The firm will no longer demand a minimum of 300 UCAS points – the equivalent of three B grades at A-Level - or the previously required 2:1 degree classification, in an attempt to “open up opportunities” for individuals, regardless of their background. This goes further than a similar move made by PwC in May, in which it scrapped the UCAS requirement, but still relies heavily on degree classification for the selection process.
Instead, EY applicants will have to undergo online “strengths assessments” and numerical tests to assess potential.
The decision follows an 18 month investigation into the selection process, which showed that screening students based on academic achievement alone was “too blunt” an assessment.
“It found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications,” said EY’s managing partner for talent, Maggie Stilwell.
“Transforming our recruitment policy is intended to create a more even and fair playing field for all candidates, giving every applicant the opportunity to prove their abilities,” Stilwell said.
The firm said it would continue to value academic achievement, but wanted to ensure it no longer acted as a “barrier” to students getting a foot in the door at the firm.
Accountancy firms had to field accusations this summer that working class students were being kept from the top jobs, 70% of those receiving offers were educated at fee-paying or selective state schools, while 40%-50% of applicants to major accountancy firms came from Russel Group universities.