Our position as a leader in our profession affords us an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the marketplace. We realize that everything we do – from the smallest interactions to the most public of statements – has the potential to make an important impact.
To promote trust in the marketplace, we must ourselves be trusted. In support of our commitment to integrity, we are governed by PwC’s global Code of Conduct, and our Standards, the US companion to the global Code of Conduct, which provides regionally specific code of conduct information. The code is designed to guide us in upholding professional standards and our company’s values. In the US, we have built upon the global Code of Conduct by embedding principles of good corporate citizenship with an emphasis on the enhanced standard for how we deliver our services.
Among its key principles, the code offers guidance pertaining to our core values, provides direction on ethical decision making, and reinforces our commitment to operating with independence. Ethics remains a strong foundation of our business, so ethics training and compliance is a mandatory part of our experience – from new hire and milestone courses to our annual confirmation. Each year, all partners, principals and staff must re-confirm their knowledge and acceptance of policies, including those pertaining to corporate responsibility.
We express support for fundamental human rights and avoid participating in business activities that abuse human rights.
We act in a socially responsible manner, within the laws, customs, and traditions of the countries in which we operate, and contribute in a responsible manner to the development of communities.
We aspire to act in a manner that minimizes the detrimental environmental impacts of our business operations.
We encourage the support of charitable, educational, and community service activities.
We are committed to supporting international and local efforts to eliminate corruption.
Maintaining independence is fundamental to our ability to serve our clients and the public interest. It gives our clients, the regulators, and the public confidence that we act with integrity and objectivity. At PwC, we provide our partners, principals, and staff with robust systems and tools to manage their independence responsibilities. Our professionals in the US have access to a dedicated team of full-time independence specialists available to advise on complex independence rules and professional standards that govern our profession. A US-based call center is available for guidance on personal independence questions and other compliance requirements. In 2011, our US Independence Office handled approximately 3,000 consultations dealing with topics relating to independence assessments, business relationships, and the scope of services we provide to our clients. During this same period, the call center responded to approximately 50,000 personal independence and other compliance inquiries.
Further demonstrating our commitment to independence and ethics compliance, all partners, principals, and staff are required to complete comprehensive course work for which our people are held accountable. During FY11 PwC people took more than 128,000 hours of independence, ethics and compliance training.