Support & Training: Audit & Advisory Support

KPMG has a full time dedicated Professional Qualifications and Accreditations (PQA) team. As most people in the team have studied for the qualifications themselves, they understand what kind of support you’ll need to fulfil your potential.

Audit & Advisory Support

KPMG has a full time dedicated Professional Qualifications and Accreditations (PQA) team. As some of the  people in the team have studied for the qualifications themselves, they understand what kind of support you’ll need to fulfil your potential.

Studying towards a professional qualification is hard work – you’ll devote the equivalent of a day a week over the course of your training contract to training courses; so you need to take the commitment seriously but be sure that you will be well supported by our experienced and dedicated team.

We currently support over 3000 graduates, school leavers and apprentices across a number of different professional qualifications so you can be assured that we have made the right decisions in tailoring the best programmes and products to help you be successful.

What professional qualifications can I study?

There are a number of professional accountancy qualification study routes available within the UK firm’s Audit and Advisory practices. Which are delivered in a variety of programme.

  • Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) which is offered by the ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).
  • Chartered Accountants (CA) which is offered by ICAS (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland).
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Masters in HRM with CIPD accreditation
  • Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments Wealth Management Masters (CISI)

The choice of qualification/programme is determined by the function and office location that you choose to apply for.

Audit, Forensic, Accounting Advisory Services and Deal Advisory training programmes in England and Wales

KPMG is unique in offering two different routes to achieving the ACA qualification.

Intensive Programme (Audit, Forensic and Deal Advisory only)

The Intensive Programme is KPMG’s front-loaded, classroom-based ACA product which focuses on upskilling trainees more quickly. This means that for the first 12 months of your training contract you will solely focus on passing 14 out of 15 ACA exams, and come into the business on two work experience placements. One is a structured, work experience placement in the busy season of your programme, and the second comes after you have completed your 14 exams.

The entire programme is supported by a wide range of mechanisms that will be applied by your tuition provider or KPMG when you require them, but due to the intense pace of the programme you will need to be really dedicated in your approach to learning.

This product allows you to focus purely on your professional qualification in your first year. In the remaining two years of your training contract you can concentrate on building up a fantastic range of work experience (with only one exam left to complete) and will have the technical knowledge to apply within the workplace.
The three main training hubs for the Intensive Programme are London, Birmingham and Manchester. Regardless of the selected home office, you will be expected to re-locate to one area in order to dedicate the time to attend the programme for the first 12 months.

Empowered Programme

The Empowered Programme is KPMG’s blended ACA product. Where the onus is on you to take ownership of your studies and help shape your learning.

The programme uses innovative technology and is delivered via a blend of Online Classroom Live and Recorded courses plus in-centre classroom courses. It also has wrap-around support which consists of dedicated professional coaches, online portal content and live and recorded additional study sessions which means there is a form of support for your every need. This blended approach enables you to study and learn the content at a pace suited to your learning style, but ensures all are at the right technical level prior to stepping into revision elements so you can focus on your exam technique before the exam.

The structure of the programme spreads the ACA examinations over the lifetime of the three-year training contract so that you are able to build up your technical knowledge, and can gradually apply what you are learning in training to your workplace experience.

Audit, Forensic and Transactions and Restructuring training programmes in Scotland

If you choose to work in Scotland you will study for the CA qualification via the ICAS Programme. Which is delivered by a classroom based course with online learning sections throughout.  This again allows you to balance your work experience with your study and work through your training over your three year training contract.

Management Consulting training programmes

On the Management Consulting Graduate Programme the qualification you will undertake has been chosen to enable you to best support the client work you will deliver.  You will either study towards the full CIMA qualification. If you are on the People and Change Graduate Programme you will complete the certificate level CIMA followed by a bespoke Masters in HRM with CIPD accreditation.

Risk and Regulatory training programmes

On the Risk and Regulatory Graduate Programme, the qualification you will study depends on which team you join. If you join Risk, you’ll study for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. Within Regulatory you’ll study for the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments Wealth Management Masters. Both of these qualifications will help to broaden and deepen your knowledge and experience of the financial sector.

What are the benefits of studying at KPMG?

Our trainees excel in their professional exams because we offer a flexible and innovative training environment that allows our trainees to fulfil their potential. Giving you the best opportunity to pass your exams is embedded into everything we do.

The primary ways in which we do this is summarised below:

Generous study leave You will have generous study leave which means that you have study commitments during the working week so that you do not have to attend classes at the weekend.
Bespoke exam pathway At KPMG we have created bespoke exam pathways to best suit the needs of both our trainees and the business. There are periods of time when you have no exams so that you can concentrate on your day job and bring that experience back to your studies when you start exam courses again.
Tailored support We offer proactive support when we can see that our trainees are struggling.  We have a suite of supportive measures which range from giving people 1:1 coaching, additional exam practice or, if external factors have impacted your studies, deferral to the next sitting to give you more time to prepare.  We also have close links with our training provider and institute partners to ensure that any trainee with an educational need or a disability has appropriate adjustments to their training to ensure they have the best opportunity to pass.

Aspire to be the best

For all of these reasons we genuinely believe that KPMG offers its trainees the best chance of passing their exams. Don’t take our word for it though – take a look at the facts:

  • In November 2017, 94% of KPMG ICAEW trainees sitting their Advanced Level papers passed first time. This compares with an Institute wide pass mark of 81%
  • In May 2018, 93% of KPMG ICAS trainees sitting their Final Test of Professional Expertise papers passed first time.  This compares with an Institute wide pass mark of 77%.

Let’s be clear these exams are challenging and are not easy. These results are a real testament to our people and their consistent outperformance of the Institute pass marks should inspire you to train with us.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to contribute towards the cost of my training?

No. KPMG pay for all costs associated with attending courses for your first attempt at an exam. We also pay for all fees for a first attempt levied by your chosen Professional Institute.

Do I get rewarded for passing my exams?

Yes. KPMG promotes an excellence culture and recognises how much work is involved in successfully passing exams. We give cash prizes to trainees that are placed by their Institute in their published Orders of Merit. The value for these prizes ranges from £1,000 to £5,000.

Do I need to have done a Finance or Accountancy degree to do well in professional exams?

No. In our experience graduates who join us with a ‘non-relevant’ degree do equally as well in their professional exams.

What happens if I fail my exams?

KPMG values its people. We give our trainees the best support available prior to the exams and so our exam failure rate is low. However, in the event that trainees do fail on their first attempt they are given the opportunity to resit, and a review is done to establish why this has happened. Each trainee is treated as an individual and given the support to move forward. In a small number of cases trainees may see their employment contract end if they fail their exams outside of the targets set by KPMG. We consider our terms on resits to be more generous than those across most professional services firms. That’s why it is so important to choose an employer like KPMG who invests in getting you through your exams and provides proactive, tailored support to help you achieve success.

Once I select a programme can I choose to change?

No. We believe all programmes at KPMG are of equal value and therefore once you have opted for a programme this will be the one you pursue.  Therefore it is especially important you look into what you want to gain throughout your career at KPMG and how the Professional Qualification fits into this. 

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