STEP students come in all different forms. 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 – 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 experience 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 (typically with an optional 5th Certificate exam at the start for those starting out in the industry), which are carefully combined to ensure a broad width of expertise across a 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.
Alternatively, you can undertake four individual Advanced Certificate Courses, however the timetables may not be aligned and so it may take longer to complete the courses.
*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.
WHAT ROUTE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
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.