Statement from The Smart Training Group

Current situation on courses

This statement will be updated daily. Updated 17 March 2020

All courses for March - June are cancelled.

I would normally contact every firm to advise of the change but doing so is proving an impossibly large task. I will now work on the basis that everyone knows not to turn up following the Prime Minister's press conference on 16 March 2020. I am having to work on the basis everyone will check with me or this website before the course.

The summary below was posted before the Prime Minister's press conference on 16 March 2020.

Due to the coronavirus virus The Smart Training Group's training courses are subject to change and cancellation.

Cancelled events

The events currently cancelled are:

16 March 2020 – Wilmslow – Budget update
17 March 2020 – Chester all day – Budget update and advanced company tax
18 March 2020 – Preston all day – Budget update and advanced company tax
19 March 2020 – Bolton morning – Budget update
20 March 2020 – Kendal all day – Budget update and property tax

23 March 2020 – Wilmslow – Payroll update
24 March 2020 – Chester – Payroll update
25 March 2020 – Preston all day – Payroll update and taxable benefits refresher
26 March 2020 – Bolton – Payroll update
27 March 2020 – York – Payroll update
31 March 2020 – York – Budget update

28 April 2020 – Chester – Cyber crime update
29 April 2020 – Bolton – Budget update

1 May 2020 - Kendal - Acting for farmers
15 May 2020 - York - Acting for farmers

Courses under review

All May courses are under review and realistically won't run.

If you are booked on a course

We will contact you to advise of a change or cancellation. All we ask is please reply to that email by return so we know you know.

The reasons all explained

I feel I should explain what a very difficult decision this has been rather than just advising it is cancelled

• As with most of us I have very little understanding of the virus and finding reliable facts to base a decision on is not easy to achieve.
• Since I sent the reminder last week events have overtaken us such as bans on travel, mass meetings, cancellation of sporting events etc. Though the different approach in each country does not help in assessing the situation. The events of last week have been a gamechanger.
• By cancelling I will incur significant cancellation costs but feel that should not drive the decision.
• The key aspect for our style of events seems to be the ‘social distance’ between people. I feel I need to have one or at most two delegates per trestle table and the rows much further apart. Due to the numbers booked this cannot be achieved for this week’s course. This is now required after the Prime Minister's Press Conference 16 March 17.00.
• I had put in place several checks such as insisting on hand washing but with numbers booked I feel this was going to be very hard to achieve or monitor.
It is unlikely that anyone would attend with the virus but there can be no certainty and the close proximity everyone will be sitting means it is not acceptable.
• By taking this decision it means we can be 100% certain the virus will not be transmitted to anyone by attending the event. Nobody will be ill because of this decision.

• I also feel it is not acceptable to expose the venue’s staff to this number of people.
• The notes are available on the website – you need to create an account and download.
• In summary there are just too many people booked on this courses to allow them to run.
• It is just not acceptable to put 100+ people in a room at the moment. If it is not acceptable in most of Europe who am I to disagree?

Date: 16 March 2020 17.27
(11.00am 3.9.39)