The quality control procedures that we operate and demonstrate to The CPD Standards Office are:
- We stay on top of technical developments and CPD needs within the profession and plan our training programmes accordingly. The planning of all programmes is overseen by our Technical Director who actively consults with our main speakers on the topics that should be included.
- We listen to our clients and plan in the training that they need. By carefully reviewing feedback submitted by delegates on past events and by collecting feedback in our regular member meetings, we know what our clients need.
Understanding of learning styles
- We know that everyone learns differently and offer a variety of approaches:
- Live or on-demand module choices.
- Delegates can consume video, audio and/or written technical materials.
- Passive or active interaction choices – webinars to simply watch or listen to or interactive focus-groups or Q&A sessions for those who want to actively participate in and customise the training.
- Tailored or customised training, privately delivered for a particular firm, available on request.
- Most webinars are capped at a 2-hour maximum, recognising concentration abilities and maximising value obtained from training.
- We encourage our members to join us at bi-annual conferences to mix some face-to-face learning into the webinar programme.
- We undertake CPD ourselves on learning styles, taking advantage of the resources available to us from The CPD Standards Office. Our learning platforms are constantly evolving, taking into account best practice and technological advances.
- Speakers are usually subcontractors, engaged by us ‘per event’ with the content, duration and terms agreed in writing. Most speakers present several sessions for us each year and are regulars on our programme (and friends of our business!). We work together closely to ensure quality output. Where a speaker is an employee of 20:20 Innovation, the same recruitment and induction procedures apply as set out under ‘Technical Consultancy’ below.
- Our speakers are typically established and well-respected names in the accountancy profession, with appropriate professional qualifications.
- We do not allow our speakers to send a substitute in their place, without our prior permission and quality checks.
- In the case of new presenters, they will either have been recommended to us by a trusted third-party (often a client who has seen the speaker present elsewhere) or will have undergone a formal interview and induction process with our Technical Director and Webinar Manager.
- For technical training courses, we ask our presenters to provide detailed course notes, as well as a copy of their slide pack. The technical accuracy of the course materials is the responsibility of the speaker, but we meticulously monitor feedback (see below) and spot check technical material.
- All speakers that have not presented for us in the past 6 months are required to partake in a test session to ensure they have a suitable environment within which to present and are familiar with the recording software/equipment.
Targeted, customised, relevant training
- Our training is planned to be as relevant as possible to the delegates attending each event. For example, we often run separate training sessions for international delegates, so that their experience doesn’t include a UK-based presumption. In all cases, we encourage delegates to ask questions to apply the technical content to their practice and client base. Our speakers are asked to deal with all question themes arising during the presentation, where relevant to the topic and possible in the available timespan.
- Tailored or customised training, privately delivered for a particular firm, is available on request.
Training resource for the whole firm
- Our training membership is firm wide and our CPD webinars are freely accessible by anyone within the firm.
Delegate feedback is reviewed and responded to
- Feedback is obtained after all our training events and reviewed by our Webinar Manager and Technical Director. Any serious or unusual feedback is dealt with immediately and otherwise, the feedback from all training events is actively reviewed in monthly meetings. This feedback contributes to the planning of future course topics and speakers.
- In the event of perceived technical weakness, the matter would first be discussed with the speaker and then rectified where required. This is rarely required but might be by publishing an addendum to the course materials or a letter of clarification, for example.
Ongoing reviews of technical quality and relevance
- Our Technical Director performs regular reviews of our recorded products for both quality and to ensure their continued technical relevance, particularly in areas such as tax. Recordings are archived when no longer relevant or helpful to our members.
- Whether a speaker is an employee of ours or a trusted subcontractor, confidentiality terms are in place to ensure any confidential information (broadly, information not already in the public domain) obtained during one of our training courses remains confidential.
- Where possible, we prevent confidential information entering the training sessions by careful selection or editing of questions asked.
General terms and conditions, including data protection
Independence and third-party sponsors
- 20:20 Innovation does work with third-party sponsors, who themselves have service offerings for accountants in practice. Our CPD technical training courses are not individually sponsored, and the speakers are booked to focus entirely on the technical topic in hand. Any recommendations made by our speakers on the CPD technical training courses are entirely independent from the third-party sponsors with whom we work.
- From time to time, our third-party sponsors do present ‘partner webinars’ with a member of the 20:20 Innovation team. Our clients are invited to attend these webinars and hear more from our the third-party about their product offering. The quality controls we operate over these events are as follows:
- We only take on new sponsors after internal vetting to ensure quality product that is relevant and genuinely useful to our client base.
- The proposed title and content of a partner webinar must be first approved by our Technical Director to ensure that it aligns with our values and our wider training programme.
- The marketing of partner webinars distinguishes them from technical CPD webinars and makes the sponsors involvement clear to our clients – look out for the partner webinar logo.
