Support & Training: Tax and Pensions 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?

The training, development and regulation of our professionals is critical to the future success of our business which is why our people are trained to become experts in their field and supported to study for a professional qualificationhere are a number of professional accountancy and tax qualification study routes available within the UK firm’s Tax and Pensions practices:

  • Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) which is offered by the ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) joint programme with Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) offered by the CIOT (Chartered Institute of Tax)
  • Chartered Accountants (CA) which is offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) combined with the ICAS Tax Professional (ITP).
  • Association of Tax Technician (ATT)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)

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

Tax Training Programmes in England and Wales

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

Intensive Programme (Tax London only)

The  Intensive  Programme  is  KPMG’s  front-loaded, classroom-based  ACA-CTA 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 13/17 of the ACA and CTA examinations, and come into the business on two work experience placements. One is a structured, six to eight week work experience placement in the busy season of your programme, and the second comes after you have completed your 13 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. During the rest of  your  training  contract  you can concentrate on building up a fantastic range of work   experience   (with   only   3  exams   left   to complete) and will have the technical knowledge to apply within the workplace)

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 in addition to 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 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.

Tax Training programmes in Scotland

The ICAS Programme is KPMG’s CA-ITP product offered to all Scottish offices. The programme consists of classroom-based tuition and revision, with wrap- around online and self-study learning. The training is block release which means you are out of the business for four to eight week periods at a time enabling you to focus solely on your professional qualification and then go back into the business once complete. The structure of the programme requires you to take ownership of your studies but also provides a good balance, allowing you to shape your own learning and seek support as and when you need it.

ICAS is both the tuition provider and the professional body which means they both create and teach the material you require to gain the qualifications.

Pensions training programmes

On the Pensions Actuarial Graduate Programme you will study towards becoming a fellow of the institute of Actuaries.

As an Investment Advisory graduate, you’ll study for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams or for the actuarial exams to qualify as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. We recognise the challenges and time constraints involved in balancing work and study commitments, so we’ll support you with study allowance and tutorials. If studying for the CFA qualification, you’ll also need to complete the f studying for the CFA qualification, you’ll also need to complete the Investment Management Certificate (IMC).

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. 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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