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 Expertise Route

The Assessment by Expertise membership route is available through the recommendation of a branch/chapter executive, or by personal request of a qualified candidate. Personal requests must be submitted to Member Services at STEP Canada’s National Office. The criteria for Assessment by Expertise candidates is outlined below. Please note, candidates may send applications to STEP Canada at any time.

Entry Qualifications
This route to membership is reserved for the most senior trust and estate practitioners. Candidates should have a minimum of 10 years of appropriate and relevant experience in the area of trusts and/or estates and a recognized professional designation. The experience of all potential candidates will be examined and measured against the relevant sections of the STEP Canada Assessment by Exam curriculum.

Recognized professional designations: LLB, LLM, JD; Quebec Notary; a financial planning designation (CFP, PFP, RFP, PlFin); a financial investment designation (CFA, MFisc, DFisc, CIWM); the MTI (Member, Trust Institute); the FCSI (Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute); an insurance designation (CLU); or an accounting designation (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA)

Application Process

1. A candidate may be considered for the Assessment by Expertise membership route through one of two ways:
  1. By the recommendation of a branch/chapter executive. A branch/chapter executive may recommend a qualified Assessment by Expertise candidate to STEP Canada`s Member Services department.
  2. By a personal request to Member Services. A qualified candidate may personally apply for the Assessment by Expertise membership route by contacting Member Services (

    In both cases a detailed resume is required. The resume should clearly demonstrate relevant trust and estate experience to be screened by a branch/chapter executive. Member Services will then send the candidate the application forms, request additional information, or suggest an alternative route to membership.
2. The candidate must fulfill the application submission requirements (listed below) and send the completed package to Member Services. It is then passed on to the appropriate branch/chapter executive team for review.

3. The branch/chapter will review the application and come to one of the following decisions:
  1. The application is approved at the branch level and is then directed to STEP Worldwide for a final consensus by the Worldwide Membership Committee.
  2. The application is rejected and Member Services contacts the applicant with alternative recommendations for membership
  3. The application status is in conflict (neither unanimously approved or rejected), or the application is rejected and appealed by the applicant, in which case it is returned to Member Services and reviewed by the Appeals Sub-Committee for final arbitration
4. If the application is approved by the STEP Worldwide Membership Committee, notification is sent to the new member and applicable Branch by STEP Canada.
Application Submission Requirements
  1. Completed Assessment by Expertise application form, including four evaluation statements from referees who have worked with the applicant, and which must include details regarding how they know the candidate and state why they are recommending him or her for STEP membership. (from three different organizations, two must be TEP)
  2. A self-authored personal statement (1,000 - 3,000 words) containing: scope of education; scope of senior-level practice experience in relation to trusts and estates and tax administration focusing on practice areas in application form; publications/papers authored; presentations conducted. And membership in any professional bodies.
  3. A refundable current-year membership payment and a non-refundable application payment of $200 (plus applicable tax) payable to STEP Canada. Membership dues and fees are subject to the tax respective to the province in which the applicant resides.

Contact Information


Completed application forms and any queries 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
Facsimile: +1 416 491 9499

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