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e:EQE Discussion Paper

e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
Number of replies: 20

2021/05/19 15:52:45
Mr Hendrik Promies

By way of introduction, I coordinate the training acitivities for the Siemens IP department. The EQE is a major concern of mine as Siemens generally considers the EQE to be the first step in the career of an inhouse counsel whereas the national qualification usually constitutes a second step. I understand that other companies in DE follow a similar approach. I was an EQE tutor for several years and I provide an inhouse EPC training to our new hires. I am an examiner in the DE national exams and, last but not least, a member of the Board of the Chamber of German Patent Attorneys (PAK).

I strongly support the Motion by the German Delegation and would like to submit that the Board of the PAK is very interested in actively participating in the proposed online conference. The EQE is an essential part of the professional life of most PAK members, and the majority of PAK members are also European Patent Attorneys. We collectively look back on many years of experience as tutors, candidate supervisors, and examiners in both the EQE and the DE national exam, an experience we can offer to bring to the table.

A few comments on the discussion paper:

  1. I completely agree that the EQE needs to be modernized and realinged with its goal of testing the "fitness to practice" of the candidates. I feel that candidates spend too much time with studying exam methodology and tactics which would better be invested in subject matter studies.
  2. Generally I would like to cast a vote for uncertainty: EQE needs to test the candidate's understanding of the law and ability to argue the case at hand, using papers that are based on (near) real-life problems with real life's uncertainties and that are not black-and-white, that require the candidate to make assumptions, and that allow the candidate to pass if the ability to argue the client's case within the boundaries of the law was demonstrated. Also, not every EQE needs to have four papers A-D, maybe it is sufficient to have an A-style paper in one year but not B-style paper. But candidates must come to the exam being prepared for both. In other words: Make the exam less predictable and thus remove some of the comfortable certainty the candidates achieve with the methodology courses. In marking, "fit to practice" should govern the decision whether a candidate can pass, not "did the candidate apply the problem-solution-approach as envisaged by the examination committee".
  3. I disagree with the proposal insofar it states that papers should have a maximum duration of 2 hours. I believe that it will not be possible to set up 2-hour papers which have the complexities of near real-life problems. The duration of any paper should at least be 3 hours, preferably 4 hours. I understand the practical concerns such as toilet breaks and the danger of unwanted information exchange between the candidate and other persons but I believe that reasonably complex problems cannot be discussed during short breaks (similar to large exam centers of the past where multiple candidates were allowed to go to the toilet at the same time).
  4. I have serious doubts whether multiple choice questions, be they (AI-assisted) smart or not smart, can truly test the "fitness to practice". Multiple choice can, at best, test knowledge and analytical skills but it simply cannot test the reproductive skills of a candidate, i.e. the very skills that are essential for providing a comprehensive response to a client based on the legal analysis. D1 is in my eyes about the only paper where MCQ could make sense.
  5. On a more general note, it should not be the EQE's purpose to rectify deficiencies in the candidates' training nor to provide a training syllabus. Tutors and candidates must understand that the 3-year period inscribed in Art. 11 REE is not meant as a period during which the candidate is a cheap laborer and incidentally uses previous EQE papers and (if he/she can shell out the money). Training must be taken seriously in that candidates must be exposed to the clients' problems and must constantly be challenged to find solutions. In this regard it does appear quite strange that EPO examiners who have never been exposed to a single client are allowed to sit the exam and are, upon passing it, considered "fit to practice".
  6. In line with the previous comment it could be made the EPO Academy's task to install a course that runs in parallel with the 3 year period and provides tests which a candidate needs to pass in order to sit the EQE. Those could be multiple choice, and the course can beoffered online at low cost, without the need to travel.
  7. Finally, I believe the EQE should be made easier to pass for those who are well prepared and at the same time the number of resits should be limited. Unlimited attempts pose a huge burden on the examination system, the employers, and the candidates themselves. Limiting the number of attempts would act as an incentive to prepare better and take the exam not before one is truly ready.


In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/20 18:55:40
Mr Erwin-Detlef von Ahsen

Having carefully read the paper as well as the discussion so far, I fully agree to Hendik Promies exhausting views. The paper does not provide for a EQE that generates the highly qualified and competent representatives the EPO is seeking for. It is impossible to have an exam on a avarage complex case in just two hours.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/21 15:15:14
Mr Sven-Erik Braitmayer

Ich stimme den Ausführungen von Herrn Promies in allen Punkten zu.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/21 16:25:41
Mr Gerhard Guthöhrlein

I completely agree with Mr. Promies!

As Head of the IP Department of Dräger I have strong concerns that it will become even more difficult to find European Patent Attorneys that are able to handle our matters appropriately if the quality of the EQE is reduced and "fit-to-practise" is in fact increasingly not achieved!
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/21 19:53:01
Mr Samuel Adams

The remarks of Mr. Promies appear to reflect a great deal of thought and his experience in tutoring and training certainly (far) exceeds mine. I would, in any case, like to offer a few comments for this thread.

1. The discussion paper seems to indicate that the two hour limit for each of the modules is intended to simplify preparation of question papers and marking of the answers (page 5, above "Legal Track"), rather than to simplify proctoring, as suggested in the comments of Mr. Promies and others. I think limiting the modules to two hours is reasonable. As suggested in the discussion paper, an important part of making a candidate fit to practice is on the job experience. I am skeptical that the benefits of extending the modules from two hours to 3 or 4 (as suggested) will outweigh the costs. Crafting unpredictable problems that reflect a real-life situation and would be solvable by any well-prepared candidate does indeed seem to be a daunting task for an exam preparer. The approach of adapting and simplifying recent decisions of the Boards of Appeal or a national court (a staple of the German exams) seems unlikely to be suitable for testing all the legal and practical aspects described in the discussion paper.

2. In contrast to Mr. Promies, I think MCQ is reasonable for modules up to the final exams, as proposed in the discussion paper. Similar to limiting the modules to two hours, this is a question of cost-benefit analysis. The benefits of lowering the burden on the examination system would seem to outweigh the costs of departing from free text for every exam. Testing whether a candidate can provide a comprehensive response to a client based on legal analysis would appear to be suitable task for the final exams. It does not seem necessary to also test this capability in each of the preceding modules.

