Always moving forward

  • Author : Rosemary Marr
  • Date : August/September
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosemary Marr TEP is STEP Vice-President, Chair of the Professional Development Committee and a STEP Journal editor

After another busy year for STEP and its education provision, I’d like to look to continuing professional development (CPD) for the introduction to the STEP Journal professional development focus.

STEP is an unusual body in that its diplomas are initial professional development for some and CPD for others. In regions such as the UK and Canada people often turn to STEP after qualification as a solicitor, accountant, financial planner and so on, as it offers exciting private client career development. In other regions the STEP/CLT/ITCA International Trusts Management diploma often acts as a first professional qualification and provides a route through to a trust officer/manager role and beyond.

Now that STEP and CLT have built a significant offering through the Advanced Certificates programme there is an even wider choice for existing members and those entering the private client profession.

The STEP Certificate series will add three new titles to its portfolio, launching advanced certificates in International Succession and Probate, UK Tax for International Clients, and Mediation. We are pleased that the latter has received recognition from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and graduates of that qualification will have entitlements from CIArb in addition to their STEP benefits.

We were delighted, too, with the adaptation of the STEP Certificate for Financial Services (Trusts and Estate Planning) to Singapore earlier this year, and look forward to taking the certificate to other centres too. The STEP Certificate for Financial Services will soon move beyond the 500-mark for enrolments and hopefully many of those will wish to become affiliates of STEP and go on to take a full diploma. Quite a community in the making!

While the STEP Certificate series offers substantial structured CPD opportunities for STEP members, this is not the only form of CPD that STEP offers or plans to develop.

“STEP’s approach focuses on maximising the opportunities for individuals to develop”

STEP wants to adapt its CPD to meet the requirements of a diverse, client-focused membership, and as such is undertaking a review of its CPD requirements. We are keen, above all, that members should undertake professional development that is relevant to their role and that helps them meet the expectations of their clients. There is a need to offer both update CPD and developmental CPD so employers’ and individuals’ exposure to risk is reduced and their capability enhanced.

STEP plans to make a range of resources available to members in the next year and to ensure members can manage their CPD efficiently. Resources are likely to include online CPD planning and recording, as well as access to management tools, career tools and a wide-ranging articles database to supplement the STEP Journal.

STEP’s approach focuses on maximising the opportunities for individuals to develop through a variety of channels: employers’ formal in-house training, work-based opportunities, STEP conferences and branch events, online learning – all the way through to qualifications. The range of channels, combined with a focus on relevance to the individual and client, should make for CPD that is targeted, appropriate and cost-effective.

All in all, we have a good range of structured and unstructured resources already available, with more in the pipeline, offering great CPD opportunities for STEP stakeholders to develop professional competence and expertise for the benefit of the individual, the client and the employer.

It just remains for me to wish you all good, continuing development for the year ahead.


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