STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates - Scotland

This Diploma, the industry standard, develops a practical understanding of the law and procedures involved in trust and estate administration, tax and accounting in Scotland

This qualification is a collaboration between STEP and CLT International (CLTI).

I found the STEP Diploma excellent and very informative. My main objective for signing up to the Diploma was to expand my knowledge in order to improve my overall performance on a day-to-day basis and the course exceeded my expectations. I would recommend the Diploma to anyone who is considering undertaking the qualification.

Jenny Crighton TEP, Executry Manager, Balfour + Manson LLP

Course outcomes

What will I learn from this course?

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • Describe the classification and types of trusts, their uses, what affects their validity, their premature cessation and under what circumstances they can and cannot be altered;
  • advise on the taxation of each trust type;
  • explain, advise and comment on the use of trusts in modern tax planning;
  • understand and interpret the legal complexities and language pertinent to trust deeds;
  • describe the trustee’s role, in particular their duties, powers and liability for breach of trust;
  • advise on the legal formalities involved in the preparation of a valid will and be alert to the pitfalls;
  • analyse the content and validity of an existing will, assess its value to a client and advise to what extent it will meet their objectives;
  • advise on the tax effective will;
  • advise on the tax implications and legal considerations of making lifetime gifts and gifts made in contemplation of death;
  • describe the role of the executor, from obtaining confirmation to the winding up of the estate;
  • advise on the legal management of the client estate, including confirmation and intestacy issues, evaluation of any risks involved and post-death variations;
  • advise on taxation issues relating to the transference of private client wealth, specifically income tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax, and how the burden of taxation can be minimised;
  • construct and interpret the trust and client executry accounts;
  • explain and advise on the key issues relating to powers of attorney, guardianship and possible alternatives.

How will my employer benefit?

  • By providing the employee with the ability to demonstrate knowledge of the most up-to-date issues affecting trusts and estates.
  • Provide your clients with assurance that you are a highly qualified trust and estate practitioner and trusted advisor.
  • Provide your practice with a competitive edge by employing TEP qualified practitioners.

Course content and delivery

What does this qualification cover?

The Diploma programme consists of the following four Advanced Certificates:


How is it delivered?

The programme is delivered through a blend of distance-learning and face-to-face workshops. In order to pass, you must successfully complete a three-hour closed-book examination in each of the papers.

Who the course is for

Who would it be useful for?

The course is aimed at all those involved, at all levels, in one or more of the wide ranging areas relating to trusts and executries, including members of the accountancy, banking, financial, legal and trust professions, charity specialists and those employed by corporate trustees.

Entry criteria

Applicants for a STEP Advanced Certificate are required to gain 60 entry level credits prior to enrolling on the course. Entry level credits can be gained through the standard application process or through credits gained from a STEP Certificate.

You can gain 60 entry level credits by any combination of the following:

  • Relevant prior qualification - Up to 30 entry level credits (maximum)
  • Relevant experience - Up to 30 entry level credits (maximum)
  • STEP Certificate(s) - 60 entry level credits

Further course information

How long will it take to complete?

It is recommended that four-six hours per week of study should be undertaken for four-six months prior to each examination. Students have four years of STEP student membership to complete all four papers of the Diploma. In order to pass, you must successfully complete a three-hour closed-book examination in each of the papers.

How much will it cost?

The fee is GBP745 + UK VAT) per paper. This fee includes:

  • course manual;
  • face-to-face tuition; two workshop days per paper;
  • online resource centre;
  • distance-learning support;
  • self-assessment material;
  • examination fees.

Where is it available?

Workshops and examinations are held in

  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow

What are the course dates?

For full details of course dates, please visit the CLTI website.

How do I apply?

Register online or download and return the enrolment form (PDF 633KB)

CPD Policy

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

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CLT International

Our training partner CLT International provides a range of courses for those working in the UK trust and estates industry.

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

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