Job Documentation

Position Title: Senior Examiner of Patents
Classification: EL1
Position Number: Various
Tenure: Non-Ongoing for up to 12 months with the possibility of becoming Ongoing
Duration: Non-Ongoing for up to 12 months with the possibility of becoming Ongoing
Section: Chem 2
Group: Patents Chemical, PBR and Electrical
Division: IP Rights
Location: Flexible
Immediate Supervisor: Executive Level 2
Security Classification: ENTRY ONLY

Group Responsibilities

The Patents Chemical, PBR and Electrical Group (PCPEG) is responsible for examining and granting robust patents and plant breeders’ rights. In addition, the Group develops examiner decision guided by the Manual of Practice and Procedure, and supports the development and promotion of the intellectual property system and international harmonisation for the benefit of Australian innovators.

Section Responsibilities

The Biotechnology, Chemical Compounds, Bio-Therapeutics, Polymers & Applied Chemistry, and Pharmaceuticals sections are responsible for the examination of patent applications filed in each of the respective technology areas. The positions currently advertised are for current and anticipated vacancies in the Chemical Compounds,  Polymers & Applied Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical sections, though candidates across all five chemical technologies are encouraged to apply for the positions as any merit list established may be used in the event of other vacancies in the chemical sections.

Job Description / Context of the Role

As a Senior Examiner of Patents you will contribute to the management and leadership of an examination section.  A typical examination section will comprise 20-30 staff including a Supervising Examiner, several Senior Examiners and 15-25 Examiners.  Each Senior Examiner will directly manage a small team of staff, including the provision of support and training to examiners undertaking the competency-based training program for patent examination. You will also support senior management to execute and drive initiatives & projects, provide high level professional and technical advice and provide representation of the section and the Patents Chemical, PBR and Electrical Group (PCPEG) in various fora.

Job Specific Duties

  • Supervises and provides on-the-job training in patent examination to new examiners.
  • Participates in group and corporate projects and represents the section in various fora.
  • Mentors, supports and develops staff, including assessing staff competencies and performance and providing objective and constructive feedback and encourage team members to reach personal, section and corporate goals.
  • Sets a client focus and models customer focused behaviour.
  • Exercises appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretion under the Patents Act 1990.
  • Demonstrates attitudes and behaviours responsive to workplace change (including participates in and encourages others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes).
  • Improves organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk within relevant sphere of influence.
  • Establishes clear expectations and creates an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, takes ownership and honours commitments.
  • Maintains an understanding of their/worker responsibilities under the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and a commitment to promoting a healthy and safe workplace.

Job Specific Capabilities

  • Ability to deliver results through effective leadership and management of a diverse team.
  • Good judgement and analytical skills, in particular the ability to quickly identify the important facts relating to an issue and understand their relationship to other facts or issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to create an engaged team through goal setting, regular feedback and staff development.
  • Ability to think strategically to build organisational capability and deliver on group and agency priorities.
  • Demonstrated resilience and judgement when dealing with risk, uncertainty, and change.
  • Ability to communicate effectively as the head of a team, as well as clearly communicate complex legal and procedural concepts in the field of patent examination.
  • Thorough knowledge of patent law and practice, together with demonstrated judgement in its application
  • Ability to exercise the appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretion under the Patents Act 1990.
  • Ability to supervise patent examination in Biotechnology, Chemical Compounds, Bio-Therapeutics, Polymers & Applied Chemistry, and/or Pharmaceuticals fields.

Eligibility Qualifications / Knowledge Required

A degree in a relevant area of science (Molecular Biology, Chemistry or Pharmacology), or a diploma together with appropriate industry experience.

Hold Acceptance Delegation (Examiner of Patents)

Application Requirements

To apply for the position, candidates are required to frame their responses around the specific duties and key skills outlined above, and:

  • Explain how your skills, knowledge and experience is relevant to this role (limit response to 750 words).
  • Detail a professional achievement, within the past 3 years, that best demonstrates your suitability for this role (limit response to 750 words).

Candidates should also provide a current CV detailing recent employment history which is relevant to the advertised position and provide the name and contact details of two referees.

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

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 job please contact George Hearder on 02 6283 2553.


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: 
Monday, July 15, 2019