EL1 - Senior Examiner of Patents

Last updated: 
22 April 2016

GROUP: Patents Mechanical and Oppositions Group
SECTION: MECH3 (Process Engineering) and MECH2 (Construction & Mining)
POSITION NUMBER: 4215 and 4699
TITLE: Senior Examiner of Patents
WEEKLY HOURS: 36:45 Full Time

Job description / Context of the role

A Senior Examiner of Patents (EL1) will primarily work under the limited supervision of the Supervising Examiner of Patents (EL2) to assist in the management and leadership of an examination section.

The typical structure of an examination team may comprise up to 45 staff including a Supervising Examiner, several Senior Examiners and the remaining being Examiners with Acceptance Delegation or trainee examiners. Each Senior Examiner will have a small team of staff to manage (usually 5-8 staff), including the training of new Examiners. Suitability of background, qualifications and experience will be assessed for the relevant technologies handled by MECH2 and MECH3 sections. The Senior Examiner supports the section’s Supervising Examiner in the effective leadership and management of the patent process and the realisation of the group and corporate priorities and objectives of the Patents Mechanical and Oppositions Group (PMOG).

A merit list may be established

Condensed wording for the Gazette

As Senior Examiner, you will be responsible for contributing to the leadership and management of a Patent Examination Section. As well as supporting the Supervising Examiner, your responsibilities include the examination of more complex patent cases and supervising and providing training to Examiners, including new Examiners. Involvement in corporate projects is also envisaged.

Specific Duties

Under limited direction, contribute to the management and outcomes of the section by:

  • Providing on the job training to new Examiners, including coaching and supervising assignments;
  • Participating in Group and corporate projects and representing the section in various fora;
  • Mentoring and developing staff, assessing performance, providing feedback and assisting with quality reviews, and encouraging staff to reach personal, section and corporate goals;
  • Examining more complex cases;
  • Demonstrating attitudes and behaviours responsive to workplace change (including participating in and encouraging others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes)
  • Improving organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk within the relevant sphere of influence
  • Establishing clear expectations and creating an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, taking ownership and honouring commitments
  • Maintaining 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

Eligibility Qualifications / Knowledge required

  • A degree in a relevant area of technology (eg. science, engineering, chemical engineering, metallurgy, mechanical engineering) or a diploma together with appropriate industry experience;
  • Ability to exercise the appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretions under the Patents Act 1990 or the capacity to obtain this ability through recognition of prior learning in a timeframe of less than 6 months;
  • A thorough knowledge of patent law and practice and demonstrated judgement in its application.

Key skills / Capabilities

As detailed in the selection criteria below.

Selection Criteria

  1. Demonstrated ability to model behaviour identified as central to IP Australia – united, trusted and strategic.
  2. Highly developed written and verbal communication skills that contribute to forming productive working relationships across the agency.
  3. Ability to achieve results by leading and managing a team of examination staff.
  4. Demonstrated ability to engage with risk and manage uncertainty in the workplace.
  5. Ability to take responsibility and manage competing deadlines.
  6. Ability to focus strategically and a demonstrated understanding of IP Australia’s priorities.

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, candidates are asked to:

  • Address the selection criterion individually (max 300 words per criterion)
  • Provide a current resume
  • Provide the name and contact details of at least one (1) referee

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 Tim Gillett 02 6222 3671


Referees may be sought

Assessment Method

Applicants will be assessed on the application and interview as well as referees comments

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:
Date: 15 April 2016