The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners is the leading international organization for trust and estate professionals.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Is the STEP Assessment by Exam 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


Assessment by Essay - Essay Requirements

You must submit three essays between 2,500 to 3,000 words in length, not including footnotes or references, from three of the four subject headings on the approved list of essay topics. There are two submission dates for essays: October 1 and May 1. Any essays submitted prior to or on either of these dates will be marked during the corresponding month. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to ensure the essay submitted deals with one of the essay topics from the list found on the STEP Canada website.

All three essays must be submitted and receive a passing grade within four years of becoming a student member, and the first essay must be submitted within the first twelve calendar months of membership. To pass, an essay must demonstrate a level of knowledge acceptable to the Society and one that reflects serious consideration and in-depth understanding of the issues.

It is recommended that you submit one essay at a time and await the marking result (including comments, if any) before submitting another one.

In each essay, you are expected to consider and include relevant legislation, case law, Canada Revenue Agency administrative practice, current accounting principles and administrative procedures appropriate to the subject chosen.

For the purpose of the essay, only the law of the province in which you reside or where you are a member of the local STEP Canada chapter, will be taken into account and the essay will be judged based on legislation in effect at the date the essay was written.

You must demonstrate both a theoretical and practical understanding of the subject area. You can do this by:

  • Providing an overview of the topic area,
  • Identifying related uncertainties or areas that are problematic,
  • Coming to a conclusion regarding how to resolve the key issues within the context of the current law or administrative practice.

The overall method of presentation is left to you but the style and content should be polished. The essays should be of a quality that would merit publication in a professional journal.

Essays are submitted on the understanding that STEP Canada retains the right to call for an oral presentation to be made on the subject presented, as and when it shall so decide.

The decision of STEP Canada as to whether an essay demonstrates a level of knowledge acceptable to the Society shall be final.


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