- The partner webinar is always co-hosted by a member of the 20:20 Innovation team to ensure we are comfortable with the messages being delivered to our clients and that, as with any 20:20 Innovation webinar, the presentation is relevant and of good quality.
2. Technical consultancy and file reviews
The range of technical consultancy and file review services that we are able to provide is set out on our website.
- We operate a carefully designed recruitment and onboarding process for both employees and subcontractors that will undertake technical consultancy and/or file reviews for our clients.
- For employees, this includes minimum accountancy sector practice requirements, a two-stage interview process with our Technical Director and CEO and technical competency testing. Appointment is only made after receipt of references, evidence of relevant qualifications and completion and review of a fit and proper form.
- On joining us, a formal induction and probationary review process commences. This entails shadowing an experienced consultant, training in our report templates and processes and peer review of all reports for a suitable period, assessed by our Technical Director. The peer review ensures quality, technical accuracy, and alignment with 20:20 Innovation values.
- For subcontractors, this includes minimum accountancy sector practice requirements and evidence of previous successful and effective delivery of technical consultancy and/or file reviews to the sector. As with employees, for an assessed period, there is a peer review of all reports drafted to ensure quality, technical accuracy and alignment with our values.
- Subcontractors are also trained in our report templates and processes so that clients receive a consistent and fair approach, including in relation to file review grading.
- On booking a file review, a biography of the proposed consultant is available on request.
Fit and proper standing, independent and technically current
- Annually all employees and subcontractors are required to complete ‘fit and proper’ forms and CPD confirmation statements.
- The fit and proper checks will identify any clients or cases from which a consultant might not be considered, by an outside third-party, to be independent. Our procedures ensure that in these situations, the consultant is not allocated to perform services for this client or case.
- 20:20 Innovation does work with third-party sponsors, who themselves have service offerings for accountants in practice. Our technical consultancy and file review offering is not sponsored, and any recommendations made by our consultants are entirely independent from the third-party sponsors with whom we work.
Ongoing coaching and development
- Technical employees are supported and appraised by our Technical Director, including a review of their current and aspired technical skill sets.
- Regular technical team meetings are held (for employees and regular subcontractors) to share relevant internal and external information and ensure a consistent quality offering.
Peer reviews – new starters, spot checks and risk-based
- Our Technical Director, or a suitable colleague appointed by her, undertakes periodic quality control reviews across a random selection of consultant reports on both a ‘hot’ (pre-issue) and ‘cold’ (post-issue) basis.
- As noted above, peer reviews will always be undertaken on reports drafted by new technical starters to 20:20 Innovation. These will either be done by the Technical Director or an alternative suitable colleague, as appointed by her.
- Our procedures also trigger ‘hot’ reviews of consultant reports in certain other circumstances, particularly when we are reviewing audit work undertaken by our clients. The following will trigger a second opinion and/or internal review:
- Audit work undertaken by the firm is considered to require significant improvement and/or be deemed a technical ‘fail’.
- Cases where our review reports have been requested by our client’s Regulatory Body (ICAEW / ACCA / ICAS / ICAI).
- Cases where our review findings are considered likely to lead to disciplinary proceedings.
- External or internal specialist technical consultancy is incorporated into these processes as required.
Client take-on checks including confirmation of scope, timing and competency
- Our client take-on procedures for technical consultancy and/or file review work include customer due diligence checks, assessment of our ability to service the client from a technical competency and capacity standpoint and clear agreement of scope and engagement terms.
- Consultants are only allocated to do work for which they have capacity and competency.
- Timings of the review work and reporting are agreed in writing by all parties at the confirmation stage.
- We will provide services with reasonable care and skill. As set out in our terms and conditions, it must however be recognised that the scope of work is limited and cannot be relied upon to identify all weaknesses or areas of risk within a particular firm.
Use of templates to ensure quality and consistency
- Our report templates are reviewed at least annually to ensure that clients receive quality documentation that:
- is a fair reflection of the work and files reviews;
- is consistent between different reviewers;
- is user-friendly and clearly identifies actions required;
- reflects current requirements; and
- highlights topical aspects.
- Our template update work includes reviewing guidance and reports produced by the leading professional bodies. This ensures our clients are well-prepared for future regulatory visits.
Proofread for professionalism
- All reports are proofread to ensure that clients receive a professional, consistent service that aligns with our values.
- A secure portal is used for the purpose of receiving and issuing reports and other confidential information, unless clients request alternative communication methods in writing.
- Any confidential information stored on our secure portal is deleted from our servers within three months of the review date.
- Any hard copy information either remains on client premises or, if removed, is returned to the appropriate client promptly via means agreed in writing with the client beforehand. This will usually be via reputable courier.
General terms and conditions, including data protection and managing conflicts of interest