STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients (England and Wales)

This course includes the most comprehensive mapping in the industry today of the legislative, welfare, financial and practical issues surrounding the care and advice provided to vulnerable and elderly clients and their families.

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

Please note:

Enrolment for the current STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients will close soon, after which time the course model will no longer be available for booking. We will be updating the course material and delivery model before it returns for the next cohort in 2025.

Students enrolled on the upcoming 2024 sitting will be eligible to receive a free copy of the updated manual when it goes live in 2025.

From the end of 2024 students completing the STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable Clients as part of their STEP Diploma will be required to take a paper from Set 2 (Tax and Compliance).

Course details

This course provides practitioners with the technical knowledge and practical skills required to provide a more specialist service and holistic approach when advising elderly and vulnerable clients.  

  • Gain in-depth expertise: Improve your technical knowledge with 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.
  • Practical focus: Practical advice and guidance written by practitioners, for practitioners.
  • Build valuable connections: Network with like-minded professionals in varied roles and firms. 
  • Industry recognition: Successful completion provides 60 Diploma Level credits towards STEP membership, enhancing your professional standing, and is awarded in association with Alliance Manchester Business School, a School of the University of Manchester.

Interested in registering for this course?


If you are interested in enrolling onto this Advanced Certificate complete a Contact Us form and one of the team will get in touch.


Entry requirements

60 Entry Level credits which can be achieved through:

  • Completion of a STEP Certificate (30 credits)
  • Previous learning - confirmed through Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) application - 30 credits
  • Work experience - confirmed through Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) - 30 credits

Note: You do not need to apply for APEL or APCL if you already have confirmed, or if you have studied for at least two STEP Certificates previously.

Become a member of STEP

This is a STEP course/qualification. STEP membership is required to study this course and must be maintained throughout the duration of your studies.

You will need 60 Entry Level credits and be an Affiliate Member of STEP to enrol on this course. STEP will contact you regarding membership 6-8 weeks after course enrolment if you are not already an Affiliate Member.

Successful completion of the course will provide 60 Diploma Level credits towards membership.

What will I learn?

  • How to comply with current best practice and professional standards
  • The mental capacity legal landscape
  • How to assess the mental capacity of a client for different transactions
  • How to assist clients with international aspects to their estates
  • How to reduce the risk of disputes and successfully manage difficult situations
  • How to advise those making decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity
  • How to advise clients and their families on end-of-life concerns
  • How to make various court applications with confidence
  • How to draft trusts for vulnerable people
  • How to seek and challenge state support

Is this course right for me?

The course is ideal for practitioners looking for professional accreditation 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 advisers
  • independent financial advisers
  • executorship administrators 

Course format

This course is available for study once a year and is delivered in two parts: Part 1 (one month) and Part 2 (six months). Both parts comprise of blended delivery, including structured workshops designed and delivered by an experienced practitioner, and access to an online learning platform. 

The course is assessed by a 3,500-4,000 word written assignment, based on a case study published two months before submission, where candidates must achieve at least 50% to pass.  

Any questions?