3. I disagree with Mr. Promies' suggestion to limit the number of resits, particularly with regard to the final exams. Excluding a candidate from their chosen profession after three years of preparation because of repeated exam failures seems unduly harsh. There are many reasons why candidates fail multiple times, only some of which are related to preparation. Limiting the allotted time for an exam to two hours appears to be a less punitive way of reducing the burden on the examination system and employers than limiting resits.
In addition, the Salted Patent blog includes a post suggesting that some trainees prefer to study law rather than to become patent attorneys because of the uncertainty involved in passing the EQE. It seems that limiting resits (or even raising the pass rates for resitters) would scare away even more suitable candidates from our profession. Failing the exam and having to wait to take it again seems to provide a suitable incentive to adequately prepare for resitting. If fears of many inadequately prepared candidates continue to prevail, I would recommend increasing the required waiting time for those who resit the same exam more than once rather than limiting resitting or raising the pass rate for resitters (as suggested in the discussion paper). The current system of increasing costs could also be maintained.

4. I also disagree with abolishing the current compensation scheme (as suggested in the discussion paper), at least without replacing it with something else. Few things are more frustrating than being one point away from passing an exam, especially a particularly difficult one. Also, the exams will inevitably be harder in some years than in others. The compensation scheme (for the final exams) seems to be a reasonable way to give candidates a boost if they have the misfortune of getting one of the more difficult exams or if they find one area particularly challenging but are talented in others.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/23 13:15:25
Mr Hendrik Promies

I thank Mr. Adams very much for his comments and would like submit the following: my post was too long for a forum as it is and in an effort to shorten it I deleted some lengthy explanations which, to some extent, dealt with some of the comments and arguments presented by Mr. Adams. I'll try to elaborate on Mr. Adam's specific points in the following.

1. I understand the practical concerns underlying the proposal to have short papers that allow for a high degree of automation, thereby lowering the administrative burden the EQE undoubtedly poses (in particular, crafting papers, marking papers, responding to candidate complaints and appeals). However, I do not think that the administrative burden should be the governing factor in the EQE redesign. Modernizing the EQE should be driven by (re-)aligning it with its goal to test the fitness to practice. And, as indicated in my original post, I am not against testing the progress of candidates, but this should not be labeled part of the EQE. Instead I think the EPO Academy should live up to its name and organize a compulsory training course which provides several tests/exams the passing of which is a prerequisite to sitting the new EQE. Also, when I offered to bring to the table the collective DE knowledge I did not in any way mean to use the DE written exams as a blueprint. I was referring to the fact that many European Patent Attorneys and EQE candidates reside in DE and we would be happy to share but also to learn from the other 37 member states.

2. Again, the cost-benefit analysis is a concept that I think should not be the driver behind setting up an exam. And, see my intial post, I believe we need to distinguish between training and examination. MCQ can be a mandatory part of the training to check the progress of the candidate (and needs to be aligned with the training's syllabus), and MCQ may also be suitable to test a candidate's readiness to take the exam. The exam iteslf, on the other hand, is "just" an exam and not a series of progress checks nor should it provide an educational framework. For that purpose, and I guess this is where we agree, the adminstration of a central European exam is simply too expensive.

3. There are multiple layers to the problem of the resits (resitting is a problem, as I think we can agree). Let me start by saying that I find that the EQE is unfair in several ways, for example to those whose first language is not one of the EQE official languages. See for example https://statisteqe.beetz.nl/countries.php. I did not analyze this in detail, but it would appear that those candidates (with the exception of NL) are clearly at a disadvantage. So yes, before limiting the number of resits we need to make the EQE fairer, and also adapt it to the working methods of the 21st century. By that I mean for example: in daily practice, few people still use printed versions of the EPO guidelines or the EPO official journal. For the EQE however candidates need to learn how to annotate and work with printed texts which become outdated several times over their 3-year period (and once more the "non-EPC-native" speakers are at a disadvantage because for them all material is only available in a foreign language). Those issues need to be discussed prior to developing a new exam scheme, and also prior to defining a new resit mechanism. As regards the resitting, I still believe the number of resits should be limited. Not passing the EQE does not mean one cannot work in the profession -- it only means that one cannot represent without someone else's help/signature. Someone who, for example after 3 attempts, did not pass the EQE because of paper C or D still has 6 years of experience and may be an excellent drafter of applications and office action responses (the marks on papers A and B can be used as proof thereof), and I know that the job market has opportunities for those. A few arguments in favor of a limit: I am not aware of any professional qualification that allows truly unlimited attempts, so why should the EQE be an exception? Also, in the interest of the profession as a whole and the clients who entrust valuable assets to it/us, we cannot allow candidates to take the exam until, on a lucky day, they eventually pass. This may sound harsh, but such is the nature of examinations. And, finally, I think that unlimited attempts create too much of a burden for the employers and their candidates and their relationship -- with every resit the candidate becomes more desperate, is unhappy all winter and has a hard time concentrating on their job, until the day of the EQE. This then goes on until the results are published, and the cycle potentially restarts, with even higher desperation. Were the number of attempts limited, everyone could go on with their lives and careers. Candidates would also be more motivated to take a temporary break from the EQE, which is another version of Mr. Adams' proposal to increase the waiting time, but candidates would be in control.

4. It think that if all the papers are fair (see comments above), and the marking is fair (see below), then a compensation scheme (and the added complexity it creates) is not needed. The trouble with "harder" and "easier" papers is not that they exist (I agree that this cannot be avoided). The trouble is that the marking schemes are stubbornly static where they should be handled with much more sense of proportion (i.e., fairness). I never understood why, with the large number of candidates, the marking schemes are not adjusted by the examination experts in order to arrive at a Gaussian (or other) normal distribution centered on N points. On the subject of being just one point away from a pass (i.e. 49 points instead of 50), the same argument could be made in the case where the candidate is just one point away from a compensable fail (i.e. 44 points instead of 45). In both cases it is the conscious decision of the marker not to award this one crucial point. I think that having two thresholds instead of one complicates the marking of the papers, without much benefit to the examination process as a whole. On the contrary: it could create a false sense of complacency for a candidate who has passed two papers with enough points to compensate the two he/she failed in the first attempt.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/24 12:04:00
Mr Thomas Kimpfbeck

As a member of the EQE examination committee EC I, I would like to draw the attention to the following.

I experienced different challenges in training and examining future European Patent Attorneys:

Candidates sit the exam with insufficient training.
If candidates want to prepare they are faced with an increasing „EQE industry“ providing expensive courses and fancy named methods to train an exam system instead of becoming fit for practice.
Some candidates retry the exam many times and these resitters increase the Examination Committee’s workload.
This year’s eEQE had difficult circumstances with regard to preparation time and software.

