Position Title: Senior Examiner
Classification: EL1
Position Number: Various
Duration: Ongoing and non-ongoing
Section: Various
Division: IP Rights
Location: ACT
Immediate Supervisor: EL2
Security Classification: BASELINE

Group Responsibilities

Patents, Chemical, Plant Breeder’s Rights & Electrical Group (PCPEG) as well as the Patents Mechanical & Oppositions Group (PMOG) help ensure that Australians benefit from the effective use of intellectual property by examining and granting patents and plant breeders rights. We also provide information and technical support to other groups through input into policy and legislative development and assisting in the provision of advice to government on intellectual property issues.

We are responsible for:

  • examination and granting of patents in the Chemical, Electrical, and Mechanical technologies
  • examination and registration of Plant Breeders Rights
  • patent oppositions and hearings
  • maintaining high standards of quality and identifying improvements in our practices and in the Manual of Practice and Procedure
  • delivering quality training and on-going support for examiners
  • supporting the agency’s development and promotion of the IP system and international harmonisation for the benefit of Australian innovators

Section Responsibilities

The Senior Examiner is part of the section management team and holds a key leadership position in the Section. The Senior Examiner leads a sub-section that is responsible for:

  • examination of patent applications
  • delivering high level quality services aligned to the Customer Service Charter and Quality Practice guidelines

Job Description / Context of the Role

A Senior Examiner actively contributes to the management and leadership of an examination section under limited direction from the Supervising Examiner of Patents (EL2). The typical structure of an examination section may comprise 30 staff including a Supervising Examiner, 4 Senior Examiners and 25 Examiners with/without Acceptance Delegation. Each Senior Examiner will typically lead and directly manage a small team of staff, some of whom may require supervision through the relevant Competency Based Training program. Senior Examiners are expected to support senior management to execute and drive initiatives and projects, in order to deliver on strategic and operational priorities.

Job Specific Duties and Capabilities

The successful candidate will have a good understanding of Patent Law and the Patent Examination Process; be proactive in communicating with others and possess strong communication skills; and take personal responsibility for meeting objectives and achieving results, in line with the IPA work level standards for EL1s.

These skills and knowledge will provide the successful candidate with the ability to:

  • clearly communicate complex legal, procedural and technical concepts in the field of patent examination both verbally and in writing to new and existing Patent Examiners
  • mentor and develop staff, assess staff competencies and performance, provide feedback and provide support and encouragement to staff to reach personal, section and corporate goals
  • contribute to the management and leadership of the section
  • improve organisational performance through effective engagement with, and management of risk
  • demonstrate attitudes and behaviors responsive to workplace change (including participating in and leading others through change and contribute to successful outcomes)
  • provide support to staff to enable them to achieve their own personal, section and corporate goals
  • exercise appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretions under the Patents Act 1990
  • degree in a relevant area of science and / or engineering

Applicants must be or be prepared to train to become hearing officers.

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, you are asked to:

  • frame your response around the job specific duties and job specific capabilities of the role (as detailed in this document), and provide:

1. An explanation of how your skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role (word limit: 500 words).
2. Details of no more than two (2) professional achievements, within the last 5 years, that demonstrate your suitability for this role (word limit: 500 words).

  • provide a current CV detailing recent employment history which is relevant to the advertised position and includes contact details of at least two referees (preferably a direct supervisor).

Applications must be submitted through the IP Australia Web Recruitment system (ESS).

A merit pool of suitable candidates may be established to fill future positions.

Please note you MUST be an Australian Citizen to be engaged in the APS and to meet IP Australia’s security clearance requirements.

Contact Officer

For further information pertaining to this these job vacancies please contact Les McCaffery on (02) 6283 2063 for Chemical, Electrical or PBR vacancies and George Vuckovic for mechanical vacancies on (02) 6283 7914.

Please note IP Australia will be closed for Christmas shutdown from Wednesday 25 December 2019 to Wednesday 1 January 2020, reopening Thursday 2 January 2020.


Apply for this role

Working in IP Australia

Australia’s Intellectual property (IP) rights system supports innovation, investment and international competitiveness. IP Australia administers Australia’s IP rights system, specifically patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights. IP Australia also undertakes programs to educate and promote an awareness of intellectual property (IP), provides IP policy input to Government, develops legislation to support the IP system and contributes to bilateral and multilateral negotiations to improve IP protection internationally.

IP Australia strives to deliver robust IP rights efficiently, satisfy our customers in terms of timeliness and value for money and be recognised as one of the leading IP offices in the world for the quality (including accuracy and consistency) of the IP rights we grant. IP Australia is committed to external certification of our Quality Management System which involves applying ISO 9001:2008 to key business processes and to environmental management through ISO14001 certification within the agency.

All IP Australia staff contribute to the achievement of organisational outcomes and the overall management of IP Australia by assisting, as appropriate, the Commissioner of Patents and the Registrars of Trade Marks and Designs and Plant Breeder’s Rights, and their deputies (where relevant), to perform statutory functions, and where appropriate, exercise relevant delegations.

IP Australia recognises the importance of employees balancing their work and personal lives by offering staff access to an ongoing series of health and wellbeing programs, flexible work-life policies and a range of professional development programs. IP Australia is a breastfeeding friendly workplace.

The IP Australia office in Canberra provides high quality accommodation and facilities. These include: an on-site café, conference, meeting and training rooms; limited on-site parking for cars and motor cycles available on a rotational basis; the provision of undercover bicycle racks; excellent shower/change facilities for staff choosing to walk or ride to work; and the advantage of all staff being co-located in the one building.

Please note: All IP Australia positions are subject to an ENTRY ONLY pre-employment check unless a higher security clearance has been identified. Other pre-employment checks may also apply.


Job documentation updated and endorsed for use: 
Wednesday, December 11, 2019