The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners is the leading international organization for trust and estate professionals.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
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Education
Is the STEP Canada Diploma for you?

Courses covering the major areas of estate planning expertise:

  • Law of Trusts
  • Taxation of Trusts & Estates
  • Wills, Trust & Estate Administration
  • Trust & Estate Planning

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FAQ's - Education

  1. How much is it to enroll into the student program?
  2. How long do I have to complete my studies?
  3. Where do I find the current list of essay topics?
  4. Am I able to have someone review my essay before I submit it?
  5. I would like to submit my Qualified Practitioner essay in French. Is this possible?
  6. If I get the TEP designation, does STEP Canada help me find a job?
  7. Are students allowed to attend their local branch events?
  8. If I enroll in September 2013, will I have to renew my student membership prior to the May 2014 exam date? If so, will you prompt me for this membership renewal?
  9. Based on the four courses comprising the Diploma program, it appears that enrolling for a course every six months is a prudent structure for completion over two years. Is this a recommended strategy?
  10. Will the two years of study (assuming success on all four exams) result in use of the TEP designation if I have been continuously working in the trust and estate industry?
  11. Are there STEP members available that I can contact to address any questions I might have on the Diploma material?
  12. Does the course material provide examples to addressing, summarizing, and analyzing estate planning issues or is it just technical knowledge?
  13. Is the TEP designation held in the same regard as MTI in the industry?
  14. I am interested in enrolling in the Diploma courses but currently live in Quebec where civil law is practiced. Am I able to register?
  15. Do I need to know the differences in legislation for all the provinces?
  16. If I fail an exam, do I get to try again? If so, is there an additional cost for that?
  17. Where are exams held?
  18. Does the student receive an actual certificate after completing all courses?
Q: How much is it to enroll into the student program?
A: Each of the four diploma courses are $850.00 + taxes. Included in that price are your course material, access to the online Student Resources area, the pre-exam tutorial, and your exam writing fee.

For the Qualified Practitioner course, the submission fee for each essay is $375.00 + taxes.

While you are enrolled in your studies, a discounted annual student membership fee of $200.00 + taxes applies until you graduate.
Q: How long do I have to complete my studies?
A: Students are given four years to complete Diploma Program and three years to complete the Qualified Practitioner program.
Q: Q: Where do I access the Student Resources area?
A: You can access the Student Resources area by clicking here. Please note that this area is only for registered students and is password protected. If you have misplaced your password, please send an email to education@step.ca
Q: Where do I find the current list of essay topics?
A: Essay topics may change from year-to-year. To view the list of current topics, please click here.
Q: Am I able to have someone review my essay before I submit it?
A: Yes, you can have someone look at your essay before you submit it to STEP Canada for marking. However, the work must be entirely your own and a Declaration of Authorship form must be signed and accompany your essay submission. Co-authoring of essays is not permitted.
Q: I would like to submit my Qualified Practitioner essay in French. Is this possible?
A: Absolutely. For essays, you may choose to submit your paper in English or French.
Q: If I get the TEP designation, does STEP Canada help me find a job?
A: While STEP Canada does not act as a placement agency, there is a practitioner opportunities section on our website, which lists jobs that are available with preference given to those who hold the TEP designation.
Q: Are students allowed to attend their local branch events?
A: We strongly encourage that you participate in your local branch activities. Not only is it a great opportunity to network, but each branch recognizes the importance of our student community. Branch programs run September - May annually and there is usually an event that is geared towards students. The branch officers enjoy meeting and speaking to our students! Also, each branch has a Student Liaison representative who is your local contact. To view the list of local branches and their officers, please click on this link: http://www.step.ca/contact.aspx
Q: If I enroll in September 2013, will I have to renew my student membership prior to the May 2014 exam date? If so, will you prompt me for this membership renewal?
A: Membership fees are due each April 1st. As a student member, you will be sent an invoice well in advance of the April 1st deadline. Your membership status must be current in order for you to write your exam or submit an essay.
Q: Based on the four courses comprising the Diploma program, it appears that enrolling for a course every six months is a prudent structure for completion over two years. Is this a recommended strategy?
A: Diploma students are given four years to complete the program. There are two exam intakes per year: spring and fall. Assuming you have not been granted any exemptions, and you are able to write exams continuously, then the program can be completed in as little as two years. Upon graduation and when you have obtained the required two years experience component, you will be asked to complete an upgrade form to full membership and use of the TEP designation. We recommend that you give yourself a minimum of four months study time leading up to the exam.
Q: Will the two years of study (assuming success on all four exams) result in use of the TEP designation if I have been continuously working in the trust and estate industry?
A: To become a full member, upgrade candidates must have two years' experience with at least 50% of their practice involving trusts and estates and be in good standing (i.e. no ongoing disciplinary action, membership fees are current). Once that criterion has been fulfilled and your application has been approved, you will be granted full membership and use of the TEP designation.
Q: Are there STEP members available that I can contact to address any questions I might have on the Diploma material?
A: Prior to each exam sitting, tutorial sessions are offered to students preparing to write. There is an opportunity to submit written questions to the tutorial leader after the session and the answers will be posted in the Student Resources area. Also, each STEP Canada branch (Atlantic, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver) has a Student Liaison officer available.
Q: Does the course material provide examples to addressing, summarizing, and analyzing estate planning issues or is it just technical knowledge?
A: In addition to the technical content, the course binders provide examples of scenarios you may encounter in your practice and ways to deal with them.
Q: Is the TEP designation held in the same regard as MTI in the industry?
A: While the MTI designation is geared towards trust officers, the TEP designation is an internationally recognized designation that encompasses many disciplines: accounting, law, financial planning. The STEP Canada Diploma course curriculum is more detailed than the CSI courses.
Q: I am interested in enrolling in the Diploma courses but currently live in Quebec where civil law is practiced. Am I able to register?
A: The Diploma courses are based on system of common law. Quebec students may enroll in the program, however they must choose a jurisdiction to base their answers on.
Q: Do I need to know the differences in legislation for all the provinces?
A: Students are responsible for answering questions based on the legislation in their province/jurisdiction. They should be familiar with other provinces' legislation, however are not expected to know it in-depth.
Q: If I fail an exam, do I get to try again? If so, is there an additional cost for that?
A: In order to pass an exam, you must achieve 60% or higher. Students who are not successful on their first attempt may try two more times. The first exam is included in your course registration fee. Each subsequent exam re-write is $375 + taxes.
Q: Where are exams held?
A: Exams are held in centres wherever a STEP branch is present: Atlantic region, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Please contact education@step.ca for more details.
Q: Does the student receive an actual certificate after completing all courses?
A: A certificate of completion will be sent to you once you upgrade to full membership, indicating that you are now eligible to use the TEP designation.
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