STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients

STEP Diploma

This course is delivered in two parts and counts as two advanced certificates under the Elective Set of the STEP Diploma. Further details on how to complete the STEP Diploma can be found here

Please note: The course delivery model will be changing in 2025. Further details can be found here

What does this qualification cover and how is it delivered?

The content of the course is based on the law in England and Wales.

Part 1 – The Knowledge Framework

This course includes the following modules:

Professional conduct Capacity legislation, including international elements Working for vulnerable clients, including descriptions of vulnerability and understanding different faiths Adults with mental capacity, including powers of attorney, advance decisions, gifts, and deathbed planning Adults without mental capacity, including making financial, health and welfare decisions

How is it delivered?

Each part of this certificate uses a blended learning approach, incorporating distance learning and a three-day workshop. Part 1 will take one month to complete. Part 2 will take three months to complete, including submitting an assignment for assessment. Both parts of the programme must be taken and the assessment following Part 2 passed, in order to gain the STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients.

Processes, including instructing experts, drafting Court of Protection applications, drafting trusts and identifying care home contract problems How to obtain state support from the NHS, Social Services and the DWP How to handle tricky situations, including challenging local authorities and the NHS, objecting to the registration of an LPA or EPA, dealing with safeguarding concerns and challenging families

Part 2 - The Practical Framework

This course includes the following modules:

  • Processes, including instructing experts, drafting Court of Protection applications, drafting trusts and identifying care home contract problems
  • How to obtain state support from the NHS, Social Services and the DWP
  • How to handle tricky situations, including challenging local authorities and the NHS, objecting to the registration of an LPA or EPA, dealing with safeguarding concerns and challenging families

How is it delivered?

The programme is delivered in two parts using a combination of online learning and three workshops for each part. Part 1 will take one month to complete and Part 2 will take six months to complete. We recommend that you spend four to six hours per week on private study for the duration of the course.

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What are the benefits to me and my employer?

Each part is credit rated by STEP and SRA as providing 30 structured CPD credits towards your annual CPD requirement.

As a result of successfully completing Part 1 of the course you will be able to:

  • Comply with current best practice and professional standards
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the mental capacity legal landscape
  • Assess the mental capacity of a client for different transactions
  • Deal with clients with international aspects to their estates
  • Reduce the risk of disputes and overcome problems when planning ahead
  • Advise those making decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity
  • Advise clients and their families on end of life concerns

As a result of successfully completing Part 2 of the course you will be able to:

  • Make various court applications with confidence
  • Draft trusts for vulnerable people
  • Seek state support and challenge the provision of state support
  • Advise on the sustainability of care
  • Manage disputes and difficult situations

How will this benefit my employer?

  • Offer a specialist service differentiating you from other providers
  • Streamline your processes to improve professional efficiencies
  • Manage risk in a highly complex service area
  • Develop business opportunities in a growing market
Who would find this qualification useful and what are the entry requirements?

Who would it be useful for?

This Advanced Certificate is suitable for a wide range of practitioners and counts towards the STEP Diploma.

What are the entry requirements?

It is recommended that delegates should be qualified TEPs, solicitors, barristers, accountants, or financial planners. Professionals with experience of working with vulnerable clients, but without a qualification suggested above, should check STEP’s standard entry requirements.

Further course details

How long will it take to complete?

Part 1 - the knowledge framework - will take 1 month to complete and part 2 - the practical framework - will take 3 months to complete.

How much will it cost?

For fee information please visit the CLTI website.

Where is it available?

This qualification is currently available in England and Wales.

Where and when is it available?

For full course dates visit 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].

How many STEP membership credits does this course provide?

When you complete both parts of this course you gain 60 Diploma Level credits. Find out more about how many credits you need to reach Full STEP membership

CPD Policy

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

Join STEP

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

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