Top 10 Hall of Fame Outstanding Training Initiatives (May/June 2016)

Each year Training magazine requires all Training Top 10 Hall of Famers to submit an Outstanding Training Initiative that is shared with our readers in a print issue. Here are the details of PwC's The PwC Professional: Spotting Development Opportunities.

PwC realized it needs authentic, inclusive leaders at all levels who inspire others and can lead their clients, their teams, and others through change. That’s why it developed the PwC Professional leadership framework and has embraced that framework throughout the organization’s diverse network.

The “PwC Professional Spotting Development Opportunities” program came about because PwC sought to:

  1. Bring the PwC Professional leadership framework to life for 195,000 employees around the globe

  2. Change “business-as-usual” behaviors by:
  • Empowering learners to make development choices in the course of work that accelerate personal and professional growth

  • Inspiring learners to take responsibility for their development

  • Igniting a culture of real-time development across the network

PwC believes the key to developing talent successfully is spotting and taking advantage of real-time development opportunities while applying the PwC Professional leadership framework in the ordinary course of business. In response, it created PwC Professional: Spotting Development Opportunities, an interactive video-based simulation that lets PwC partners and staff step outside “business as usual” and see what can happen if they seize the learning opportunities that are all around them, every day.

Program Details

PwC Professional: Spotting Development Opportunities is an immersive “choose your own adventure” video-based simulation with game-like features and immediate feedback, allowing learners to experience first-hand the impact of making new (and sometimes uncomfortable) real-time development choices. This required:

  • Crafting engaging relatable stories with interesting characters around the lives of PwC people

  • Developing story lines and scripts that have all learners direct the decisions of the story’s characters on how to learn. The “choose your own adventure” strategy resulted in more than 9 0 0 paths to completion. In doing so, learners observe that the only “wrong” answer is to decide not to learn.

  • Building aspects of gamification into the design. From viewing accumulated points and comparing them to goal to concentration- like puzzle games, multiple strategies are used to deepen understanding while increasing the level of engagement.

  • Creating individualized feedback. Learners are rewarded with instant feedback at every decision point. This is followed by a mini-game to reinforce key learning points followed by tailored feedback that addresses personal learning points and the wider business strategy.

A core team of five, three of whom were experienced instructional designers, did all of the above working in partnership with 200-plus subject matter experts and stakeholders, including Human Resources and Diversity professionals, line-of-service leaders and client service professionals, and others across the network, to portray real-time development and PwC Professional leadership framework behaviors. PwC partnered with Attic Media, which “built” the actual program.


Results within the U.S. show that the course speaks to all learners—from the most experienced to the least, and across all lines of service. Learning effectiveness scores (on a 5-point Likert scale where 1 is the highest) averaged 1.76 sorted by staff level (non-exempt, associate, manager-director, partner) and 1.6 firm wide (Assurance, Advisory, and Tax practices).

Firm leadership sent out surveys to measure how well the PwC Professional framework and associated behaviors are being integrated into the U.S. workplace. Some 93 percent agreed that they have a “good understanding of” real-time development, and 90 percent agreed on understanding of the PwC Professional leadership framework.