As training within the IP profession gets ever more sohisticated, I have decided on a backward step and revert to the old fashioned apprentice model. ITMA are consulting the membership on a new compulsory course. I have trained in both ways. As a patent attorney I was "apprenticed" in the sense that I worked for a qualified attorney and gleaned what I could to pass the exams. The CIPA informals lectures and tutorials were helpful but not exactly a structured course of training. The success of this technique is down to the apprentice/master relationship and access to a variety of work and a willingness to put in the hours of research to find the answers. Fortunately my University
course had taught me the basics of research and even at school I had done a lot of self-teaching in science and maths. When I decided to qualify as a solicitor I did formal distance learning courses for the law "degree" part and reverted to the self-teaching for the "Finals".
In my opinion its the difference between active and passive learning. Passive taught courses seem to be the favored method today but I still think the enthusiastic apprentice can outperform his spoon-fed colleagues. If any reader would like to offer to share training opportunities or ways Solos can contrubute to the training of the next generation of IP practitioners, please comment..