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How to become a TEP | Der Weg zum TEP

Full membership of the Society can be obtained in Switzerland via (1) Qualified Practitioner Route and (2) Diploma Route.

The following will enable you to assess your eligibility for membership before making your application:

Qualified Practitioner Route

Entry Requirements

The Society's Council will admit to Qualified Practitioner Route applicants who: have one or more of the following recognised professional qualifications (see Professional Qualifications Equivalencies for Switzerland & Liechtenstein):

  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Certified Accountant
  • Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (Trustee Diploma)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Professional Qualifications Equivalencies

Swiss-German Qualification English Equivalent Qualification


Solicitor or Barrister
(or Legal Executive at discretion of Committee)
Lizenziat einer Schweizerischen Rechtsfakultät Degree in Law from any "recognised" U.K. Institution (i.e. by CNAA - Council for National Academic Awards)
Eidg. dipl. Wirtschaftsexperte H.W.V. (Höhere Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsschule) Chartered or Certified Accountant in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland or Chartered Management accountant
Eidg.dipl. Treuhandexperte  
Eidgl. dipl. Steuerexperte Member of Institute of Taxation
Liechtenstein Qualification  

or have none of the recognised qualifications but have ten years relevant experience with one or more of the planning, creation, management of and accounting for trust and estates, executorship administration and related taxes.

How do I acquire Full STEP membership via Qualified Practitioner Route ?

To attain full membership of STEP via Qualified Practioner Route applicants members must:

  • QP Students research, prepare and submit three papers of approximately 5'000 words in length, on topics selected from three out of a choice of four major topics relevant to trust and estate work in order to demonstrate a level of knowledge acceptable to the Society.
  • There are two submission deadlines per year and applications are accepted throughout the year. See more in this link
  • Have successfully passed all three papers within four years from joining the Society.
  • Have two years significant involvement, at specialist level, with one or more of the planning, creation, management of and accounting for trusts and estates, executorship administration and related taxes;

A list of topics is issued annually by the Society and candidates will be expected to consider relevant legislation, case law, revenue practice, current accounting principles and administration procedures appropriate to the subjects chosen.

QP Entrance criteria is

  • Applicants with a recognised professional qualification will require two years relevant post-qualification work experience.
  • Applicants with a vocational degree will require five years relevant work experience.
  • Applicants with no degree or a non-vocational degree will require ten years relevant work experience.
  • QP Fees are CHF 440 (excl VAT) application fee, CHF 410 submission fee (exckl VAT; per paper) and a student subscription fee.

How do I apply ?

To make your application please download the Society's prescribed application form by clicking here.

You will receive notification of admission to the Society once the Membership Committee has approved the application. The Committee is not bound to give reasons for rejecting applications for membership. In the event of dispute, the decision of Council will be final.

Until Full Membership is granted you will be a Student member.

Diploma Route

How is the programme structured ?

To complete the STEP Certificate and Diploma in International Trust Management passes in the following five compulsory papers must be achieved:

  • Certificate
  • Trust Creation: Law and Practice
  • Company Law and Practice
  • Trust Administration and Accounts
  • Trustee Investment and Financial Appraisal

Please click here to view detailed syllabus notes.

Who is the programme intended for ?

The programme is intended for you if:

  • you wish to gain a qualification to move to a position within the trust and estate field,
  • or you work within the trust and estate field and wish to gain a qualification recognised by the profession, or
  • you have an interest in the administration and management of trusts and estates and wish to gain a qualification to formalise that interest.

Why take the Diploma ?

  • To gain full membership of STEP
  • To obtain a qualification recognised by the industry
  • To develop a sound knowledge of issues involved in the trust and estate profession and to acquire a general overview of the law, practice and procedures involved.
  • As part of continuing professional development.

Entry Requirements

The STEP Certificate is an introductory open entry programme. There are no formal educational entry requirements. However, applicants should have a good standard of basic literacy.

Admission to the Diploma programme is normally dependent on having achieved the Certificate. Exemptions from the Certificate are possible, subject to the criteria set out below.

How is the programme taught ?

The programme is delivered through an integrated tuition system. This includes:

  • a distance learning pack that includes a Delegate handbook, course manual and specimen examination papers

  • a dedicated website facility, including study aides and self-assessment tools

  • face to face tuition - at the commencement of each Certificate course an induction day will be held. At the end of the programme you will attend a four day face to face course which culminates with the final examination on day five.

How will I be examined ?

Certificate - You must successfully complete a three hour closed book examination. Diploma - You must successfully complete a three hour closed book examination in each of the four Diploma papers.


You must pass all four papers to be awarded the Diploma. However, exemptions can be claimed by making a formal application on the standard "exemption" form. Copies are available from the STEP Office or the CLT International/STEP Registry.

Applicants who hold a degree or degree level qualification or who can demonstrate significant and relevant knowledge and experience may be entitled to exemption from the Certificate.

Applications for exemption from the Diploma papers will be considered in cases where there is a very close correlation in both content and level between a previously obtained qualification and the Diploma paper from which exemption is sought.

There will be a maximum of two possible exemptions from the four Diploma papers.

Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


You may enrol for the Diploma course at any time during the year and work at your own pace through the materials provided that you enrol by the course closing date.

Courses and examinations are held at various times of the year. For dates and venues please see our course providers website at www.clt-stepint.co.uk.


Course £1,525.00
Diploma (per paper) £1,575.00

This fee includes:

  • distance learning pack
  • face to face course (including lunch)
  • examination costs
  • STEP student membership

How do I apply ?

To make your application please download the application form from our course provider by clicking here. Completed forms should be posted to the address on the back of the forms or emailed to cltstep_registrar@centlaw.com.

Should you have any queries about your application please contact us.

How do I acquire Full Membership via Diploma Route ?

Once you have enrolled on the Certificate and Diploma in International Trust Management you will be granted Student Membership.

On application full STEP membership will be granted to you if you complete the Diploma and show that you have two years relevant experience. Associate membership will be granted to you if you have completed the Diploma but have not acquired sufficient experience. Full membership will be granted to Associate Members when two years relevant experience has been gained. Students who complete the Certificate and decide to end their studies there can become affiliates of STEP. Affiliates receive all the benefits associated with STEP membership but are not full members and cannot use the designation TEP, vote at general or branch meetings or stand for election to Council.

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