Position Title: Supervising Examiner
Classification: EL2
Position Number: Various
Duration: Ongoing and non-ongoing
Section: Various
Division: IP Rights
Location: ACT
Immediate Supervisor: General Manager
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 Supervising Examiner is part of the Branch executive team and holds a key leadership position in the Group. The Supervising Examiner leads a technology section responsible for:

  • examination of patent applications
  • delivering high level quality services aligned to the Customer Service Charter and Quality Practice guidelines
  • ongoing contribution to the legislation and policy development process
  • subject matter input to media responses and ministerial briefs

Job Specific Duties

Roles and responsibilities

  • Lead and manage the activities and resources of a Section responsible for high quality customer service and delivery in a legislative environment.
  • Support the Group General Manager, Assistant General Managers and other senior executives and team members to achieve IP Australia’s corporate goals and objectives.
  • Identify and take responsibility for the development and implementation of performance improvement initiatives and innovative practices.
  • Contribute to business planning, workforce planning, budgeting and reporting for the Group.
  • Support corporate projects, including driving change initiatives, contributing to the IP Australia 2030 Strategy.
  • Provide high level opinion and advice on the various activities of P&PBR.  
  • As required represent IP Australia in business and industry forums.
  • Provide advice on technical direction and complex IP matters including input to the review of legislation and policy.
  • Exercise the appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretions under the legislation.
  • Contribute to Ministerial and media requests.
  • Improve organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk.
  • Establish clear expectations and create an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, taking ownership and honoring commitments.
  • Maintain 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 Skills / Capabilities

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage a section.
  • Demonstrated strategic skills and self-motivation.
  • Demonstrated high level of communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, implement and manage change.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and/or provide input to relevant legislation and policy and undertake related research.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property protection regimes.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide advice and direction on complex technical matters.
  • Effective management of committees and forums.
  • Demonstrated skills and knowledge in exercising delegations under the Patents Act 1990.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to business improvement and innovation.
  • 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 these job vacancies please contact Les Mc Caffery on 62832063 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.


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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: 
Thursday, December 12, 2019