All incoming IP attachés begin their assignment with orientation and training.
Orientation at the International Trade Administration (ITA) will introduce new employees to the structure and function of the ITA, the employee's role in the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, terms of employment, and core skills needed by all Foreign Service employees. Orientation at the USPTO will introduce the attaché to colleagues from other U.S. government agencies who work on IP-related matters; engage representatives from trade associations with knowledge of the host country's intellectual property rights environment; and acquaint the attaché with the functioning of the USPTO.
Training consists of several course hours and a detail to USPTO's Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA). The IP attaché will attend programs at OPIA's Global Intellectual Property Academy to enhance his or her knowledge of intellectual property. The length and nature of training depends on the depth and breadth of knowledge of the attaché's prior knowledge.
Attachés must also complete several mandatory classes prior to deployment overseas. These classes are a combination of classroom and online training offered by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Transition Center in Arlington, Va. The FSI offers Foreign Service life skills courses (e.g., diversity, security, protocol, logistics, realities) to U.S. government employees and their spouses preparing for, or returning from, an overseas assignment.