Join STEP: Get TEP Certified


Expertise Route

This route to membership is reserved for the most senior trust and estate practitioners.

Entry Requirements

Potential applicants must be able to demonstrate at least 10 years appropriate and relevant experience in the area of trusts and/or estates, and hold a recognized professional designation.
  • LLB, LLM, JD (ten-year experience should be post-articling)
  • Quebec Notary
  • Financial Planning Designation (CFP, PFP, RFP, PlFin)
  • Financial Investment Designation (CFA, MFisc, DFisc, CIWM)
  • Member Trust Institute (MTI)
  • Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI)
  • Insurance Designation (CLU)
  • Accounting Designation (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA)
The experience of all applicants will be examined and measured against the relevant sections and topics of the STEP Canada Diploma in Trusts and Estates curriculum.

Those who do not meet all entry qualifications noted above should consider the Exam Route or Essay Program.

Fees and Timeline

There is a fee of $200.00 + applicable taxes to apply for membership through this route to membership.

Upon successful completion of this route and becoming a Full member of STEP, there is an annual membership fee of $525.00 + applicable taxes.

This route to membership can take between four weeks and six months to complete, depending on the applicant’s schedule and review/approval proceedings.

Application Submission Requirements

  • A completed Expertise application form
  • A detailed up-to-date resume
  • Four evaluation statements* from referees who have worked with the applicant, and which must include details regarding how they know the applicant and why they are recommending them for STEP membership. Referees must be from at least three separate organization, and at least two referees must be Full TEP members in good standing.
    • *Referee statement templates are included in the application
  • A self-authored personal statement (between 1,000 and 3,000 words) containing: scope of education, scope of senior-level practice experience in relation to trusts and estates focusing on practice areas listed in the application form, any publications/ papers authored, presentations conducted, or memberships in any professional bodies.
  • Copies* of all certificates/diplomas for any education or designations listed in the application form.
    • *Photographs are acceptable as long as names and dates are clearly legible
  • Payment for the non-refundable application payment of $200.00 + applicable tax payable to STEP Canada.

Application Process

In order to be considered for the Expertise route to membership, the potential applicant must submit a personal request* to Member Services by emailing a detailed resume that clearly demonstrates relevant trust and estate experience. The resume will be screened by a review committee on the applicant’s local branch/chapter for approval, and the applicant will receive either approval to move forward, a request for more information, or recommendations to apply for membership through an alternative route.
*This step can by bypassed only if a personal recommendation is sent to Member Services by a branch/chapter Chair.

Upon approval from the review committee, the applicant will be emailed a detailed application form for completion, along with instructions and an invoice for the application fee.

The applicant will have six months to complete the application package and submit it to Member Services with all supporting documentation. If the applicant will be unable to submit the application within this time, it is requested that they advise Member Services.

Upon submission of the application package:

  1. A committee on the applicant’s local branch/chapter will review the application submission package in detail and either approve, request further information, or reject the application.
    1. If the application is approved, it will move to step 2.
    2. If the application is rejected, reasoning will be conveyed by Member Services to the applicant and the applicant can either: wait a certain number of years to reapply (determined by review committee), apply through an alternative route, or request that the application be reviewed by the Appeals Sub-Committee for final arbitration.
  2. Once the application package is approved and signed by the local branch/chapter, the application submission package will be sent for review and final consensus by the STEP Worldwide Membership Committee. This committee meets ten times per year on pre-determined dates and the application package will be sent for the next upcoming meeting.
    1. If the application is approved, the applicant will be granted full STEP membership and the TEP designation. The applicant will be sent a welcome email from Member Services containing details of STEP membership and an invoice for their membership dues, to be paid within the first 30 days of membership.
    2. If the application is rejected, reasoning will be conveyed by Member Services to the applicant. The applicant can then request to submit additional documentation for the next scheduled STEP Worldwide Membership Committee meeting, or reapply for membership at a later date.

Contact Information

Any questions about the Expertise route should be directed to:

Member Services
STEP Canada
45 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 510
Toronto, Ontario   M2N 5W9
Telephone: +1 877 991 4949 / 416 491 4949 x222
Facsimile: +1 416 491 9499