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STEP Diploma in International Trust Management – 2021 Curriculum

by Victoria Hand
STEP Diploma in International Trust Management – 2021 Curriculum

Posted in General on

STEP Diploma in International Trust Management – 2021 Curriculum

Introducing new Advanced Certificates, content and more!

Overview

We are pleased to announce the implementation in 2020/2021 of a curriculum re-design for the STEP Diploma in International Trust Management, following extensive market consultation, with contribution from alumni, employers, branch committees and our tutor network.

We know that the challenges facing private wealth advisers, their clients, directors, trust officers, trustees and other fiduciaries continue to increase.  The volume and complexity of legislation continues to grow year by year. A whole series of transparency and information sharing initiatives and regulations including Transfer Pricing and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), Economic Substance, Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes, Beneficial Ownership Registers, Trust Registers and Legal Entity Identifiers have been introduced.  

These initiatives have amplified the importance of implementing good risk management practices and ensuring that each individual in an organisation understands how they contribute to an effective risk management framework.

With risk and compliance now at the epicentre of most business organisations, practitioners worldwide must be equipped with the necessary tools to meet these ever-evolving challenges in their day to day work and to interpret and implement legislation and regulation changes.  

A new Advanced Certificate entitled ‘Principles of International Taxation, AML and Compliance’ takes the student through these topics in an integrated, thorough yet accessible way, with content that is tailored to the needs of the trust and corporate service provider industry. Content that was previously included elsewhere in the Diploma has now been consolidated into one Advanced Certificate, which incorporates updates and enhancements and new subject areas including the principles of international taxation and risk management. 

To ensure that students still only study four Advanced Certificates to obtain the Diploma, the curriculum has been carefully re-designed to ensure only highly relevant content remains.

The Trust Administration and Trustee Investment Advanced Certificates have now been combined into a new Advanced Certificate entitled ‘Trustees' Duties: Investment and Management of the Trust Fund’, which will open for enrolment in April 2021. 

The new Trust Creation Law and Practice and Company Law and Practice Advanced Certificates introduce more new practice-based content, with comprehensive new specimen trust and company documents provided.

Great support for these changes to the curriculum has been received both in the responses from the industry as well as from local STEP branches and other stakeholders following a period of consultation carried out in the autumn of 2019. We have been pleased to be able to refine the curriculum in line with the responses received.

More information on the changes to each of the four Advanced Certificates is detailed below.

Note: Students should note the start date for each of the new Advanced Certificates and the date on which the previous Advanced Certificate is being discontinued when planning their studies.
STEP Diploma in International Trust Management: Syllabus Changes
  1. ‘Trust Creation: Law and Practice’ retitled ‘Trusts Law and Practice (International)’

The new version of the ‘Trust Creation: Law and Practice’ course, entitled ‘Trusts Law and Practice (International)’, opened for enrolment in July 2020 for courses taking place with examinations from January 2021 onwards. The new course materials have been provided to all students enrolling – for any existing students wishing to complete their assessment under the previous curriculum, further detail is provided below.

Syllabus changes are as follows:

The two Anti-Money Laundering (AML) modules have been moved to the new ‘Principles of International Tax, AML and Compliance’ course. Distributions, Reserved Powers and Sham have been moved from the current ‘Trust Administration and Accounts’ to this course. The short module on Variations has been removed as the topic is one not often encountered in practice.

A major innovation to improve the practice-based content has been the introduction of 32 specimen documents typically encountered by those involved in the administration of offshore trusts.

There has also been a considerable expansion of the following topics:

  • Settlor’s capacity
  • Remuneration methodologies
  • Transfer of trusteeship
  • Accepting additions into trust
  • Dispositive provisions, in particular, a power of appointment and power of resettlement, when and how to exercise such powers
  • Duties of trustees when distributing from a discretionary trust, risks including liability for foreign taxes and to third party claimants, and mitigation such risks by indemnities or court order
  • The administration of settlor-directed trusts
  • Variations of a life interest trust
  • Additional analysis of administrative provisions to modify (a) the prudent investor rule, and (b) the Bartlett duty to supervise the management of investee companies
  • Choice of law post Crocianni [2014]
  • Protectors’ duties post Mezdhunarodniy Bank [2017]
  • Reconsideration of ‘firewall’ provisions in forced heirship and spousal claim avoidance
  • Use of purpose trusts for employee benefit and pension schemes
  1. Company Law and Practice

The updated syllabus for this course also opened for enrolment in July 2020 this month for courses taking place with examinations from January 2021 onwards. The new course materials have been provided to all students enrolling – for any existing students wishing to complete their assessment under the previous curriculum, further detail is provided below.

Syllabus changes are as follows:

Regulation of Company Management Business and Taxation of Companies have been moved to the new ‘Principles of International Tax, AML and Compliance’ course.

As with ‘Trusts Law and Practice’, a major innovation to improve the practice-based content of the Diploma 2 course has been the introduction of 88 specimen documents typically encountered by those involved in the administration of offshore companies.

