STEP - Advanced Certificate

STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Administration and Accounts

STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Administration and Accounts
Credits Awarding Body STEP
Credits Awarded 30
Credits Awarded Level Diploma-Level

This course forms part of the STEP Diploma in International Trust Management which is recognised worldwide as the benchmark qualification for those working in the international trusts industry.

Course purpose

The course is designed for practitioners involved in international trust administration and management to gain an understanding of (i) how both trust and company accounts are prepared and (ii) how to properly undertake their duties in relation to the ongoing management of the trust

Even if the preparation of accounts is not part of your everyday role, you may be required to review and interpret accounts and this course will enable you to do this competently. This course also covers the trustee’s duties in relation to managing and investing the trust assets, crucial for both trustees and those who need a thorough understanding of how a trust should properly be managed. Practical content on the trustee’s duties in relation to making distributions and disclosing tax information is also included.

You will be able to

  • Advise on the classification, types and uses of trusts, the factors affecting their validity and the circumstances under which they can and cannot be altered.
  • Explain the roles, responsibilities, limitations and liabilities of trustees, protectors and enforcers under local and international law.
  • Understand money, bond and equity markets, financial appraisal and ratio analysis and options, derivatives and futures markets.
  • Explain the duties and responsibilities of trustees in relation to investment matters under local and international legislation.
  • Advise on the use of trusts in modern tax planning.
  • Advise on the issues surrounding modern reserved powers legislation.
  • Identify and advise on the factors affecting a client’s residence and domicile and outline the impact of these on a client’s estate planning needs.
  • Analyse the conflict of laws rules (doctrine of renvoi) applicable to multi-jurisdictional trusts and advise clients when these rules may apply.
  • Explain the regulatory frameworks that have developed globally to counteract fraud and money laundering.
  • Carry out the ‘know your client’ checks that are required for compliance with anti-money.
  • Laundering regulations in your local jurisdiction.
  • Construct and interpret a set of trust accounts.
  • Understand the day-to-day affairs of an offshore company including the processes of incorporation and dissolution.

Course audience

The course is designed for all professionals moving into or working in financial services (specifically trusts and corporate services), who wish to develop their understanding and knowledge of this area.

Students of this course typically include:

  • Trust Assistants/Officers/Administrators
  • Trust Managers (Senior)
  • Trustees/Fiduciaries
  • Corporate Administrators
  • Lawyers/Solicitors/Attorneys
  • Wealth Managers
  • Accountants
  • Tax Advisors
  • Compliance Officers/Managers
  • Bankers
  • Secretarial/Administration
  • Client Relations/Marketing/Sales
  • Financial/Estate Planners


  • Ideal for practitioners looking for professional accreditation.
  • A recognised ‘gold-standard’ professional qualification for those working in the industry, globally recognised by employers, regulators, clients and professionals.
  • This course is also subject to the rigorous quality assurance procedures of Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS), a school of the University of Manchester.
  • Can be taken as a standalone qualification or as part of the STEP Diploma in International Trust Management.
  • Blended delivery, written and taught by practitioners, focusing on everyday matters encountered in international trust management from creation, modern usage and administration of trusts and the provision of corporate services.
  • Access to specimen examination papers and solutions to support you in your assessment preparation.
  • Ability to grow your own professional network, meeting students from a range of professions providing an opportunity for networking, building relationships and sharing study tips/support as a cohort.
  • Students have the opportunity to submit academic queries to a dedicated programme content team.
  • Successful completion of the course will award students with 30 Diploma-Level credits towards STEP membership.

Format, Delivery and Assessment

*Now Online* We have committed to delivering all courses that are taking place from July until the end of December 2020 ONLINE, in response to the situation relating to COVID-19 — including workshops, revision classes and assessments.

Watch this space to learn how we are supporting our students through the transition to the online environment.

This Advanced Certificate forms part of the STEP Diploma in International Trust Management, combined with three additional STEP Advanced Certificates.

Each of these Advanced Certificates can be taken as a standalone qualification or as part of the Diploma programme.

This course is available for study all year round, with intakes at different points throughout the year (depending on your location). The core programme is delivered through a blend of distance-learning and four face-to-face workshops as part of a revision-week series delivered by experts in the field who possess vast amounts of professional experience and practical knowledge.

