books1PwC, one of the UK’s largest graduate employers, is to stop the UCAS tariff as entry criteria for its graduate scheme.

The accountancy firm said that by placing too much importance on UCAS scores, they would miss out on key talent from disadvantaged backgrounds, who can perform less well at school.

Removing UCAS scores as an entry prerequisite follows analysis of applications to the firm from students who have not achieved the normally required A level grades. The move will enable the firm to further diversify its graduate intake through broader access to talented young people, who may not have strong historical academic performance at school, but have gone on to perform well at university and have all round proven capabilities.

The firm’s graduate programme, voted the top scheme in the country for 12 years in row, will continue to filter applications by university degree results and through online behavioural and aptitude assessments that test students more closely on their capacity to learn, personal skills and overall suitability for the workplace. This approach will maintain the high level of talent that PwC demands from its graduate recruits.

Applications to PwC’s graduate schemes rose to 25,573 last year, 17 applications for every role, this is expected to rise considerably this year, as more candidates are eligible to apply.

Gaenor Bagley, board member and head of people at PwC, said: ‘By breaking down social barriers we will open the door to thousands of students who may have previously thought a graduate role with PwC was out of reach for them.’

Across all student programmes the firm will recruit around 2,500 students to graduate, school and college leaver and work experience roles.

The UCAS tariff will continue to be used in filtering applications for the firm’s school leaver roles, employer led degree programme, ‘Flying Start’, and for a small minority of graduate roles where particular subject matter expertise is a requirement.

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