Soon after our E6 course on 28-29 November 2019, we received complaints from two firms that at the end of a session, during the lunch period, the tutors displayed some slides which contained information about their firm, including one slide which set out a vacancy.
Unsurprisingly the firms complained that this had the appearance of headhunting in front of a captive audience of trainees.
In line with our complaints procedures, we have sought out facts and explanations from the course tutors. They confirmed the facts as set out in the first paragraph above. They wrote to us:
“By way of explanation, as a relatively new firm, we often receive questions about us… (but) with hindsight, we can see that including the information about the vacancy was completely inappropriate and something we apologise for unreservedly. In fact, we probably shouldn’t have provided any information about us at all.
As you will be able to confirm with previous attendees, this is the first time that we done this. Clearly, this is something that we would never do again in future. Once again, we can only apologise both to you and to the other firms for this anomaly in what we understand to be an otherwise unblemished record (based on the feedback) helping we guess around 500 candidates pass their UK & EQEs over the past 14 years. I hope this provides you and the other firms with the reassurance needed – it was an isolated error of judgement that will not be repeated”.
The JDD position is that, while it is appropriate for tutors to put on their presentation slides the name of their firm and a logo, it is not appropriate to use the course teaching and presentation time for providing information which might be construed as promoting their company as a place to work.
In response, we are taking the following actions:
1. We are emailing an apology to the E6 students on the course.
2. We will set out clearly in our engagement emails with all tutors for our 2020 courses (for the PEB exams and EQE) and beyond that it is not be acceptable or appropriate for tutors to promote their firms as a place to work (a ‘recruitment pitch’) during the course time and in course materials.
3. If we do find that, after such warning, this does occur on any course in 2020 and beyond then we will no longer be able to engage those tutors.
Our response is focused on how to prevent this happening again. We believe this incident to have been exceptional – the first we have heard of on the more than 500 courses we have held over the last 20 years. The actions we are taking for 2020 are intended to make sure the incident remains a one-off.
Dr Ian Derbyshire