Results ritual may be ended

Emotional scenes at London stations as trainee accountants scan the first editions of the weekend papers for their exam results could be a thing of the past, if the English ICA’s student council gets its way.

Chairman Gary Ecob announced this week that the council was investigating better ways for the institute to issue exam results.

His comments come after hundreds of trainees flocked to London’s mainline stations last Friday night to buy first editions of The Times to find out if they had passed their final exams.

The papers usually arrive at stations at around 10pm – at present the first place trainees can get their results.

In what has come to be regarded as something of a rite-of-passage for London-based English ICA members, hundreds of trainees queued for newspapers.

There were dramatic scenes as they pored over the small-print in the hope of spotting their name among the list of those who had passed.

But signalling the possibility of change, Ecob said: ‘Waiting for results is very stressful, and anything we can do to improve the process would definitely be good for the students.’

He said the council had considered the idea of releasing the results at the institute, but had decided that using the Web may be a better solution.

‘Our students live all over the country and, increasingly, around the world. A better solution may be to use the Internet to release the results at, say, 6pm on Friday evening.’

The students are to make a recommendation to the ICA’s ruling council next month.

Such a move could also circumvent the increasing involvement of recruitment agencies in the process. Staff from one agency were present handing out leaflets at Charing Cross as trainees got their results last Friday.

Others run results hotlines, with some said to be unwilling to release results until students register with them.

Some of the bigger firms, concerned at this development, have set up their own hotlines.

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