The discussion paper, however, tries to cure the symptoms instead of the causes of problems with the EQE. It concludes:

Although this position paper presents a lot of detail related to the format of the EQE, a lot of other things are presently not considered, as they depend on the choice of testing.

I respectfully disagree to change the EQE format and to see the root of the issues in the choice of testing, I rather believe an institutionalized EQE training, i. e. mandatory, affordable, University based training for 1-2 years is the answer to most of the challenges.

An institutionalized training...

  • prepares the candidates sufficiently to sit the exam successfully. Thus, no need to substantially change the exam.
  • renders expensive private trainings redundant.
  • allows to train the fundamental knowledge to become fit for practice instead of cramming mere exam techniques.
  • reduces the number of resitters. Additionally, one could think of limiting the number of attempts.

Apart of that, my first hand experience with this years eEQE shows that candidates had overall no technical problems to do the exam. The typewritten answer papers are very readable. It appears most candidates were acquainted with the Wiseflow tool. Of course, I cannot deny that many changes for the eEQE were on quite short notice for the candidates, but, extraordinary situations require extraordinary solutions to offer an EQE during pandemic. I am sure next year‘s eEQE will be close to normal for most of the candidates.

Furthermore, I agree to the opinion of Hendrik Promies.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/25 14:17:23
Mr Samuel Adams

I would like to thank Mr. Promies for his comments on my remarks, and to respond in turn.

1. Perhaps we can find common ground regarding the use of MCQ in training rather than examination. I do not think anyone would disagree that expanding the availability of affordable training for candidates would be welcome. It might make more sense if the MCQ modules referred to in the discussion paper could be a part of that training rather than a part of the EQE. I would recommend limiting the amount of mandatory training (i.e., making as much training as possible voluntary) and trying to give candidates as much flexibility as possible when preparing for the EQE.

2. I also agree with Mr. Promies that the EQE is unfair for those whose first language is not one of the EQE official languages and that addressing this issue merits further discussion. I wonder, however, if the issue can be addressed without increasing the complexity of the exam and the administrative burden involved in developing and correcting it. As an aside, I am not sure that we will be successful in convincing the EPO to forsake cost coverage as an overriding goal.

3. Mr. Promies may also be correct that more flexible marking is a preferable alternative to a compensation scheme. I would think that this creates its own problems, however. A feature of the EQE is that candidates have access the Boards of Appeal in order to contest the marking of their exam papers. Marks that cannot be easily correlated to the exam answers or candidates who get the feeling that subjective graders privileged one and put the other at a disadvantage seem ripe for successful appeals.

4. I continue to disagree with Mr. Promies regarding limiting the number of resits. He mentions that he is unaware of any professional qualification that allows truly unlimited attempts. In response, there are a number of qualifications in the USA that allow unlimited attempts. I recently verified that unlimited retakes are allowed for the New York and California bar exams (to become an attorney at law), and I am reasonably confident that all state bar exams can be taken an unlimited number of times. In addition, certifications to be an auditor and a US patent agent allow unlimited attempts. British colleagues have informed me that their patent attorney exam allows unlimited attempts, as have Japanese colleagues. Indeed, I would not be surprised if Germany and Austria are the only EPC contracting states that limit the number of resits for their patent attorney exams.
By arguing that we cannot allow candidates to take the exam until, on a lucky day, they eventually pass, Mr. Promies seems to argue that candidates who retake the exams a number of times are a danger to unsuspecting clients. If this is a widespread concern, we could consider making exam information available to interested clients. If, before hiring a patent attorney, a prospective client (or employer) would like to know how many attempts they needed to pass the EQE, this information could be made available by the EPO upon request and prior consent of the patent attorney, presumably accompanied by an appropriate fee.
Regarding the relationship with an employer, I would submit that being excluded from pursuing your chosen career path or qualification creates far more unhappiness than repeated preparation for an exam.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/25 18:49:39
Mr Stefan Kastel

Als Mitglied der Prüfungskommission, Vorsitzender des Prüfungsausschusses IV, der für die Vorprüfung zuständig ist, ehemaliges Mitglied des Prüfungsausschusses II, der für den C-Teil zuständig ist, und mehr als 20 Jahren Prüfertätigkeit in der europäischen Eignungsprüfung kommentiere ich den Reformvorschlag wie folgt.

Die genannten Motivationen unterstütze ich, und ich bin sehr dankbar für die Diskussion. Ich unterstütze ausdrücklich den Antrag der deutschen Delegation. Insbesondere sollten diejenigen, die ein neues System umsetzen sollen, mehr in die Diskussion eingebunden werden.

Zu Multiple Choice (MC):

Bei der Bewertung der Prüfungen zum Einspruch konnten wir anhand der Argumentation sehr gut erkennen, ob der Bewerber für die Praxis des zugelassenen Vertreters geeignet ist. Dies ist bei der Vorprüfung unmöglich. Das Ausweiten von MC-Prüfungen halte ich für den falschen Ansatz zum Prüfen der Fähigkeiten für unseren Beruf.

Das bisherige starre Format der Vorprüfung war den bisherigen beschränkten EDV-Möglichkeiten geschuldet. Mit dem neuen Wiseflow-System bieten sich mehr Möglichkeiten, und man kann nun die Fragen flexibler stellen, was ich ausdrücklich befürworte.

Ein großer Nachteil der MC-Prüfung ist, dass wir aufgrund der Entscheidungen der Disziplinarkammer gezwungen waren, eine Schwarz/Weiß-Situation zu präsentieren. Es ist nun aber gerade Aufgabe eines guten Vertreters, auch brauchbare Argumente für schwierige Fälle zu formulieren. Zu allen Fragen der Neuheit, der erfinderischen Tätigkeit und insbesondere der Klarheit und der Frage, ob eine Ausführungsform unter einen Anspruch fällt oder nicht, kann man gegensätzliche Positionen haben. Daher ist es praktisch unmöglich, hierfür schwarz/weiß Situationen zu schaffen. Erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass die EQE in drei Sprachen erstellt werden muss. Weicht in einer Sprache die Bedeutung von denjenigen anderer Sprachen ab, dann liegt nach der Rechtsprechung der Disziplinarkammer ein schwerwiegender Fehler vor und die Frage ist zu neutralisieren. Dies alles führt zu einen enormen Aufwand bei der Erstellung der Multiple-Choice-Fragen der bisherigen Vorprüfung. Dies wird nicht besser in den vorgeschlagenen Multiple-Choice-Prüfungen des Reformvorschlages.

