Ethics and compliance

Our rules and principles

Our expert for questions

Angela Dern ist Ihre Expertin für Ethik und Compliance bei PwC Deutschland

Angela Dern
Ethics Office Lead at PwC Germany
Tel: +49 69 9585-1958

We are responsible

There are two things at the heart of everything we do: the trust placed in us by our clients, our employees, and society, and our high ethical standards. Our daily work and decision-making is built on a foundation of values – our Code of Conduct and our compliance rules. These form our guardrails in everyday business, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. It’s imperative for us to uphold legal requirements, professional codes of conduct, and our internal rules and standards.

This is particularly important when we’re working across borders. These codes set out the values and standards of behaviour that are important in our work. They compel us to approach matters openly, respond rapidly and always try our best.

This page is the place to find out more about our Code of Conduct, which summarises our common values and compliance rules, and forms the foundation of what we do every day.

How to reach our Ethics Helpline to report possible violations – by name or anonymously

Ethics Helpline privacy policy

Please note: the Ethics Helpline is not an emergency service. Please do not use it to report incidents which pose an immediate risk to life or property.

PwC Germany’s complaints handling system is the Ethics Helpline

What is the Ethics Helpline?

The Ethics Helpline is a platform that you can use to report potential breaches of PwC’s Code of Conduct or compliance rules to PwC Germany. The Ethics Helpline can be accessed online or by phone, and you can submit anonymous concerns if you wish. If you choose to give your name and contact details when filing a report, we will immediately contact you, in confidence, to let you know what will happen next. You can also monitor the status of your report using the follow-up function – all concerns are given a report ID, so you can do this even if you choose to remain anonymous. Concerns can be submitted 24/7. Barriers to accessing the complaints procedure are PwC Germany provides the information and access to the and access to the tool in 19 different languages, including German and English. English, among others. Furthermore, there is the also have the option of submitting a complaint by telephone in in numerous languages. All complaint channels are easy to channels are easy to find and there is no not associated with any costs.

More information can be found on the Ethics Helpline page.

To learn more about how we handle your data, please consult our privacy policy.

Who is entitled to submit complaints/references?

All employees of PwC Germany, employees of direct or indirect suppliers, suppliers, business partners, clients and customers, or clients or other affected parties and their and their representatives can raise concerns in confidence and thus submit information about (potential) risks or violations.

What can I submit through the Ethics Helpline?

  • Suspected breaches of PwC Germany’s Code of Conduct or compliance rules
  • Suspected breaches of laws and standards
  • Questions regarding PwC Germany’s Code of Conduct or compliance rules

How do I submit a concern?

Suspected breaches of PwC’s Code of Conduct, our compliance rules or the law can be reported to PwC Germany using the Ethics Helpline. The helpline can be accessed online or by phone, and you can submit anonymous concerns if you wish. To get started, please select one of the following options. You will then be given a step-by-step guide through the process.

Do I have to fear consequences if I complain?

Whistleblowers are protected to a special degree, regardless of whether or not the person making the report is himself or herself affected by the reported incident. The protection of whistleblowers applies to all internal (and external) (and external) employees as well as business partners, job applicants, suppliers and other external third parties.

Who will deal with my concerns?

Our Ethics Officer and their team are the people responsible for dealing with your concerns. They are obliged to follow up on any indication of (possible) violations of the law as well as any violations of PwC's Ethics Principles or Compliance Rules.

What happens once I have submitted a concern?

Your concern will be processed confidentially within a few days. Any references to people’s names, companies or positions – whether inside or outside PwC – will be removed before the ethics team processes your concern. This enables the Ethics Office to serve as a neutral, independent conflict and complaints management body. The processing of tips and the corresponding investigations will be conducted fairly, objectively and in confidentiality. Only persons who are absolutely necessary for the investigation.

Once you have submitted a concern, you can check on its status using the report ID. You need to do this proactively, regardless of whether your concern was anonymous – we will not contact you to provide status updates.

Firmwide activities

We have a number of measures in place to ensure an adequate understanding of compliance with laws and regulations. Among these measures is a requirement for all partners and employees to undergo regular training and to submit an annual confirmation of compliance. Just over 13,500 partners and employees underwent our annual independence and compliance training in the 2021/2022 reporting year.

More than 13,000 people have completed our mandatory annual training

  • Ethics and business practices
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Antitrust law/fair competition
  • Anti-corruption
  • Protecting information
  • Legal sanctions
  • Insider trading

European Business Ethics Network Deutschland 

We are a member of the European Business Ethics Network Deutschland (Deutsches Netzwerk Wirtschaftsethik, or DNWE). The DNWE is Germany’s oldest and largest business ethics network and has over 500 members, making it one of the biggest business networks in Germany. The debate around morally reorienting our economy is a key challenge for society. The search for amicable solutions to conflict is making it necessary for us to find new kinds of dialogue between research and practice. The DNWE’s key aim is to promote and guide this dialogue, serving as a mediator between researchers and practitioners in the German-speaking countries.
Our status: member

Learn more (only available in german)

Compliance and Integrity Forum

Our involvement with the DNWE also extends to the Compliance and Integrity Forum – an initiative run by the Centre for Business Ethics (Zentrum für Wirtschaftsethik, or ZfW). The ZfW is the DNWE’s research institute, a voluntary association of companies and business federations with one primary aim: promoting recognised standards and good compliance and integrity management in companies, business federations, and state bodies.
Our status: working group member

Learn more

Global Third Party Code of Conduct

We are always working to better uphold human rights in our value chain and supply chain: this involves close and constant contact with our clients and business partners. For example, the purchasing guidelines in our Global Third Party Code of Conduct cover the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, including key environmental and human rights issues. Click the link below to read our Global Third Party Code of Conduct.

Global Third Party Code of Conduct (PDF, 0,4 MB)

Daniela Geretshuber

“For our corporate culture, it’s very important to speak up and to voice concerns of any kind. Having the courage to say something when something isn’t right or looks wrong is acting with integrity. This act shows that we stand up for one another. We all bear the responsibility for creating a respectful workplace and value-based cooperation. And that, in turn, vividly illustrates what we stand for here at PwC.”

Daniela Geretshuber,Ethics Officer at PwC Germany
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Contact us

Angela Dern

Angela Dern

Ethics Office Lead, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 69 9585-1958

Daniela Geretshuber

Daniela Geretshuber

Member of the Board and People and Corporate Sustainability Leader, PwC Germany