Delivering a skilled and supported workforce

In this section we set out how we equip our people to deliver quality audits.

In this section we set out how we equip our people to deliver quality audits.

Phase two

Our people strategy and processes promote audit quality

One of the key drivers of quality is ensuring that our professionals have the appropriate skills and experience, passion and purpose, to deliver the highest quality in audit. This requires the right recruitment, development, reward, promotion and assignment of professionals.


KPMG has invested in understanding how we can attract the talent we need across the organization in the future. This includes building an extraordinary people experience for our employees and prospective employees.

We provide firms with guidance and training on sourcing high quality talent with the necessary skills, expertise and qualifications to deliver organizational objectives and with the ability to make a positive contribution to the values, capabilities and goals of the organization.

Additionally, we require that member firms perform candidate application screening that is based on fair and job-related criteria to ensure that candidates possess the appropriate characteristics to perform competently, and are suitable and best placed for their roles. KPMG’s policies also require that recruits undergo rigorous reference and background checks in line with legal and regulatory requirements.

KPMG reviews our position against the Universum rankings, which measure how we compare to the world’s most attractive employers.

We are consistently ranked in the top five to 10 most attractive employers among business students (data based on 2012–2018), and are focused on improving our attractiveness to STEM talent.

KPMG is addressing this challenge by, for example, redesigning the KPMG International Case Competition to make participation more attractive to STEM students.

We work hard to foster an inclusive culture to retain our diverse talent. For more about Inclusion & Diversity at KPMG, find out more on our website.


A new approach to performance development built around the Everyone a Leader performance principles, Open Performance Development, is being launched and includes:

  • global role profiles
  • a goal library; and
  • standardized review forms.

The deployment of Open Performance Development is linked to our values and designed to articulate what is required for success — both individually and collectively. We know that by being clear and consistent about the behaviors we’re looking for, and rewarding those who demonstrate them, we will enhance our ability to achieve quality.

At the same time, we are driving a shift in our performance-driven culture, supported by and enacted through leading technology that allows us to embed audit quality data into the assessment of performance and decisions around reward as well as drive consistency across the network.

Partners are also required to be evaluated on additional key quality and compliance metrics. Member firms monitor quality and compliance incidents and maintain quality and compliance metrics for the purpose of assessing the overall evaluation, promotions and remuneration of partners. These evaluations are conducted by performance managers as well as certain partners who are in a position to assess performance.

Reward and promotion

All KPMG firms are required to have compensation and promotion policies that are clear, simple, informed by market data, and are linked to the performance review process. Such policies help our people understand what is expected of them, and what they can expect to receive in return. The connection between performance and reward is achieved through calibration meetings where relative performance across a peer group is discussed and used to inform reward decisions.

The results of performance evaluations directly affect the promotion and remuneration of partners and employees and, in some cases, their continued association with KPMG.

Reward decisions are based on consideration of both individual and member firm performance.

The extent to which our people feel their performance has been reflected in their reward is measured through the Global People Survey (GPS), with action plans developed accordingly.

Assignment of professionals

All KPMG firms are required to have procedures in place to assign both the most suitable engagement partners and other professionals to an audit engagement on the basis of their skill sets, relevant professional and industry experience, and the nature of the engagement.

Partner admissions

Each firm is required to have a process for admission to the partnership that is rigorous and thorough and involves appropriate representatives of the firm’s leadership. Member firms must use criteria that are consistent with a commitment to professionalism and integrity, quality and being an employer of choice.

KPMG global independence policies prohibit member firm audit partners from being evaluated on, or compensated based on, their success in selling non-assurance services to their audit clients.

Lifetime learning strategy

Annual training priorities for development and delivery are identified by audit learning and development steering groups at the global, regional and, where applicable, member firm level. Training is delivered using a blend of classroom, digital learning and performance support to assist auditors on the job.

Ongoing mentoring and on-the-job coaching

Learning is not confined to the classroom — rich learning experiences are available when needed through coaching and just-in-time learning, available at the click of a mouse, and aligned with job-specific role profiles and learning paths.

Mentoring and on-the-job experience play key roles in developing the personal qualities important for a successful career in auditing, including professional judgment, technical excellence and instinct.

We support a coaching culture throughout KPMG as part of enabling KPMG professionals to achieve their full potential and instill that every team member is responsible for building the capacity of the team, coaching other team members and sharing experiences.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

All client service partners and employees are required to maintain CPD in accordance with applicable professional standards, laws and regulations.

Compliance with the CPD requirements is tested as part of firms’ annual monitoring programs.