Membership of the branch


Membership of the Geneva branch of STEP is available through several routes, as explained in the STEP International Membership information

There are four main STEP membership classifications, tailored to suit you (with further details below):

Student Member – the start of the STEP membership journey. To become a Student Member, you must have 30 Entry Level Credits, or be enrolled on an Exam Route course which, on completion, provides you with 30 Entry Level Credits. Prior learning or experience in the industry can count towards the initial 30 Entry Level Credits, as well as completing an Exam Route STEP Certificate Course.
Affiliate Member – the next rung on the membership ladder. To become an Affiliate Member, you must have 60 Entry Level Credits, or be enrolled on the Essay Route. Prior learning or experience in the industry can count towards the 60 Entry Level Credits, as well as completing an Exam Route STEP Advanced Certificate Course.
Associate Member – you can advance from an Affiliate Member to an Associate Member by obtaining 120 Credits in the Exam Route (by participating and completing two out of the four Advanced Certificate Courses making up a STEP Diploma), or completing one essay from the Essay Route.
Full Member – to become a Full Member, you must obtain 240 Credits in the Exam Route (by completing the four Advanced Certificate Courses in a STEP Diploma), or completing a further two essays under the Essay Route, or joining via the Expertise Route for senior practitioners.

STEP Diploma students should in particular note the following :
• Details of the STEP Mentor Program
• Diploma students qualify for the John Usher Memorial Prize

There are also Emeritus, Honorary or Judicial Members of STEP. These members have been elected as such, in acknowledgement of their exceptional contribution to the practice or doctrine of trusts or estates, or who have rendered prominent services for STEP.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

As a STEP member, you are required to maintain a high standard of professional practice, by maintaining and developing your professional skills, in the scope of STEP’s Continuing Professional Development or CPD. Attending our regular events and courses is one way to do so. Additional educational programmes are also available to you, such as Advanced Professional Development Courses, Diplomas and other comprehensive schemes. Learn more about CPD.


Members are requested to keep their contact details up to date as these details are printed in the annual STEP Yearbook. Please update your details online.


Persons interested in receiving additional information or in making an application for membership should e-mail the Membership Secretariat.


Non-members of STEP are welcome to attend our events and courses.
If you would like to keep up to date with what is happening at our Geneva branch and would like to receive details of our upcoming events and courses please email the STEP Geneva Secretariat



You can be a STEP student in various ways. There are three types of student classifications, depending on where you are in your career:

Exam Route – Comprising of a number of different individual and bundled courses and qualifications, to be worked on as a route towards Full Membership (TEP status) or simply to be enjoyed as a stand-alone knowledge building exercise.

Courses typically involve a combination of independent learning and group classroom sessions followed by an exam. Classroom sessions are generally offered worldwide (and are currently continuing to be held online)– see each individual course for more details.

Essay Route – A route towards Full Membership (TEP status).

Expertise Route – A streamlined route towards Full Membership (TEP status), for senior practitioners in the industry.

Refer to CLT’s website, STEP’s dedicated training provider, for further details.


The Exam Route allows for the participation in a number of different courses. The courses are divided into four levels:

• Level 1 – Certificate Courses
• Level 2 – Advanced Certificate Courses
• Level 3 – Diploma Courses
• Level 4 – Professional Postgraduate Diploma Courses

*Level 1 – Certificate Courses

These offer an introduction to subject areas. Completion of a Certificate Course provides you with the certificate of qualification, as well as 30 Entry Level Credits should you be looking to progress to Full Member (TEP) status.

*Level 2 – Advanced Certificate Courses

These are aimed at experienced practitioners looking to enhance their knowledge. Completion of an Advanced Certificate provides you with the certificate of qualification, as well as 30-60 Credits should you be looking to progress to Full Member (TEP) status.

*Level 3 – Diploma Courses

The Diploma Courses are bundles of four Advanced Certificates (sometimes with an optional 5th Certificate exam at the start for those starting out in the industry), which can be carefully combined to ensure a broad width of expertise across an industry-specific subject matter.

For those wishing to progress to Full Member (TEP) status, enrolling onto a Diploma Course is the simplest way to reach this stage by completing four complementary exams in a timetable which is structured around professional practice. The Diploma Course is now run on a flexible framework – the exams are grouped into three ‘sets’, and can be mixed and matched depending on each students desired learning goals. Recommended combinations are also provided.

*Level 4 – Professional Postgraduate Diploma

This is an advanced programme for senior practitioners, comprising of eight masterclass sessions delivered over two residential weekends in the UK or in Asia.

When are the exams?

Typically (excluding the Professional Postgraduate Diploma) there are two exam cycles per calendar year, with exams taking place in May and November each year. The teaching for the exams ranges from 4 to 6 months in advance of the exam, depending on the course.

What is a typical student journey?

What is a typical student journey on the Exam Route? Although everyone’s routes are individual, a common pathway under the Exam Route looks as follows:

• Join STEP as a Student Member by gaining 30 Entry Level Credits from prior learning/experience, or enroll in and complete a Certificate Course.
• Gain an additional 30 Entry Level Credits by having further prior learning/experience, or enroll in and complete a further Certificate Course or Advanced Certificate Course, thereby upgrading your STEP membership to Affiliate Member.
• Once you have 60 Entry Level Credits, enroll in a Diploma Course.
• Complete the first two of the four Advanced Certificate Courses, gaining 120 Credits and upgrading your STEP membership to Associate Member.
• Complete the last two of the four Advanced Certificate Courses, gaining a total of 240 Credits and thereby being eligible to upgrade your STEP membership to Full Member (TEP) status.


The Essay Route is suitable for students who have a recognised professional qualification/vocational degree plus five years of industry experience.

The Essay Route comprises of the submission of three 5,000 word essays. Topics are selected from a published list which changes each year.

There are two submission deadlines per calendar year – in July and October. The topics are typically released in January each year.


The Expertise Route is appropriate for those with a higher level qualification and a minimum of ten years’ senior experience working at leadership level in the industry or academia.

It involves the submission of a detailed CV and summary of your experience as well as evidence of your professional standing in the industry. Four independent referee evaluations must also be submitted.

There is no fixed timeline for submissions under the Expertise Route.


I have no prior industry experience
The Exam Route is the most appropriate, starting with a Certificate Course and working your way up through the membership categories by enrolling in and completing a Diploma Course (or four individual Advanced Certificates).

I have worked in the industry for a couple of years
Either the Exam Route or the Essay Route would be most appropriate. If you have prior learning/experience, you can enroll straight on the Diploma Course with the Exam Route. Alternatively, you can start on the Essay Route.

I have been active in the industry for 10+ years
The Essay Route or the Expertise Route would be most appropriate.

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