Multiple-Choice-Prüfung kann man zum Abfragen von Wissen verwenden, jedoch kaum für die Beurteilung der Fähigkeiten. Man kann sie mehr zum Abfragen von Basiswissen nutzen. Dann muss aber auch der Bewertungsmaßstab strenger sein. Wer zum Beispiel mehr als zwei/drei Fragen aus dem Basiswissen falsch beantwortet, sollte noch einmal lernen müssen. Wenn, wie in dem Reformvorschlag angegeben, MC-Fragen auch zum Testen von Neuheit, erfinderischer Tätigkeit, Klarheit, Auslegung der Ansprüche, usw. rechtssicher formuliert werden sollen, müsste man eine rechtliche Grundlage für mehr Ermessensspielraum schaffen, um das Schwarz/Weiß-Erfordernis abzumildern, so dass man auch nach der wahrscheinlichsten Lösung gefragt werden kann.

Bereits jetzt gibt es viele Qualitätsprüfungsstufen, dennoch kann man bei einem solch komplexen System Fehler nicht gänzlich vermeiden. Schlüssel dafür, dass die Multiple-Choice-Fragen besser werden, ist ein viel intensiveres Testen. Wir hatten bei der Erstellung der Vorprüfung Vorlesungen und Vorträge einiger MC-Experten. Demnach ist das wichtigste, dass erstellte Fragen von der korrekten Testgruppe, an die man sich wendet, getestet werden. Eine Frage, die keiner richtig beantworten kann oder die einen Fehler aufweist, ist auszusondern. Fragen, die von allen Bewerbern korrekt beantwortet werden, sind auch nicht geeignet, Bewerber unterschiedlich zu bewerten. Auch Fragen, die nur von ansonsten schwächeren Bewerbern korrekt beantwortet werden, von den besseren aber nicht, sind ungeeignet. Bei einem auf ehrenamtlicher Tätigkeit beruhenden System finden sich aber nur stets nur sehr wenige Freiwillige (2 bis 3) für die Tests. Es muss daher auch in der Reform bedacht werden, wie die Tests ausgeweitet werden können.

Zur Erstellung der Fragen braucht es Personen, die über das entsprechende Wissen und die Sprachkenntnisse verfügen. Dies geht nur durch zugelassene Vertreter.

Ich schätze aus meinen bisherigen Erfahrungen, dass zur praktischen Umsetzung des Reformplans bezüglich der Multiple-Choice-Fragen ein Team von zugelassenen Vertretern, in dem Chemie- und Mechanik/Elektrotechnik-Experten und Muttersprachler für alle drei Amtssprachen vorhanden sind, in Vollzeit tätig werden müssten, um einen Pool von Fragen zu erstellen und zu pflegen. Auch muss genügend Manpower für die Tests zur Verfügung stehen.

Alles in allem hat die Vorprüfung die mit der EQE verbundene Arbeit nicht verringert, im Gegenteil.

Beschwerden

Unklar ist mir noch, ob in dem Reformplan an Beschwerden und deren Behandlung gedacht worden ist. Aus Rechtsstaatsprinzipien muss jede Entscheidung einer Verwaltung gerichtlich überprüfbar sein. Das deutsche Bundesverfassungsgericht hat bestätigt, dass das bisherige EQE-System diesem Grundsatz des deutschen Grundgesetz genügt, da die Entscheidung der Prüfungskommission durch die Beschwerdekammer des EPA überprüfbar sind, und diese als Gericht anzusehen ist. Man muss also weiterhin die Möglichkeit für Beschwerden vorsehen. Vermutlich wird jede Entscheidung in jedem Modul durch Beschwerde angreifbar sein. Ich rechne mit mehr Beschwerden und einer entsprechenden Erhöhung der hierfür auftretenden Kosten.

Es wäre bereits jetzt - für die Vorprüfung - sehr wünschenswert, wenn es für die Bewerber attraktiver wäre, mehr zu lernern und die Prüfung zu wiederholen, anstelle Beschwerde zu erheben. Hierzu ist die Idee, Prüfungen mehrfach im Jahr anzubieten, ein guter Ansatz (mit dem Preis des entsprechend erhöhten Mehraufwands für die Erstellung von mehr Prüfungen). Es müssten aber noch mehr Maßnahmen ergriffen werden, um Wiederholungen attraktiver als die Einlegung einer Beschwerde zu machen, wie z.B. Erhöhung der Beschwerdegebühr oder beschränkter Zulassung der Beschwerde - falls rechtlich zulässig, was noch zu prüfen wäre.

Jede Beschwerde wird derzeit von der Prüfungskommission (4 EPA-Mitglieder, 4 EPI-Mitglieder) überprüft, um ihr entweder abzuhelfen oder sie zur Disziplinarkammer weiterzuleiten. Je mehr Prüfungen, desto mehr Arbeit entsteht hier. Auch ist derzeit die Prüfungskommission für jede Prüfung und deren Bewertung zuständig. Es wären nach dem Reformvorschlag im Jahr mehrere Module zu organisieren. Dies würde eine enorme Mehrbelastung für die Prüfungskommission bedeuten.

Derzeit arbeite ich ehrenamtlich etwa 80 bis 100 h pro Jahr für die EQE, in diesem Jahr weitaus mehr wegen der besonderen Umstände. Mehrbelastungen sind hier ehrenamtlich nicht zu schaffen.

Eine Reform muss daher auch das gesamte System und die Aufgaben der einzelnen Organe der Eignungsprüfung neu regeln.

Digitalisierung und Online-Prüfung

Wichtig ist auch die Ausstattung des Prüfungssekretariats. Unbedingt notwendig ist eine eigene IT-Abteilung, die die Geheimhaltung gewährleisten kann und die Umsetzung der Prüfungen als Online-Prüfung und Unterstützung bei der Bewertung und der Information liefert.