There has also been a considerable expansion of the following topics:

  • Lifting the corporate veil
  • Taking instructions to incorporate – duty to establish identity and residency of client as Controlling Person (for FATCA and CRS) and Beneficial Owner (for new register)
  • Beneficial ownership register, or equivalent
  • Review of reasons to migrate company
  • Redundancy of memorandum of association in some jurisdictions
  • More detailed review of articles of association, comparing those based upon the old fashioned 1948 Act with the more modern 2006 Act model
  • Extensive revisions on module on Equity finance and distributions, in particular, subscription, allotment, issue, transfer and transmission of shares, as well as the capital maintenance doctrine
  • Review of Director’s Service Agreements
  • Inclusion of claims that may be brought by minority shareholders
  • Revision of discussion on fiduciary duties, including the ‘no-benefit from third parties’ rule and anti-bribery legislation cases
  • Revision of discussion of duty of care (Lexi Holdings [2009] cf. Madoff [2013] and non-ratifiable breaches
  • Revision on appointment and role of registered agent
  • Added new procedure of voluntary striking-off
  1. New Qualification: Trust Administration and Accounts and Trustee Investment and Financial Appraisal (will become the new ‘Trustees' Duties: Investment and Management of the Trust Fund’)

The current Trust Administration and Accounts and Trustee Investment and Financial Appraisal courses are being combined and streamlined to create a new ‘Trustees' Duties: Investment and Management of the Trust Fund’ course.

Enrolment for the new course will open in April 2021 for courses and examinations taking place from October 2021 onwards. For any new or existing students wishing to complete the existing Trust Administration and Accounts and/or Trustee Investment and Financial Appraisal courses prior to October 2021, these will continue to be delivered in line with the published timetables.

Syllabus changes are as follows:

The accounting content which was previously contained in modules 1-4 of ‘Trust Administration and Accounts’ has been removed and will be provided as a separate resource. This content will be streamlined with much of the theory removed, and a new focus on explaining to students how to prepare both trust and company accounts.  Reserved powers, Sham, Confidentiality and Compulsory Disclosure of Information modules have moved to the new Trusts Law and Practice course. The more specialist modules on Futures and Ratio Analysis in the current ‘Trustee Investment and Financial Appraisal’ have been removed. The content that remains will be updated to make it more trust specific.

  1. New Qualification: Principles of International Taxation, AML and Compliance

Enrolment for this new qualification will open in April 2021 for courses with examinations taking place from October 2021.

As well as bringing together the International Taxation, AML and Compliance content previously elsewhere in the Diploma, the following new and topical content has been included:

  • Principles of International Tax Law and Principles of Taxation of Trusts.
  • Compliance: The Regulation of Professional Service Providers and Financial Services (example regulatory models, the role of international compliance bodies, emerging regulatory standards and requirements assessing and mitigating compliance risk); Compliance for Company Management Businesses (transparency and information sharing); the Principles of Fair Taxation and Other Transparency Initiatives (transfer pricing and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), Economic Substance, Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS), Beneficial Ownership Registers (BOR), Trust Registers, Legal Entity Identifiers (LEI)).
  • Risk and Risk Management: What is risk, analysing potential risks, types of risk, risks specific to the financial services industry, strategies for managing risks (frameworks, policies, procedures and practices), risk management plans, monitoring risk management activities, reporting risks and risk review.
Diploma Timetable – Transition:

From July 2020 students will be able to navigate their studies through their preferred four Advanced Certificates in line with the revised Diploma syllabus, which may be choosing to complete the existing four papers in order to graduate from the Diploma before October 2021, or include the two new Advanced Certificates, graduating from the Diploma after October 2021.

Previous Model

Under the current framework students can continue to study the following four Advanced Certificates:

  1. Trust Creation: Law and Practice;
  2. Company Law and Practice;
  3. Trust Administration and Accounts;
  4. Trustee Investment and Financial Appraisal,

New Model

From July 2020 students can also choose to study the following Advanced Certificates (timetable permitting):

  1. Trust: Law and Practice (International);
  2. Company Law and Practice);
  3. Trustees' Duties: Investment and Management of the Trust Fund;
  4. Principles of International Taxation, AML and Compliance.
Resits and Deferrals

Trust Creation Law and Practice (New: Trusts Law and Practice (International))

For students who have previously enrolled onto the above Advanced Certificate and not yet completed their assessment, there will be two additional examination sittings (22nd January and 23rd April 2021) or you can choose to join one of the full courses in. You can apply for this resit examination by completing the downloadable form here.

Company Law and Practice (New: Company Law and Practice)

For students who have previously enrolled onto the above Advanced Certificate and not yet completed their assessment, there will be two additional examination sittings (22nd January and 23rd April 2021). You can apply for this resit examination by completing the downloadable form here.

Trust Administration and Accounts and Trustee Investment and Financial Appraisal (New: Trustees' Duties: Investment and Management of the Trust Fund)

For students who have previously enrolled onto one of the above Advanced Certificates and not yet completed their assessment, these will continue to be delivered in line with the published timetables up to October 2021.

Fees

  • £150.00 – to register for a resit examination (including course material access);
  • £150.00 + £70.00 to register for a resit examination (including course material access) and receive a hardcopy of the course manual;
  • £495.00 – to register for a resit examination and re-attendance at the face-to-face tuition (including course material access).
Contact CLT International

If you would like to discuss enrolling onto one of these qualifications or completing your studies, please contact our Admissions Team at cltinternational@centlaw.com.

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