In July 2022, the EPO officially announced that they were establishing a certification for patent paralegals and formalities officers. EPIPA is very pleased that this important milestone has been reached. It is a major step forward in the professionalization of the industry. The certification is called European Patent Administration Certification (EPAC) and touches upon all formal aspects of EPC and PCT.


  • The EPO established an EPAC Board consisting of 6 EPO employees and 6 external experts. The board’s tasks include drafting and marking the exams. Of the 6 external experts, 3 are EPIPA board members:  Ronald van Egmond (Dutch Platform Formalities Officers), Vicky Maynard (UK CIPA IP Paralegals Committee) and Anne Taucher (NAIPA).
  • The exam is held yearly. The first exam took place in 2022.
  • EPAC 2024 will take place on 10 October 2024.
  • Exams are held electronically via the Wiseflow system.
  • The costs are € 100.
  • The exam is offered in all three EPO languages. When enrolling, the candidate must choose an examination language. This choice cannot be changed later.
  • The exam consists of two parts: a multiple-choice part and a part with open-answer questions. If a candidate does not pass the multiple-choice part, the open-answer part will not be marked.
  • Successful candidates receive a certificate issued by the EPO. A list of successful candidates is published on the website of the EPO.

There are no requirements for enrolling, but it is expected that in order to pass the exam, the candidate must have worked and gained knowledge as a patent paralegal or formalities officer for at least a few years.

In 2024, EPO is again offering a free-of-charge seminar series to help candidates prepare for EPAC. This year's seminar series will run from 4 March to 31 July. Live sessions are not recorded but participants will have access to all learning materials used. More information about this seminar series and a registration link can be found here: Support for EPAC candidates | Epo.org

More information about the certification is available on the EPAC website.

For long, EPAC has been a major goal for us, not only for the national organizations but certainly also for EPIPA. In essence we need this important step and development to further distinguish ourselves as IP professionals.