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STEP Qualification & Your Private Client Career

On Tuesday 15th October SaccoMann sponsored the Yorkshire STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Committee and held an evening with guest speakers from the STEP board and members of the Committee who have qualified themselves. 

STEP is the global association for those who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. STEP initially started as a club and then membership expanded to currently having over 22,000 members, 111 branches around the world and it is implemented in over 80 countries worldwide. Within the legal sector, at all levels including Paralegal, Chartered Legal Executive and Solicitor recruitment, law firms are regularly asking to recruit fee earners with STEP qualification or those individuals working towards STEP. 

The route to STEP qualification is no easy fate and understandably TEP’s (fully qualified STEP members) are recognised as experts within the Private Client field and are therefore highly sought after within the legal profession. It is highly advised that should you wish to be a Private Client expert; you start the route to STEP qualification at the earliest possible moment within your legal career. An example that was given on the night is that for newly qualified trainees, who have been used to revising throughout their training contract, it’s a good idea to start STEP as soon as you can on qualification and jump straight back into the revision process. If you are studying though CILEX you can be exempt from some exams if they have been taken within a certain time frame. 

Changes to STEP are being implemented in 2020 in order to create further flexibility and therefore reflecting the multi-discipline roles individuals have worldwide. The general route to qualification is once you have obtained the entry level credits, you complete four advanced certificates and professional standards awareness. The exams are a three-hour closed book exam and it is also recommended that an individual should revise for 6-8 hours a week. Evidently, this is not a small commitment to make. Each exam is usually taken within six months of one another, it therefore takes two years to reach diploma level. 

Support you can receive whilst studying STEP is extensive and comes from various different sources such as; STEP Committee’s, others studying as you will gain the chance to meet your peers at revision groups and also from your firm itself, some of who can be recognised and accredited by STEP for the support they provide to employees studying. 

In conclusion there is no doubt that studying STEP will give you further confidence in advising your private clients against the risk that they could be potentially exposed to and sets out the best practice for your clients. STEP evidently helps to recognise the individual and provides you with a qualification that is highly regarded by both clients and law firms globally. It will ultimately ensure you are an expert in your field and so to both your clients and to your employers you will be in high demand. 

If you wish to find more information on STEP more information can be found at: https://www.step.org/qualifications

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