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PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines


Chapter 21 Common Quality Framework for International Search and Preliminary Examination

3. Resources

21.15  Each Authority should be able to accommodate changes in workload and should have an appropriate infrastructure to support the search and examination process and comply with the QMS requirements and these Guidelines. To those ends, the Authority should have:

–Sufficient Human Resources:

(i) a quantity of staff sufficient to deal with the inflow of work and which maintains the technical qualifications to search and examine in the required technical fields and the language facilities to understand at least those languages in which the minimum documentation referred to in Rule 34 is written or is translated;

(ii) appropriately trained/skilled administrative staff at a level to support the technically qualified staff and facilitate the search and examination process, and for the documentation of records;

–Sufficient Material Resources:

(iii) appropriate equipment and facilities, such as IT hardware and software, to support the search and examination process;

(iv) possession of, or access to, at least the minimum documentation referred to in Rule 34, properly arranged for search and examination purposes, on paper, in microform or stored on electronic media;

(v) comprehensive and up-to-date instructions to help staff understand and adhere to the quality criteria and standards and follow work procedures accurately and consistently;

–Sufficient Training Resources:

(vi) an effective training and development program for all staff involved in the search and examination process to ensure they acquire and maintain the necessary experience and skills and are fully aware of the importance of complying with the quality criteria and standards; and

–Oversight Over Its Resources:

(vii) a system for continuously monitoring and identifying the resources required to deal with demand and comply with the quality standards for search and examination.