STEP - Certificate

STEP Certificate in International Trust Management

STEP Certificate in International Trust Management
Credits Awarding Body STEP
Credits Awarded 30
Credits Awarded Level Entry-Level

*COVID-19: ONLINE delivery and examinations until end of 2020. More info below.*

This course covers the most up-to-date developments in the industry, introducing you to the fundamentals of international trusts, trust operations and requirements in a global and local environment.

Course purpose

The course will give you an understanding of the fundamentals of trust work in an international environment. You will gain an insight into legal and administrative principles and gain an understanding of the role of key documentation. The course can be taken as a standalone qualification or as an introduction to the STEP Diploma in International Trust Management programme. 

This qualification is globally recognised and sought after by employers and professionals throughout international finance centres.

You will be able to

  • Provide an overview of the main features of the offshore financial industry.
  • Distinguish between legal and equitable ownership rights.
  • Comply with a trustee’s fiduciary duties.
  • Explain the fundamental requirements to create a valid trust.
  • Describe the different formalities necessary for transferring various types of property into trust.
  • Navigate your way around a standard trust instrument.
  • Explain how tax is levied on individuals and companies that are domiciled or deemed resident for tax purposes in an onshore jurisdiction.
  • Explain how an inter vivos trust can be used for estate planning purposes to plan who gets what upon an individual’s death.
  • Create and maintain trust files to record and retain information in a logical, clear and efficient manner.
  • Explain how a trust may become at risk of being set aside as a sham and avoid that situation occurring.
  • Explain the uses of offshore companies in managing and protecting privately held assets.
  • Detail the basic procedure to incorporate a company.
  • Appreciate when and in what circumstances a company may be wound up.
  • Explain the position, role and rights of shareholders.
  • Highlight the risks that a service provider undertakes in providing directors and the ways to mitigate these.

Course audience

The course is designed for all professionals moving into financial services (specifically trusts and corporate services), at an early stage of their career or an aligned practice area 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


  • The programme is open-entry allowing students to enrol without the requirement of previous experience/qualifications.
  • Ideal for professionals moving into the industry and looking for professional accreditation.
  • A recognised ‘gold-standard’ professional qualification for those working in the industry, globally recognised by employers, regulators, clients and professionals.
  • Can be taken as a standalone qualification or as an entry point into 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 Entry-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 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 Certificate.

Once you have successfully completed this course, you will gain 30 Entry-Level credits towards STEP membership and be awarded the STEP Certificate in International Trust Management.

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 STEP Certificate in International Trust Management - DL+.


There are no formal exemptions available for this course. 


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 1575.00 1575.00

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2021 1575.00 1575.00

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Awarded By



Blended Learning


6 Months

Entry Criteria





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.

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