Independence - #FamilyMatters

A guide to independence for family members of PwC professionals

Thank you for visiting this site, which has been created especially for family members of people who work at PwC.

As an audit firm, our regulators require us to remain independent of our audit clients. This is so that we are always objective and can maintain integrity when dealing with our clients. Some of these rules impact you, and you therefore play an important role in helping our people meet these obligations.

We know that the rules we have to follow aren’t always easy to understand, so this site has been designed to demystify these and help you navigate what it means to be associated with someone who works at PwC.

Playback of this video is not currently available


Thalia Hessey, Head of Firm and Personal Independence

View Transcript

Is this information relevant to me?

Some of the rules your PwC person has to comply with also have an impact on what the regulators term ‘Immediate Family Members’. So what does this mean?

Immediate family members include:

  • Spouse: relationship is formalised either by marriage or under common law.
  • Spousal equivalent: someone the PwC professional lives with and shares an ongoing intimate relationship with, regardless of whether their finances are handled separately.
  • A dependent: anyone, whether related or not, who receives substantial financial support from the PwC professional (e.g children).

Who counts as immediate family?

Who counts as immediate family memeber diagram

Why we need your help

If you are an ‘immediate family member’, your PwC person needs your help to ensure they are demonstrably impartial and objective in their work.

This is important because:

  1. It is a requirement imposed on us by our Regulators.
  2. Even an inadvertent failure to comply with these professional standards can expose PwC to legal and regulatory risk or a loss of public confidence in our work.
  3. Remaining independent provides comfort to our audit clients and retains public confidence in capital markets.
  4. There are consequences for your PwC professional for getting this wrong.

How you can help

By reading this, you’re already showing your support in helping our people maintain their personal independence - thank you.

Set out below are the next steps you can take to help your PwC person stay on track with their personal independence:

  1. Collate all the financial interests you have (e.g. investments in shares / funds) by making a list. Remember, they don’t need to know the value, just who the investment is with.
  2. If the PwC professional you’re associated with is manager grade or above, they will need to record your financial interests in Checkpoint (PwC’s Personal Independence software tool). Having the unique identifier for each of your investments, such as an ISIN or SEDOL code, will make this much easier for them. If they are below manager grade, they will need to check that any shareholdings are unrestricted. Your PwC person will know how to do this by using our Central Entity System (CES).
  3. Before making a new investment, please talk to your PwC person and ask them to check if it's safe to buy, either by pre-clearing it in Checkpoint (managers and above) or checking CES (below manager).
  4. When purchasing a new, pre-cleared, investment, please tell your PwC person as soon as possible, as they are required to log this within Checkpoint within 14 days if they are manager grade or above.
  5. After fully selling investments, again please tell your PwC person as soon as possible so that they can remove them from their Checkpoint portfolio within 14 days (manager grade or above only).

Use this checklist to ensure you’re disclosing the right financial interests.

How to help

  1. Collate

    all the financial investments you have. This could be through taking written notes or listing your investments in a word document.

  2. Record / Check

    Remind your PwC person to record all your investments in PwC’s Personal Independence tool - Checkpoint (manager and above) or check their restriction status in CES (below manager)

  3. Update

    Talk to your PwC person regularly about your financial affairs to ensure everything is kept up to date.

Want to know more about personal independence?

The information below provides you with more detail about personal independence and its importance for PwC Partners and employees.

What is personal independence

As an audit firm, our people must be independent of our audit clients to comply with regulatory requirements. This is set out in the FRC’s Ethical Standard, which focuses on ensuring audit firms appropriately manage threats to Integrity, Objectivity and Independence.

Staying personally independent means that decisions our people make at work are wholly independent of their own financial and personal relationships, and you play a key role in helping to achieve this.

To be personally independent means our people have the appropriate financial and personal relationships, including:

  • Financial interests (e.g. shares and funds)
  • Financial arrangements (e.g. bank accounts and credit cards)
  • Relationships (e.g. employment)

Your PwC person may therefore need to have conversations with you about some or all of these areas.

The main way our people demonstrate their independence is by logging all financial interests held by themselves and their immediate family members on our personal independence logging system, called Checkpoint. This is only applicable to those of manager grade or above.

Remember, the PwC professional you’re associated with doesn't need to know the value of any of your investments, just what you are invested in.

Why independence matters?

Complying with PwC’s Personal Independence policy will help our people remain safe from reputational risk and protect them from significant penalties.


Help protect against any regulatory issues and potential personal reputational damage.

Minimise losses

Reduce the likelihood of losses on your investments owing to non-compliance.

Build trust

Ensuring all our employees are independent helps us to maintain and build trust in society.

When might things change

Life events can change your Personal Independence responsibilities.

The roadmap to the right shows a few examples of what these could be for you and your PwC person. If you’re unsure about how your recent life change may affect your shared Personal Independence responsibilities, get your PwC person to reach out to the Personal Independence team, or if you’re an immediate family member of a Partner at PwC you can email the Checkpoint Partner Support team for further guidance.

Key life events infographic
Follow us