STEP - Advanced Certificate

STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients

STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients
Credits Awarding Body STEP

This course covers a comprehensive mapping of the legislative, welfare, financial and practical issues surrounding the care and advice provided to vulnerable and elderly clients and their families.

The course will give you a thorough understanding of the legal and practice framework encompassing issues of mental and physical incapacity and enable you to improve professional efficiencies, manage risk in a highly complex service area, develop business opportunities and offer a specialist service.

Students completing this course will be able to adopt a more holistic approach to advising elderly and vulnerable clients to safeguard their future and their assets which are especially topical in an ageing population.

The programme is delivered in two parts, which together provide you with the full qualification. The course includes relevant and topical end-of-life issues, such as assisted suicide, addressing recent legislation in this area.

This Advanced Certificate also forms part of the STEP Diploma in Advising Vulnerable Clients which fulfils the education requirements of full STEP membership.

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.
  • Assist 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.
  • 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.

The course is designed for professionals who work with vulnerable clients and require a thorough understanding of the legal and practice framework encompassing issues of mental and physical incapacity.

Students of this course typically include:

  • Legal and trust professionals
  • Support staff and paralegals
  • Accountants and banking professionals
  • Tax advisors
  • Independent financial advisors
  • Executorship administrators

This course provides a much more in-depth view of the practice area than any other qualification in the industry; successful completion will evidence your higher level of study and specialist knowledge of law and practice in this area.

  • Ideal for practitioners looking for professional accreditation.
  • Can be taken as a standalone qualification or as part of the STEP Diploma in Advising Vulnerable Clients.
  • Blended delivery, including structured workshops designed and taught by an experienced practitioner and access to an online learning platform.
  • Provides students with the ability to grow their own professional network, interact with students online from a range of professions, build relationships and share study tips/support as a cohort.
  • Enrolled students are given permanent access to the online learning platform and community of practice.
  • Provides 60 Diploma-Level credits towards STEP membership.

This course is available for study once annually, with intakes beginning in May (and assessments taking place in December). 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.

Enrolment onto this course will include the following:

  • bespoke hard copy course manual, containing precedents, checklists and support tools
  • three workshop days for each part of the course
  • access to the online learning platform containing:
    • self-assessment materials
    • distance-learning support
    • access to an online community of practice
  • assessment fees.

The course is assessed by way of an end of course written assignment based on a published case study. The case study will be published two months ahead of the submission date. Candidates will produce a written assignment of between 3,500 and 4,000 words to address the questions contained within the case study. Candidates must achieve 50% in order to pass the Advanced Certificate. 

Once you have successfully completed this course, you will gain 60 Diploma-Level credits towards STEP membership and be awarded the STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients (England & Wales).


Course Timetable 2021

Please note all courses throughout 2021 are being delivered fully online. Please visit ‘2021 Delivery’ for further information.

To enrol for this course, you must select your preferred course start date, and the corresponding events and location.

A discounted fee is available for students purchasing both Part 1 and Part 2 of this course that together make up the STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients. To enrol for both parts, simply select the combined package. 

Students must complete both parts and attend all workshops in order to gain this qualification.

The STEP discounted fee applies only to students with Full STEP Membership.


Book Course

To enrol onto this course, please login to your account or register using our online booking portal.

Get in touch...

To discuss your options, or speak to a member of the Admissions Team, please get in touch.


7 Months


Online Only

Entry Criteria

60 Entry-Level Credits

Note: Applicants must have obtained 60 STEP Entry-Level credits to enrol onto this course or be a member of STEP. Visit STEP's Qualifications and Membership Framework to understand how to apply.



Related Courses

STEP - Advanced Certificate

Administration of Estates (England and Wales)

This programme provides practitioners with the enhanced knowledge and skills required to deliver holistic advice in England and Wales relating to administering estates.

Delivery Online Only
Duration 4 Months
Fee 950.00
STEP - Advanced Certificate

Will Preparation

The course covers the law and best practice in relation to will preparation, enabling you to provide clients with technical, high-quality wills. By enhancing your client-facing skills, you will be able to offer your clients a holistic, comprehensive service that meets the highest levels of competence and professional standards.

Delivery Online Only
Duration 6 Months
Fee 1,395.00
STEP - Advanced Certificate

Administration of Trusts (England and Wales)

This course aims to provide practitioners with the technical knowledge and practical skills required to deliver advice in England and Wales relating to administering trusts.

Delivery Online Only
Duration 4 Months
Fee 950.00