ICAEW has apologised to Advance exam sitters who had to sit their exams in cramped conditions, with no space for their books (some exams are open book), and barely enough room to move their mouse.
The problems started when a PQ went to his exam centre in Jurys Inn in Hinckley, the night before the exam “to check the place out”, and discovered how the hall had been ‘prepared’. He stressed: “There is no room in the desk to fit any of my numerous very large books let alone a whiteboard to track time.”
His fellow students were shocked, and others said they had sat in similar conditions in Birmingham, Liverpool (again Jurys Inn), and Cambridge.
The ICAEW’s Director of Education and Qualifications, Shaun Robertson, told PQ magazine he wanted to apologise to students faced with this set up on the first morning of their exams. He confirmed that the desks were wrongly configured at Hinkley, and candidates were sat too close together. He explained that chairs were brought in for their books and the set-up was changed overnight for the next day (see picture). “But that isn’t good enough,” said Robertson, and stressed that he will be discussing the issue with the supplier – to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
He pointed out that after each sitting students are sent an exam survey and he is actively encouraging them to put everything down in this. He wants specifics as well, including the exact name of the centre (sometimes there is more than one in each town) “If you let us know the centre, we can rout it out,” said Robertson.