Our people | KPMG | BY

Our people

Our people

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 recruitment, development, promotion, retention and assignment of professionals. KPMG global behaviors, which are linked to our values, are designed to articulate what is required for success — both individually and collectively. One of KPMG’s global behaviors is ‘delivering quality’.


Related content


KPMG member firms strive to be employers of choice by creating an environment where their people can fulfill their potential and feel proud and motivated to give their best.

Member firms are required to have recruitment strategies focused on recruiting the right skills for their business today and in the future by recruiting from an as-diverse-as-possible talent pool.

We work hard to foster an inclusive culture to retain our diverse talent. For more about Inclusion & Diversity at KPMG, read here.

KPMG International’s human resources (HR) policies require member firms to perform candidate application screening that is based on fair and job-related criteria to try to ensure that candidates are suitable and best placed for their roles. KPMG International’s policies also require that recruits undergo rigorous reference and background checks in line with legal and regulatory requirements.

More about our vision on recruiting and retaining people and being an employer of choice is included in the KPMG International Annual Review.

Personal development

It is important that all our professionals have the necessary business and leadership skills, in addition to technical skills, to be able to perform quality work.

In relation to Audit, we deploy a variety of learning solutions that are designed to reinforce our values, help our professionals get the fundamentals right and develop the necessary skills and attitudes to make sound judgments, as well as develop insights that enhance audit quality and the value of audit. Courses are available to enhance personal effectiveness and develop technical, leadership and business skills. KPMG professionals are developed further for high performance through access to coaching and mentoring on the job, stretch assignments and country rotational and global mobility opportunities.

Lifetime learning strategy

Annual training priorities for development and delivery are identified by the 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 — following the 70:20:10 model. Audit learning and development teams work with subject matter experts and leaders from GSC, ISG and member firm DPPs, as appropriate, to ensure the training is of the highest quality, is relevant to performance on the job and is delivered on a timely basis and via different media.

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 a key role 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 the KPMG network as part of enabling KPMG member firm professionals to achieve their full potential and instill that every team member is responsible for building the capacity of the team, coaching 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 member firms’ annual monitoring programs.

All KPMG professionals are required to comply with applicable professional license rules and satisfy the CPD requirements in the jurisdiction where they practice.

Policies and procedures are designed to facilitate compliance with license requirements and determine whether individuals are appropriately licensed to undertake their work as required.

“High-quality work, in my experience, is performed by talented, technically-competent people with a clear passion, personal drive and purpose for what they do. At KPMG, our leading approach to recruitment and learning helps our people bring meaningful insight and solutions — to clients, to the public and our teams — every single day.”

Susan Ferrier
Global Head of People, Performance & Culture
KPMG International


Member firms are required to have procedures in place to assign both the 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 assignment or engagement.

Partner assignments

Function heads within member firms are responsible for the partner assignment process, which includes consideration of key factors relating to competence, workload and experience, including quality and compliance incidents (refer below to Reward and promotion). Partners are required to have appropriate experience, training, and capacity based on an annual partner portfolio review taking into account the size, complexity and risk profile of the engagement, and the type of support and specialist input to be provided (i.e. the engagement team composition and specialist involvement).

Engagement teams

Audit engagement partners are required to be satisfied that their engagement teams have appropriate competencies, capabilities and capacity, and to determine whether they require the use of specialists to perform the audit engagement in accordance with international professional standards, KPMG audit methodology, and applicable legal and regulatory requirements. If the right resource is not available within the member firm, access is provided to a network of highly skilled KPMG professionals in other member firms.

When considering the appropriate competence and capabilities expected of the engagement team as a whole, the engagement partner’s considerations may include the following:

  • an understanding of, and practical experience with, audit engagements of a similar nature and complexity through appropriate training and participation
  • an understanding of professional standards and legal and regulatory requirements
  • appropriate technical skills, including those related to relevant information technology and specialized areas of accounting or auditing
  • knowledge of relevant industries in which the client operates
  • ability to apply professional judgment
  • an understanding of KPMG’s quality control policies and procedures
  • quality performance reviews (QPR) results and results of regulatory inspections.

Performance and reward

Evaluation process including quality and compliance metrics

KPMG’s global behaviors, which are linked to our values, are designed to help articulate to our people what is required for success — both individually and collectively. These global behaviors include ‘delivering quality’, ‘exercises professional judgment’ and ‘strives for continual improvement’.

All professionals, including partners, are required to have annual goal setting and performance reviews. Each professional is evaluated on their agreed-upon goals, demonstration of the KPMG global behaviors, technical capabilities and market knowledge.

A culture of continuous improvement is encouraged to drive feedback, both positive and developmental, from both junior and senior colleagues, as well as peers. Feedback gathered forms an integral part of performance reviews.

Partners and certain professionals are also required to be evaluated on key quality and compliance metrics. Member firms monitor quality incidents and maintain quality and compliance metrics for the purpose of partner assignments and also for the purposes of partner evaluation, promotion and remuneration.

Going beyond performance reviews and compensation, the KPMG global behaviors are designed to extend across all member firms’ people processes, including recruitment methodologies, recognition approaches and development planning. The behaviors are a constant reference point, articulating to KPMG member firm personnel what is required for success individually and collectively.

Reward and promotion

All member firms are required to have compensation and promotion policies that are clear, simple and 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 organizational (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. Member firms are required to identify and document criteria, which include audit quality and compliance metrics, in assessing overall evaluation, promotion and remuneration of partner and certain personnel. These evaluations are conducted by performance managers and partners who are in a position to assess performance.

Each member firm is required to have a process for admission to the partnership that is rigorous, thorough and involves appropriate representatives of the member firm’s leadership. Member firms are required to use criteria for admission to the partnership that are consistent with a commitment to professionalism and integrity, quality and an employer of choice. These are strongly aligned to KPMG’s global behaviors and are based on consistent principles.

KPMG International 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.

Insights from our people — Global People Survey (GPS)

Biennially (and annually for Global Board countries), all member firm partners and staff, across all functions, are invited to participate in our independent survey that measures our people’s engagement. The GPS provides an overall employee engagement index (EEI) and performance excellence index (PEI) as well as insights into areas driving engagement that may be strengths or opportunities. Results are available across various teams and demographic groups. Additional insight is provided on how we are faring on categories known to impact employee engagement.

The results, including those by country and function, provide global leadership with information about the drivers of employee engagement and, therefore, business performance. Results also provide warning indicators when reviewed against benchmarks and trends.

All member firms are required to participate in the GPS and to take appropriate actions to communicate and respond to the findings of the survey. This includes monitoring GPS results including those related to audit quality and tone at the top, referred to in the GPS as ‘leadership behavior’, and employee engagement, through the EEI and employee performance through PEI. The GPS results are tracked and appropriate follow-up actions agreed. GPS results are also reviewed as part of the Global Compliance Review Program (refer to Our monitoring).

Connect with us


Request for proposal