Though still in use today, the method of the effective shearing force to evaluate the maximum shear stress in
variable depth beams does not stand close scrutiny. It can lead to overestimating the shearing strength of these beams, although
it is suggested as a viable procedure by many otherwise excellent codes of practice worldwide. This paper should
help to put the record straight. It should warn the practitioner against the general inadequacy of such a method and prompt
the drafters of structural concrete codes of practice into acting to eliminate this erroneous though persisting designing procedure.