Today I learned that Jon Andrewes, a former builder, has been ordered to pay back nearly £100k because of ‘obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception’ plus two counts of fraud. I don’t know what the difference between these offences is, but I’m sure he does after already spending two years in jail.
His crime? Lying on his CV. According to the article (link in comments): “In order to get top NHS jobs in the south-west, he claimed to have two PhD’s and a master’s degree when really he only had a higher education diploma in social work and a teaching qualification. He also lied over his work history, falsely claiming to have worked in the Home Office.”
Not one PhD, but two! You have to admire his cheek.
These imaginary qualifications allowed him to step into otherwise-out-of-reach roles such as Chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, Chief Executive at St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton and Temporary Chair of Torbay NHS trust.
But what really caught my eye was the statement that: “Mr Andrewes has performed valuable services for the hospice and the two trusts in return for the net earnings and, if one were to focus solely on his performance of the services (before his fraud was uncovered), it would be hard to deny that the hospice and the two trusts were receiving full value in exchange for the salary paid.”
This is quite a positive reference, and you might struggle to say the same thing about certain other NHS trust bosses, e.g. Steve Trenchard and Sir David Nicholson.
So were his actions really so wrong? I’m torn. Having a proactive attitude is good, but lying on your CV is bad.
There is more than one lesson here, I think.
- Qualifications will open the door for you, but the real test is how well you can do the job;
- You can get a long way in life with the right attitude and a bit of chutzpah; and
- Some recruiters do more due diligence than others.
Finally – if you DO lie on your CV and are ever rumbled, don’t forget the Homer Simpson defence:
“But Marge, I swear to you, I never thought you’d find out!”