Advanced Certificate in Trusts: Law and Practice

For any professional that needs to understand the legal and practical realities of creating and administering trusts.

Formally known as the STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Creation: Law and Practice, this course is one of four Advanced Certificates that can be used to gain a STEP Diploma in International Trust Management, for those who intend to be full trustees.

It can also be taken as a standalone course for frontline staff that introduce the trust concept to new clients, or trust administrators that need to understand why various procedures are in place.

STEP Diploma

This Advanced Certificate can be taken as part of the STEP Diploma. Find out more

What does this qualification cover and how is it delivered?

What does this qualification cover?

  • Review of the Trust Concept
  • Marketing Trust Services and Accepting New Business
  • The Trust Instrument (double module)
  • Choice of Law to Govern the Trust (double module)
  • The Role and Status of a Protector
  • Estate Planning and Forced Heirship Issues (double module)
  • Asset Protection Trusts
  • Purpose Trusts
  • Private Foundations


How is it delivered?

The core programme is delivered through a blend of distance-learning and virtual workshops as part of a revision-week series provided online by experts in the field who possess vast amounts of professional experience and practical knowledge.

What other Advanced Certificates also make up the Diploma in International Trust Management?

The Diploma in International Trust Management consists of four Advanced Certificates:

This Diploma is recognised worldwide as the benchmark qualification for those working in the international trusts industry. ​​​​​​

Learning outcomes
  • Explain and advise upon the roles, responsibilities and duties of trustees
  • Appreciate how trust companies can market trust services in a competitive environment
  • Comply with requirement upon being appointed as trustee, including in relation to AML, FATCA and CRS
  • Be able to construe typical provisions of a trust instrument, including dispositive provisions of discretionary, settlor-directed and life interest trust
  • Understand how to exercise a dispositive power to pay or apply income, ·appoint an absolute interest or upon new trusts and of re-settlement
  • Understand the administrative powers and other provisions that trustees may require to administer the trust, invest and manage the trust fund
  • Appreciate the significance of conflict of laws issues, choice and change of the governing law of the trust
  • Administer a trust that confers dispositive and/or administrative powers upon a protector
  • Discuss, advise on and implement an estate plan by use of a trust, in particular for persons resident and domiciled in a forced heirship jurisdiction
  • Understand how offshore trusts may be used to protect family wealth (from creditors, claimants, litigants, trustees-in bankruptcy, and how to structure an asset-protection trust
  • Administer a purpose trust used for typical functions and to hold certain assets, such as shares in a PTC or employee-benefit plan
  • Understand the characteristics of a foundation, how to register and administer one as a member of its council.
Entry advice and requirements

Who would find this qualification useful?

This Advanced Certificate and the Diploma that it is included in, is suitable for a wide range of practitioners. Past graduates have included members of the accountancy, banking, legal and trust professions (at all levels); tax advisors and independent financial advisors.

What are the entry requirements?

Admission depends on meeting the Entry Level requirements, outlined in the Qualifications and Membership Framework.

How many STEP membership credits does this course provide?

The Full Diploma in International Trust Management provides 120 Diploma Level Credits (each individual Advanced Certificate that makes up this Diploma provides 30 Diploma Level credits). Find out more about how many credits you need to reach Full STEP membership.

Further course details

How long will it take to complete

This Advanced Certificate takes six months to complete, from enrolling to sitting the examination.

How much will it cost?

The course fees for Advanced Certificates can be found on the CLTI website.

Where is it available?

This course is available worldwide. For full details visit the CLTI website.

What are the course dates?

For a full list of course dates applicable to your region, please see the CLTI website.

How do I apply?

Find out more information on enrolment.

Help and advice

For enquiries on course enrolment please contact CLTI at [email protected] or +44(0)121 362 7733. For any other queries regarding professional development please email STEP at [email protected].

CPD Policy

Members are required to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills to ensure a high standard of practice.

Find out more


We offer a range of member categories to suit your professional requirements, qualifications and experience.

Find out more

Our Education Partner: CLTI

The Advanced Certificates that make up the STEP Diploma are delivered by STEP's primary training partner, CLTI. CLTI is a professional training, education and qualifications provider for the financial services industry, and over the past 20 years, CLTI and STEP have worked together to develop more than 25 qualifications and training courses that fit practitioners’ needs, and support STEP’s Exam Route to Full Membership