Institutes – Exam critics attack CIPFA

Accountants training with CIPFA have continued to criticise the public-sector body for failing to explain how it will mark this year’s P1 examinations, after a blunder allowed a mistake to be printed in the examination paper.

The error appeared in the ‘Information Management and Control’ paper, held on 3 December. Administrators interrupted the exam to explain a mistake had been discovered in question six, which some candidates had already attempted.

James Barras, an open-learning student who sat the paper, questioned the psychological impact of the interruption. ‘News of the mistake broke my chain of thought,’ he said.

Professor Gerald Vinten, former vice-president of CIPFA’s London region and now deputy dean of Southampton Business School, said the fiasco caused ‘the precision and reliability of the examination process to be impugned yet again’.

A similar mistake slipped past the exam team three years ago, which prompted the appointment of an examinations ‘supremo’.

CIPFA’s head of education and training, Kenneth Gill, refused to comment, but a spokesman said Gill’s official response – he pledged to review the verification and proofing procedures – was sufficient.

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