The face-to-face workshops are delivered each year across the world in some of the key financial centres, including the UK (London), Crown Dependencies (Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man), Europe (Geneva and Zurich), Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong) and the Caribbean (Bermuda, Bahamas and Cayman). There can be up to two intakes beginning each year (with assessments taking place approximately six months later). We recommend that you spend four to six hours per week on private study for a minimum of four months prior to the examination.

Enrolment onto this course will include the following:

  • access to an online learning platform that contains:  
    • bespoke soft copy course manual
    • self-assessment material
    • distance learning support
  • attendance at four days of face-to-face tuition
  • examination fees.

Additional charges will apply for re-sit attempts and deferrals.

The course is assessed by way of a three-hour closed-book written examination which comprises 25 compulsory multiple-choice questions (each worth 1 mark), followed by three 25-mark essay/problem style questions chosen from a selection of five questions. The questions will be drawn from across the syllabus and candidates must achieve 50% in order to pass the Advanced Certificate.

Once you have successfully completed this course, you will gain 30 Diploma-Level credits towards STEP membership and be awarded the STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Administration and Accounts.

Course Schedules

Course Timetable - Bahamas

Course Timetable - Bermuda

Course Timetable - Cayman

Course Timetable - Geneva

Course Timetable - Guernsey

Course Timetable - Hong Kong

Course Timetable - Isle of Man

Course Timetable - Jersey

Course Timetable - London

Course Timetable - Singapore

Course Timetable - Zurich

Please note all courses until end December 2020 are being delivered fully online.
Information surrounding our delivery model for 2021, and whether courses will continue in an online format, will be published by the end of October 2020.

Online Learning (DL+)

If you are not based in one of the above locations, and travel to and from one of the face-to-face centres is not an option, you can enrol for the online course (which does not include the four days of classroom teaching and revision) STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Administration and Accounts - DL+.

Fees and Booking

Singapore Funding:

Eligible Singapore-based students can now receive funding of 50% of the course fees. Visit Funding and Support for further details.

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

Course Start Date Book Course
2020 1625.00 1625.00

Select your options

2021 1625.00 1625.00

Select your options

Awarded By



Blended Learning


4 Months

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.




Bill Lexmond

Bill is a qualified lawyer in several jurisdictions (Ontario (Canada), England & Wales, Hong Kong and New Zealand) and has over 30 years’ experience in trusts and tax work.

John Harper

John Harper is a qualified chartered accountant and chartered secretary. During his career, he has worked in private practice in Jersey, as the Finance Director for large commercial groups and as the Managing Director of trust companies in the Channel Islands, Bermuda and Mauritius.

Mike Parkinson

Mike has over 30 years’ experience in the international financial services industry. He was admitted to the bar in the Cayman Islands in 1985 and between then and 1998, Mike practiced as a Cayman Attorney-at-Law, specialising in trusts and international offshore litigation.

Mike Spittal

Mike is a lawyer with extensive experience in trust and company management. He is accustomed to dealing with trust, fiduciary, compliance and tax laws in several jurisdictions, and advises on complex trust structuring matters and international dispute resolution.

Peter Hodson

Peter is a qualified solicitor in Hong Kong and England and Wales, with over 30 years’ experience in fiduciary services, advising high net worth individuals, family offices and financial institutions. 

Robin McGhee

Robin has more than 35 years' experience as a trust and estate practitioner. During his career he has held several senior positions in multinational organisations in the UK, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Since 2016 Robin has worked as a self-employed consultant.

Robin Riddett

Robin began his career as an assistant solicitor at Wood Nash & Winters in 1968. He moved into teaching in 1974, working as an Associate Director at the College of Law until 2001. Since then Robin has been a self-employed tutor and lecturer.

Stella Mitchell-Voisin

Stella has over 25 years’ experience in trust and company management, covering fine art, bloodstock, commercial and residential property, private equity, family offices and private trust companies. 


Susan Giger

Susan has worked in the field of trust administration and wealth planning for high net worth individuals for over 20 years. Her particular areas of expertise are the structuring of private client wealth portfolios and the management of offshore trusts, companies and foundations in a variety of jurisdictions.

Course Enquiry Form

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