Routes to Membership

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Becoming a Member of STEP


Membership of STEP Worldwide is achieved through membership of a local branch.


Membership of the STEP Ireland branch is via:


(a) The Diploma Route to STEP Membership




(b) The Qualified Practitioner Route to STEP Membership.


For any questions concerning membership of STEP Ireland, please contact the Membership Secretary.



(a) The Diploma Route to STEP Membership


The Diploma runs every two years; the next course is scheduled to commence in September 2018 and will run until May 2019 (subject to a sufficient number of course applicants). Check our website in early 2018 for course enrolment information.


All course participants will automatically become Affiliate members of STEP for the duration of their studies. On successful completion of the course, graduates can upgrade to Technician or Full membership depending on the criteria below.


Entry requirements


Since the course is designed for those who have some practical experience in the areas of trusts and estate planning, applicants must meet the entry level requirements for the diploma:

  • A minimum of 1 years’ experience in a relevant area of practice and;
  • A relevant prior qualification, which can be undergraduate level or above


If you cannot meet those criteria and would like further advice please contact


Further course details


You can find further details and register on the Law Society of Ireland website


Technician and Full Membership of STEP


The STEP Worldwide Membership Committee reviews applications for Technician and Full Membership based on the criteria below:

  • Successful completion of the Diploma in Trusts and Estate Planning run jointly by the Law Society and STEP Ireland.


 have an appropriate professional qualification[1].


  • have at least 2 years practical experience, a significant proportion of which is in trusts and estates.


Applicants are required to attach to their membership upgrade form a CV detailing their trust and estate experience.  Applications without an attached CV will not be processed.


Applicants who have completed the STEP Diploma, but who have less than 2 years’ practical experience may apply for Technician Membership.  Once they have 2 years’ experience, they may upgrade to Full Membership.


Full Membership of STEP includes a right to use the TEP designation.


The membership upgrade form is circulated to candidates at the end of the Diploma course and can also be found here. A full list of upgrade and membership fees can be found here




(b) The Qualified Practitioner Route to STEP Membership


The STEP Qualified Practitioner (QP) programme is an entry route to STEP membership for trust and estate practitioners who have established themselves in their field.


It provides a professional qualification recognised by the industry. It allows experienced practitioners to demonstrate their knowledge in order to gain Full Membership of STEP. This route is entirely distance learning based with candidates completing their own research.


You can read further information on the QP route to membership here


Entry Requirements


To be eligible for this route to membership you need to have one of the following:


  • A recognised professional qualification (see below) and a minimum of 5 years’ trust and estate planning post-qualification experience;


  • A vocational degree and 5 years’ trust and estate planning work experience;


  • 10 years’ trust and estate planning work experience.

For an indication of the kinds of qualifications that are accepted, please see this list


Application Process


Applicants apply to join STEP as an Affiliate member by completing the Qualified Practitioner Membership Application Form and submitting this to STEP. Applicants should first read through the Terms and Conditions for this entry route.


Course Structure & Assessment


QP applicants research, prepare and submit three papers of approximately 5,000 words in length on a subject selected from those published on the STEP website. The purpose of these papers is to demonstrate a level of knowledge of trust and estate planning acceptable to STEP.


A panel of adjudicators assesses each paper. Results are issued directly by STEP Worldwide.


All three papers must be passed within four years of becoming an Affiliate member of STEP. Upon successful completion of this course of study, candidates are eligible to apply for Full Membership of STEP, which includes the right to use the TEP designation.


View further information on the QP essay topics here.


Application & Membership Fees for Qualified Practitioner Route:


The following fees are payable with your application form:


  • Affiliate Membership Subscription fee
  • QP Application fee

And a registration fee is payable when you submit your topic registration form for each essay.


For a full list of fees, please click here


[1] The following list is indicative and not exhaustive: Solicitor (Ireland), Barrister (Ireland), Chartered Accountant (Ireland), Certified Accountant (Ireland), Fellow of the Irish Taxation Institute, Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute, Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Associate of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland (Diploma in Wealth Management), Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (UK), Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK), Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK), Certified Public Accountant(UK)