The case study is an extract from an interview with a partner in an accounting firm who was…

The case study is an extract from an interview with a
partner in an accounting firm who was responsible for the professional training
of new staff. Well, treating people properly and fairly is always an
interesting one; it is a very subjective area. In my role as training partner
there are undoubtedly incidents every time anybody doesnt pass an exam; we
have to decide what to do about it. Whether to terminate their contract, or
whether to pay for absolutely everything. There is a whole spectrum of solutions.
Yes, and there is never, I dont think, a right or wrong answer. Well, we had a

The case study is an extract from an interview with a
partner in an accounting firm who was responsible for the professional training
of new staff. Well, treating people properly and fairly is always an
interesting one; it is a very subjective area. In my role as training partner
there are undoubtedly incidents every time anybody doesnt pass an exam; we
have to decide what to do about it. Whether to terminate their contract, or
whether to pay for absolutely everything. There is a whole spectrum of solutions.
Yes, and there is never, I dont think, a right or wrong answer. Well, we had a
situation a few weeks ago where we had two students, sat the same exams, got
very similar results, both marginally failed. One of them had cruised through
the year, not really done enough, but was a bright lad. The other, a girl, had
sweated blood throughout the year and still wasnt quite good enough. Then you
get a situation where, some people would think, well, Claire deserves another
chance because she worked so hard, some people think you should treat Chris
better, he is the brighter one, he will be the more marketable one, he will be
more use to us. Some people think you should treat them the same. Some people
think that people should be allowed to keep sitting exams at our expense for as
long as it takes. Some people think we should just terminate peoples contracts
for failure. So, I suppose, I take a business decision basically, rather than a
moral judgement when anyone fails. I would say that in practically no instance
would more than a small minority agree with my decision, some people think they
should be treated harsher, some people think they should be treated more
leniently. I gave them both a weeks study leave and I paid for their exams, so
it gave them both another week and a half to find out of their holiday and
about 200 to find for the course. It was a close call, it was a difficult
call. But what you have to do as well is consider the impact on the other
students, what message it sends to them. I will have a dilemma within the next
year, because I have only been training partner for just over a year. The exam
results here; I dont believe they are good enough. I dont think they have
been good enough basically because there has been tolerance of failure in the
past and I have said repeatedly that in certain circumstances I will terminate
peoples contracts for failing. That has not happened here for about five
years. Sooner or later I am going to have to do it, otherwise people wont
believe me. I will only have to do it once. The difficulty is, one person has
got to pay the price. Everyone knows the rules but no one will believe the
rules. Now the brighter one of those two, the one who had cruised, the Monday
when I spoke to them about it, I was in a foul mood. I didnt terminate his
contract the only reason I didnt I was sorely tempted to, because (a) I
think he deserved it and (b) it would have made an example of him the reason
I didnt was because I was in a bad mood and I thought, there is a risk that I
could let my mood take my decision. Had I been in a good mood, I think I would
have terminated his contract.

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