Eine Beschränkung auf zwei Stunden für alle Module halte ich für falsch. Ein zugelassener Vertreter muss sich schnell auch in komplexe Sachverhalte einarbeiten können und diese bearbeiten können. Eine zweistündige Prüfung kann nur Sachverhalte geringer Komplexität abfragen, dieser Aspekt des Prüfens, ob ein Bewerber fit für die Praxis ist, ginge verloren. Auch während einer zweistündigen Prüfung müssen Toilettenpausen zugelassen werden, dies war wir bei der EQE2021 so. Es gab auch schwangere Bewerber oder Bewerber mit gesundheitlichen Problemen, diese kann man nicht ausschließen. Was spricht gegen eine vierstündige Prüfung mit der ohnehin gegebenen Möglichkeit, jederzeit zur Toilette zu gehen?

Bei der Online-Prüfung 2021 war ich Aufsichtsperson, um 70 Bewerber online über Kamera und KI zu überwachen. Das System ist alles andere als perfekt. Wer es kennt, weiß, wie man während der Prüfung auch überwacht mit den derzeit vorgesehenen Mitteln mit anderen Kontakt aufnehmen kann und sich Rat durch Dritte für die Beantwortung der Fragen einholen kann. Viele Bewerber hatten technische Probleme, die von der Aufsichtsperson unterstützt zu lösen waren. Die Organisation war mit großem Aufwand verbunden. Sie war auch kein durchschlagender Erfolg: Die Prüfungskommission hat mehrere Hundert Beschwerde-Emails bezüglich der Durchführung der EQE erhalten, die nun nach und nach beantwortet werden sollen.

Ich sehe dies als Notlösung für Pandemiezeiten geeignet, jedoch nicht als Dauerlösung. Ich schlage vor, dass bei Ablegen der Online-Prüfung die Bewerber durch eine anwesende Person beaufsichtigt werden. Die Prüfung könnte z.B. in nahen Kanzleien (andere als die eigene Ausbildungskanzlei) stattfinden und durch zugelassene Vertreter beaufsichtigt werden. Ansonsten wüsste ich nicht, wie man auf Dauer die Aufsicht regeln sollte. Ich jedenfalls möchte die Aufgabe der Online-Aufsichtsperson kein zweites Mal übernehmen.

Gerne stehe ich für weitere Diskussionen zur Verfügung.

Stefan Kastel
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/26 18:04:06
Mr Dimitrios Roukounas

As an active member and former chairman of ECIII and former member of the Examination Board, I would like to provide the following comments.

I fully agree with Mr. Stefan Kastel on all aspects raised by him.

I should mention that I am not against an electronic version of the EQE. I assume that most candidates prefer to type their answers instead of writing them by hand. In addition, the fact that the candidates’ answers are typed, improves significantly the efficiency of marking. Of course, the software tools used in the electronic version must be reliable and they should not be the source of problems for the candidates.

Having said that, I believe that, after the pandemic, the EQE has to return to a controlled environment with physical invigilation. If it is decided, for whatever reason, not to use the examination centers of the past, I believe that other possibilities exist, such as law firms, as suggested by Mr. Kastel, or national Patent Offices. In any case, after the pandemic the candidates should not be allowed to sit the exam from any place they wish.

I cannot see how the proposed modular system will improve the overall quality of the EQE. Instead, I believe that the quality will be significantly compromised. As already mentioned by many, two-hour modules are too short and they cannot be set at the required level of complexity. Furthermore, I believe that it is highly likely that the number of candidates’ appeals and thus the burden on the system will increase to a great extent. In addition, the amount of drafting work will have to be substantially increased. For example, the final legal exam, which I assume should be something similar to today’s paper D2, is to be offered twice a year. A question to be answered is, who will draft all these papers. The preparation of an EQE paper in the three languages requires the involvement of a large number of people, who have significant experience in drafting the paper in question, over a long period of time. In this respect, I should mention that there has not been any discussion within ECIII regarding this proposal (I do not know if the situation is different in other ECs). However, in my view, changes of this magnitude should be primarily discussed with the people who are supposed to implement them. I believe that this is particularly important nowadays, when most EQE work is performed by epi members, who voluntarily devote their time to the various tasks of the EQE.

As for the multiple choice (MC) questions, I am strongly against them for reasons already explained in previous comments. In any case, in this respect we could and should learn from the experience of the pre-examination. In my opinion, the introduction of the pre-examination almost ten years ago has not led to an improvement of the quality of the candidates’ answers in the main exam. At the same time, the pre-examination has been a source of various problems and unnecessary burden on the system. I believe that these are the results of the fact that the pre-examination is a MC test. I actually believe that the pre-examination in the MC format should have been abolished years ago. However, instead of learning from this experience and totally avoiding MC questions, the discussion paper suggests their proportional increase, which I find totally inexplicable.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/26 20:20:13
Mr Torsten Exner

I fail to see the need for a fundamental change of the examination as proposed, and I also fail to see any improvement of the suggested changes. It rather seems we are supposed to come from the frying pan into the fire.
What I, most of all, have to critizise is that no one seems to have thought about the issue of how all the drafters of the papers and the markers are to be recruited. At the epi end we are doing this on a volunteer basis.

A requirement of a training period is all well and good, but what does this have to do with the examination. Further, why on earth do we need more basic modules than at present? The pre-exam has done a good job, the quality of answers has improved significantly.

The suggested “multi-level modular approach” of 2 hours each entirely overlooks the fact that somebody has to do the marking. Currently the trend is that marking is to be done at warp speed (of course without any payment). This will no longer be possible with this pipe dream of an exam.
Who is going to mark the final paper in the form intended? I definitely would not do it any longer. Analysing a scenario and preparing a legal opinion sounds very much like the German approach of drafting a legal opinion. If you take this for serious you either cannot do it within 3 hours or you are back at Paper D. For a legal opinion you also need the rest of the German setting, which means that judges are doing the marking. How else are you going to mark a free text examination that is outside any rutted track in a manner that is thorough, fair for everyone?

There seem to be a few good ideas, but sorry to say: overall this approach appears to be poorly conceived.

It would have been a good idea to consult the present markers of the EQE.

