From a recent USPTO news release:
The USPTO is developing a Continuing Education for Practitioners (“CEP”) system for on-line delivery of educational materials to patent practitioners, and is seeking help in piloting the on-line system. The CEP system is built on the recognition that a smoothly operating patent system requires well-qualified USPTO personnel working hand-in-hand with up-to-date patent practitioners. The goal is to increase efficiency, reduce pendency, and improve quality in the patent process. Additional information concerning the CEP system and the pilot test is provided below.
The CEP System
The CEP program would present brief educational materials concerning recent USPTO rule changes, revised patent examination guidelines, or the like. The practitioner would respond to one or more verification questions or prompts after reviewing the educational materials. The verification questions will be drawn directly from the training material and the practitioner will have ready access to the educational material while responding to the verification questions. In other words, the verification questions are designed to verify the practitioner has reviewed the materials; they are not a test of knowledge or skills.
The total time spent reviewing the educational materials and responding to verification questions should be approximately one hour. Practitioners would be required to complete one CEP program per year. As envisioned, the system would automatically notify practitioners of the training requirements, send appropriate reminder notices, and track completion. No fee will be charged to access the training materials; a fee would accrue only for failing to timely complete the training.
You may volunteer or submit questions on the pilot program by sending an e-mail to OEDonline@uspto.gov. The e-mail should include the name, registration number, telephone number, and e-mail address for the volunteer. Telephone inquiries concerning the pilot test may be directed to Bill Griffin (571-272-4097) in the Office of Enrollment and Discipline.
View the news release here.