Emotional wellbeing of candidates - "The uncertainty of the PEB exams happening in October and the inherent desire and motivation to excel that resides in all our candidates is causing real anguish that we can, collectively, put a stop to."

    There is a case that making the decision early will help. It has been obvious that we are not going to enter a normal period for some time. Nobody wants to cancel the exams but I urge PEB to cancel the exams this year in October due to the current situation we are facing.

    Check out the BBC article below.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/52002474

    ReplyDelete

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