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Promotion Watch ’14: PwC’s Plan to Fast Track Assurance Associates to Senior Mid-Year

PwC has the cattle prod out to encourage ambitious assurance staff associates with some experience to skip the three year path to senior and take advantage of mid-year promotions. Let's check out the email that went around:

While we continue to anticipate staff who are progressing as expected will be on a 3 year course to senior associate, supporting staff for mid-year promotion is a terrific opportunity for us to:

1.      Demonstrate that we are listening to feedback from our partners and our people,
2.      Align with and leverage key elements of our Talent Transformation strategy, including the enhanced development strategy, the simplified approach to assessments and Real Time Feedback, and
3.      Demonstrate flexibility in providing more frequent/timely recognition of career progression.

We will take learnings from this process into consideration for possible implementation at other staff levels in conjunction with the launch of Talent Transformation.

Meaning, there are those of you who are happy to take your time getting to senior, but there are a handful of you who drooling for an opportunity like this.


Assurance experienced associates will be eligible for mid-year promotion in FY15.  We continue to anticipate that staff who are progressing as expected will be on a 3 year course to senior associate. We will assess expanding mid-year promotions to other staff levels as we move forward.

Broadly, there will be two categories of individuals that will be considered for promotion at mid-year:
(1) Experienced associates who are deemed performance ready during the FY14 ARC process, but have not completed their credential requirements.
(2) Experienced associates who have targeted capabilities that need to be demonstrated in order to be performance ready that the coach and HR believe can reasonably be demonstrated in the period between now and the mid-year process (this group may include experienced hires).

We continue to anticipate that staff who are progressing as expected will be on a 3 year course to senior associate.

That's the third time they've said they expect staff who are progressing as expected will be on a 3 year course. We get it.

As for the dirty details:

Criteria for Promotion  

Criteria for mid-year promotions will be the same as current guidance – performance readiness and completed L&D and credential requirements. Additionally, to be considered for a mid-year promotion, experienced associates must have assessments covering a minimum of 80% of their client hours through 11/15/14. More details to follow on this during the rollout of Talent Transformation in FY15.

Process Overview        

While process details are still being worked through, due to the relatively small size of the population being reviewed, and our ability to leverage key elements of Talent Transformation (such as simplified
assessments), the process will be streamlined as compared with our traditional ARC.

Credential and L&D Requirements

Similar to our current credential policy, experienced associates proposed for mid-year promotion will need to sit for the primary credential exam by 11/30/14 and submit passing results (CPA, CISA or CIA) to HR no later than 12/15/14 for a 1/1/15 promotion effective date. Passing results for exams with a sitting date by 11/30/14 submitted to HR after 12/15/14 will have a promotion effective date of 1/16/15 if results are submitted in advance of that effective date.  Individuals are encouraged to sit for the exam early to achieve a 1/1/15 promotion effective date.
Experienced associates are expected to be on track with their current required training.  We anticipate that required elements of Senior School 1 will be offered in January 2015 for Core Attest and PCS staff promoted through the mid-year cycle.

Now the part you care about: compensation.

Compensation/ Milestone Awards  

Promotions and base compensation adjustments will be effective January 2015. There will be no change to the current Contribution Award allocations or eligibility for associates and senior associates – promoted staff will still be eligible. In conjunction with our FY15 annual compensation process, at year end, staff promoted in January 2015 will be eligible for a prorated annual performance bonus for their contributions as a senior associate. Experienced associates promoted to senior associate at mid-year will be eligible to attend Discover – the senior associate leadership development program.  New promotes will be contacted by the Total Rewards team with program timing and details.

XLOS Considerations    

For those in our xLOS groups (PCS, TS, and FSR), coaches should be aware of the following:
•       Only Assurance PCS will be participating in mid-year promotions – all aspects of this program apply.
•       FSR and TS will not participate in FY15 to maintain xLOS consistency.  We will revisit this decision for FY16 in consideration of line of service participation.

Alignment with Talent Transformation    

Implementing mid-year promotions is a transition step in support of accelerated development and our Talent Transformation efforts.

General Timing

Early June – Communications to partners, coaches and staff announcing mid-year promotions and providing support for Annual Summary and Total Rewards
June – Broad communication around mid-year promotions will be discussed in Market Team meetings and during the June 10 Assurance staff webcast
November – Anticipated end of performance review period for mid-year promotion consideration
December – Mid-year promotion decisions determined and approved
December 15 – Passing exam (CPA, CISA or CIA) results due to HR
January 1, 2015 – Promotions and new base compensation effective
January – Promotes complete any L&D requirements

What do you all make of this?