If you don't, this sort of idea from the ivory tower is what you get.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/27 12:05:26
Ms Ulrike Theresia Cremer

Ich sehe, wie wohl alle Kollegen, die Notwendigkeit einer Reform des EQE. Und es ist auch verständlich, dass in Anbetracht der großen Zahl an Prüfungen die Idee aufkommt, dass Multiple Choice hilfreich sein könnte. Zur Vorprüfung kann ich diesbezüglich nichts sagen, aber mindestens für die Hauptprüfung halte ich dies für einen falschen Ansatz. Eine der Kernfähigkeiten eines/r guten "Patentanwalts/wältin" liegt in der Argumentationsfähigkeit, im Differenzieren und im Formulieren. Dies gilt für das Verfassen von Patentanmeldungen genauso wie für Bescheidserwiderungen und Schriftsätzen im Einspruchs- oder Beschwerdeverfahren und auch in nachgelagerten Verfahren wie Verletzungsverfahren. Diese Fähigkeiten sind jedoch mit Multiple Choice nicht abprüfbar. Das der Reform zugrundegelegte Ziel des Abprüfens von praktischen Fähigkeiten ("fit to practice") lässt sich somit mit dem neuen Format nicht erreichen.

Sowohl was die Dauer der einzelnen Module mit je 2 Stunden als auch die Gesamtdauer der Ausbildung mit 2 Jahren betrifft, bin ich jeweils skeptisch. Es erscheint mir jeweils zu kurz, da sich in 2 Stunden nicht viel abprüfen lässt und meiner Erfahrung nach in 2 Jahren auch noch nicht ausreichend praktische Erfahrung vorhanden ist, um tatsächlich selbständig zu vertreten.

Über den Wegfall des C-Teils bin ich noch unschlüsslig. Ich fand den C-Teil gut und sinnvoll, denn er verlangte die Kombination verschiedener Fähigkeiten, wie z. B. Analysefähigkeiten, die Fähgkeit, Argumente zu gewichten, einen langen Schriftsatz zusammenzustellen und das Ganze logisch aufzubauen. Nur ein Teil dieser Fähigkeiten ist im B-Teil erforderlich (gewesen). Hinzu kommt, dass es in der bzw. zumindest meiner Praxis so ist, dass Einsprüche selten sind und folglich auch in der Ausbildung der Kandidaten nur begrenzt gelehrt werden können. Diese "Ausbildungslücke" bliebe nun bestehen, noch wahrscheinlicher mit einer nur 2-jährigen Ausbildung.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Jacqueline Kalbe -
2021/05/24 18:10:47
Mr Andreas Winter

I agree with Mr. Promies. Furthermore I find it important that:
-the eduaction level of the candidates should be appropriate, e.g. the standard should be a Master degree from a university.
-the number of resits should be limited. Another way could be to increase the needed points for resitters in the next exam. In order to focus the candidats on the exam (vs. just resitting and trying to pass "somehow" the exam).
-I cant see how reducing the time of the exam to 2 years makes candidats more "fit for practice". The opposite is the case, at least the current time frame of 3 years should be preserved.
-the effort for the examination should be not the only critera. Law firms and industry need well qualified candidats. The exam should be focussed on quality instead of effort or passing rate.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by - Anonymous -
Having carefully read the paper as well as the discussion so far, I fully agree to Mr. Promies exhausting views. I might add that according to my opinion the capability of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty of the tasks in practice cannot be tested in two hour exams. I understand that there is the will to reduce the effort involved in holding EQE. But I strongly feel that by the current plans the quality will be lower. This is especially true for the practical part.

Further, I see a problem in moving testing to earlier phases (meaning reducing testing at the end) of education as a key to the quality of the “old” EQE was the complex task bringing together all kind of required knowledge and skills as is the same in the daily work.

To me it seems that the main goal of the proposal is to reduce the effort needed for holding EQE while trying to minimize the impact on quality. But this concept will lower the bar, at least regarding the practical part. There are other ways to reduce the burden of holding (not sitting) EQE, as e.g. limit the number of resits that should be explored instead. The current proposal, even extending the possibility to resit, reduces the burden needed to pass the EQE as well as the quality of EQE.
In reply to - Anonymous

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by - Anonymous -
The Austrian Chamber of Patent Attorneys (Österreichische Patentanwaltskammer) thanks for delivering the epi discussion paper for the new e:EQE.

The Austrian Chamber of Patent Attorneys agrees with the initial analysis in the position paper, according to which the "fit to practice" criterion is not always given in the EQE. This is due, on the one hand, to the high number of participants and, on the other hand, also to the (in our opinion not absolutely necessary) objective of the current examination to find the most uniform possible solution to the examination questions.

However, it is not true that the quality assurance achieved with the EQE is "too remote from reality". In fact, a large number of those candidates who successfully passed the examination also fulfil the criteria required in practice with regard to knowledge of the EPC and PCT, whereby a certain time pressure during the examination can certainly serve as a surrogate for the general knowledge of the basics in practice (well-prepared candidates should generally be able to call up the skills expected of them within a shorter period of time).

The EQE so far is a big but manageable hurdle.

What can be said in any case is that the modular proposal in the present discussion paper is significantly further away from a practical approach than the present format. In particular, the deletion of the C-part (opposition) or the provision of a "multiple choice questions exam" ("MCQ exam") would be downright absurd and in any case retrogressive for a professional activity in which the drafting of legally and technically correct written statements on complex issues is central. The professional qualification of a "European Patent Attorney" can certainly not be assured in terms of quality by ticking the right boxes in an MCQ exam or by completing many small ("incremental") partial examinations. Moreover, it can also be expected that the answer options in such a set-up are then further developed in the direction of a uniform solution, since it cannot be assumed that candidates can particularly demonstrate their legal knowledge of complex legal issues and its transformation into written legal arguments in such a “ticking boxes exercise”; not to mention the development of legally original, but nevertheless correct solutions.

Already the "innovation" of a pre-exam has – in the end – only punished the good and able candidates, who now have to prepare for the EQE not only once, but twice. Since this preparation of good candidates is done seriously in both cases, they are pushed into two learning phases for the EQE instead of only one. Further "modularisation" reinforces this trend of penalising good candidates who appropriately prepare for the exam to pass in their first sit.

The proposal now made for a "modular e:EQE" is therefore unacceptable, not least because of the proposed "passing" regime, with the excessive compensation possibilities.

A more practical examination, however, would have to target complex questions in greater detail, for which several possible solutions would be acceptable, and would in any case have to include an oral part (by the way, all this is addressed in the national patent attorney examination in Austria, which is also possible due to the low number of participants).

Due to the large number of candidates to be dealt with, this does not seem to be practically feasible in the EQE without significantly increased effort. However, it should be reconsidered whether the number of repetitions should remain unlimited or whether it should be based on a certain number of re-sits or possibly larger time intervals (e.g. if the EQE has not been passed three times in a row, a minimum break for the next repetition of 3-5 years could be set (incl. significantly increased examination fee)).

Therefore, as long as there is no "more practical" proposal, the examination should in principle be retained in its current form, although care must be taken to ensure that the questions in the individual parts of the exam are clear.
In reply to - Anonymous

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by - Anonymous -

Die Österreichische Patentanwaltskammer bedankt sich für die Übermittlung des epi-Diskussionspapiers für die neue e:EQE.

Die Österreichische Patenanwaltskammer schließt sich zwar der prinzipiellen Analyse im Positionspapier an, wonach das „fit to practice“-Kriterium bei der EQE nicht immer gegeben ist. Dies ist einerseits bedingt durch die hohe Teilnehmerzahl und andererseits auch durch die (unserer Meinung nach nicht unbedingt erforderliche) Zielsetzung der gegenwärtigen Prüfung nach einer möglichst einheitlichen Lösung der Prüfungsaufgaben.

Dass die mit der EQE erreichte Qualitätssicherung jedoch „too remote from reality“ sei, ist nicht zutreffend. Tatsächlich erfüllt ein Großteil derjenigen Kandidat*innen, die die Prüfung erfolgreich absolviert haben, hinsichtlich der Kenntnis des EPÜ und PCT auch die in der Praxis geforderten Kriterien, wobei ein gewisser Zeitdruck bei der Prüfung durchaus als Surrogat für die generelle Kenntnis der Grundlagen praxisnah abbilden kann (gut vorbereitete Kandidat*innen sollten idR innerhalb kürzerer Zeit die von ihnen erwarteten Skills abrufen können).

Die bisherige EQE stellt eine große, aber bewältigbare Hürde dar.

Was jedenfalls gesagt werden kann, ist, dass der modulare Vorschlag im vorliegenden Diskussionspapier signifikant weiter von einer Praxisnähe ist, als das bisherige Format. Insbesondere die Streichung des C-Teils (Einspruch) oder das Vorsehen einer „Multiple Choice Questions Prüfung“ („MCQ exam“) wären für eine berufliche Tätigkeit, bei der die Abfassung rechtlich und technisch richtiger Schriftsätze zu komplexen Fragestellungen zentral ist, geradezu absurd und jedenfalls rückschrittlich. Die berufliche Qualifikation eines „European Patent Attorney“ kann mit Sicherheit nicht mit richtigem Ankreuzeln in einem „MCQ exam“ oder Abstottern von vielen kleinen („inkrementen“) Teilprüfungen qualitätsmäßig abgesichert werden. Außerdem werden damit die Antwortmöglichkeiten nur noch weiter in Richtung einer einheitlichen Lösung entwickelt, da nicht angenommen werden kann, dass Kandidat*innen in einem derartigen Kreuzeltest ihr rechtliches Wissen über komplexe Rechtsfragen und dessen Transformation in schriftlich vorgetragene rechtliche Argumente besonders nachweisen können; von der Entwicklung von rechtlich originellen, aber trotzdem richtigen Lösungen ganz zu schweigen.

Schon die „Neuerung“ einer Vorprüfung („pre-exam“) hat im Endeffekt nur die guten Kandidati*innen bestraft, die sich nunmehr nicht nur einmal auf die EQE vorbereiten müssen, sondern zweimal. Da diese Vorbereitung von guten Kandidat*innen in beiden Fällen ernsthaft erfolgt, werden diese zweimal anstatt nur einmal Lernphasen für die EQE gedrängt. Eine weitere „Modularisierung“ verstärkt diesen Trend zur Bestrafung von guten Kandidat*innen, die sich auf die EQE so vorbereiten, dass sie die EQE beim erste Antreten auch schaffen.

Der nunmehr gemachte Vorschlag für eine „modular e:EQE“ ist daher unakzeptabel, nicht zuletzt auch aufgrund des angedachten „Passing“-Regimes, mit den überschießenden Anrechnungsmöglichkeiten.

Eine praxisnähere Prüfung müsste jedoch noch detaillierter auf komplexe Fragestellungen abzielen, für die durchaus auch mehrere Lösungsmöglichkeiten akzeptabel wären und jedenfalls einen mündlichen Teil beinhalten (all dies wird übrigens in der nationalen Patentanwaltsprüfung in Österreich adressiert, was aufgrund der niedrigen Teilnehmeranzahl auch möglich ist).

Dies scheint allerdings bei der EQE aufgrund der großen zu bewältigenden Anzahl an Kandidat*innen praktisch nicht ohne signifikant erhöhtem Aufwand realisierbar zu sein. Allerdings sollte überdacht werden, ob die Anzahl an Wiederholungen unbeschränkt bleibt oder auf eine bestimmte Anzahl von Wiederholungsmöglichkeiten oder gegebenenfalls größere Zeitintervalle abgestellt werden sollte (wenn zB die EQE dreimal hintereinander nicht geschafft wurde, könnte eine Mindestpause für die nächste Wiederholung von 3-5 Jahren angesetzt werden (inkl. signifikant erhöhter Prüfungsgebühr)).

Solange daher kein „praxisnäherer“ Vorschlag vorliegt, sollte die Prüfung im Prinzip in der gegenwärtigen Form beibehalten werden, wobei allerdings auf eine klare Fragestellung bei den einzelnen Aufgaben geachtet werden muss.


In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by - Anonymous -
28. Mai 2021
Heiko Vollmann

Zunächst einmal ist festzustellen, dass es nicht angemessen ist, ohne ausreichende Diskussion des Für und Wider der einzelnen Maßnahmen zwischen allen Beteiligten solch gravierende Änderungen kurzfristig im ECE vorzunehmen. Zwar hat sich aufgrund der coronabedingt ausgefallenen Prüfungen ein gewisser Stau gebildet, dies sollte jedoch nicht Auslöser dafür sein, den Ablauf in vielen Punkten so weit zu verschlanken, wie dies vorgeschlagen wird.

1. Zwar mag sich coronabedingt das Homeoffice bewährt haben, doch sollte dies nicht auf alle möglichen Bereiche der Ausbildung ohne Not übertragen werden. Insbesondere stellt die Vorbereitung auf eine Prüfung an einem bestimmen Ort zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt eine völlig andere Anforderung dar, als wenn dies teilweise zu beliebiger Zeit am heimischen Computer absolviert werden kann. Die Prüfung verliert damit den Stellenwert eines Examens und wird auf das Niveau eines Wissensnachweises herabgestuft.

2. Die dreijährige Ausbildung ist insbesondere vor dem Hintergrund zu sehen, dass der Auszubildende auch noch andere Tätigkeiten als Ausbildung innerhalb dieser drei Jahre zu absolvieren hat. Aufgrund der immer komplexer werdenden Verfahrensvorschriften und Rechtsprechung dürfte eine praktische Ausbildungsdauer von drei Jahren auf diesem Gebiet angemessen sein. Dabei ist zu berücksichtigen, dass in vielen europäischen Ländern eine vorausgehende gründliche und ausreichend lange Ausbildung zum Patentanwalt, wie sie beispielsweise in Deutschland vorgesehen ist, gar nicht stattfindet und für Kandidaten aus der Industrie ebenfalls häufig fehlt.

3. Zwei Prüfungen im Jahr anzubieten erscheint vorteilhaft und angemessen.

4. Die Dauer der Prüfungsmodule von drei bis fünf Stunden auf zwei bis drei Stunden zu verkürzen, geht eindeutig zu Lasten der Qualität und der Tiefe der Prüfung.

5. Den Teil C der Prüfung, den Einspruchsschriftsatz fallen zu lassen, erscheint nicht sachgerecht, da dies eine regelmäßig wiederkehrende Tätigkeit jedes europäischen Patentvertreters ist, welche rechtlich und praktisch äußerst anspruchsvoll ist. Gerade das verschlankte Einspruchsverfahren erfordert eine große Sorgfalt seitens der Vertreter. Insofern sind hier umfassende Kenntnisse von grundsätzlicher Bedeutung. Dies um so mehr, als mit dem Einspruchsverfahren auch die Tätigkeit der Prüfungsabteilungen in gewisser Weise überprüfbar sind.
In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Grzegorz Wesela-Bauman -
Dr. Grzegorz Wesela-Bauman

I see a lot of interesting points in the discussion, and I will share my views on the proposition and on the possible direction of the EQE. At this point, I think that timing of exams and length of the exams are the most important topics as inevitable said topics will affect complexity of exams.

1. Timing.
  • It seems that the new format requires strict timing of exams and, what is more important, strict timing of marking and preparations for another exam.
  • Specifically, the proposition suggest that the parts of the exam can be taken 4 months after passing (i.e., not 4 months after sitting). It should be noted that there is a difference between sitting a paper (1 day) and passing a paper as there is a need to mark said paper and communicate in a legally binding way the results of said exam to say that the exam is passed. It follows that this part of the proposition is not clear to me. Using the graphs presenting the structure of exams, one might say that the purpose is to have 4 months between sitting exams and not passing.
  • Therefore, keeping 4 months between sitting the exams means that a candidate will sit, obtain marks, prepare to another exam and sit another exam within 4 months. The crucial point here is marking and preparation as this seem to be nearly impossible to be done within 4 months. Especially, preparation to another exam in such a short period of time seems not possible.
  • Additionally, the first exam is meant for a candidate after 1 year of preparations and the next exam for a candidate with 2 years of preparations. Since the exams can be separated by only 4 months, we have a mismatch between the expected level of experience and timing of exams, i.e., we expect that a candidate will develop 1 year of experience in 4 months.
  • It follows that 4-month separation between the exams is not realistic and not in line with the progress that is expected from a candidate. Also, I do not see how it is possible to mark, communicate the results and prepare to another exam within 4 months.
2. Length of exams.
  • I am not sure why there is a pressure to shorten the exams to 2 hours. The current length of the exams (i.e., up to 5,5 hours) was often considered to be too short for quite simplified legal situations described in the exams. The current objectives are to make exams more realistic in order to pursue fit-to-practice aim and to shorten the exams in order to make them more approachable. This seems like acting in two opposite directions. Specifically, the exam which is more:
  • - “real” (test fit-to-practice criterion) has more realistic scenarios and thus is more complex. As a result, pursuing fit-to-practice requires more time for “real” cases due to a more complex structure, analysis and writing needed for exams.
  • and, at the same time, the exam should be more
  • - “approachable” by limiting exam length to 2 hours. This has to have an impact on complexity of legal situations described in exams. Specifically, if we are cutting time for the exams, we have to simplify the cases and simplified cases are not realistic cases. Thus, satisfying this criterion would mean moving away from “real” cases (i.e., away from testing fit-to-practice) to much simplified, straightforward cases.
  • In my opinion, we should pursue more real cases and thus have exams (at least) of the length that is currently present. In order to pursue further criterion of "fit-to-practice" maybe even longer exams are needed, e.g., parts taking two days. Not having all exams in one week will help to endure this additional length of each part.

In reply to Jacqueline Kalbe

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by - Anonymous -
Réponse au point 7 de M. Promies:
7. Contrairement à une opinion populaire, les candidates récidivistes ne pénalisent pas le système (ce sont plutôt les candidats "limites" qui demandent le plus de travail). L'augmentation des droits d'inscription limite le nombre de tentatives: la plupart abandonnent après quelques essais infructueux. Je suis d'avis qu'on ne peut pas interdire à un candidat l'accès à la profession à vie: on peut augmenter les droits d'inscription, on peut augmenter l'intervalle entre les inscriptions, mais pas fermer la porte. Un candidat peut avoir été mal préparé dans un cabinet ou dans une entreprise, sans nécessairement le réaliser, et changer de cabinet ou d'entreprise.
In reply to - Anonymous

Re: e:EQE Discussion Paper

by Hendrik Promies -
Die mit der Zahl der Versuche steigenden Gebühren sind meiner Ansicht nach überhaupt nicht geeignet, die Anzahl der Versuche zu begrenzen. Vielmehr sind sie höchst ungerecht, man denke an die Kaufkraftunterschiede in den 38 Vertragsstaaten: für Kandidaten aus einer Reihe von Vertragsstaaten sind Wiederholungsgebühren zwar ein Ärgernis, aber kein Hindernis, während die gleichen Gebühren für Kandidaten aus anderen Vertragsstaaten prohibitiv sind.

Kandidaten, die (aus welchen Gründen auch immer) "mal préparé" sind, sollten nicht zur Prüfung antreten. Wäre die Zahl der Versuche beschränkt, würde eben gerade die Zahl derer sinken, die an der Prüfung teilnehmen, obwohl sie einfach noch nicht bereit dafür sind.