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 can be achieved through one of three routes:


(a) Exam Route




(b) Expertise Route.      




(c) Essay Route.


For any questions concerning membership of STEP Ireland, please contact the Membership Secretary. Further information can also be found here. Further information on the STEP membership categories can be found here.




(a) The Exam Route


The Diploma runs every two years; the current course is running until May 2021You can find further information on the Law Society of Ireland website. The next course is scheduled to commence in September 2022 and will run until May 2023 (subject to a sufficient number of course applicants).


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 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.


Full Membership of STEP


The STEP Worldwide Membership Assessment Panel reviews applications for 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 at least 2 years’ experience at specialist level with one or more of the following: planning, creation, management of and accounting for trusts and estates, executorship administration and related taxes.

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.


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 Expertise Route


The Expertise Route is for senior practitioners who hold relevant professional qualification(s) and a minimum ten years’ senior experience working at a leadership level in the industry, in practice or academia and considered an expert by peers.


Entry Requirements


Applicants must:


  • Hold a relevant, professional qualification, and;
  • Be able to demonstrate a minimum 10 years’ senior experience in inheritance and succession planning, working at a leadership level in the industry in practice or academia, and be considered an expert by peers.

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


Application Guidelines


Applicants need to provide the following:


  1. A completed Expertise Application Form;
  2. A detailed CV/resumé or written summary (up to 3000 words), which includes a comprehensive outline of the candidate’s past and current areas of practice and associated responsibilities;
  3. A list of relevant professional bodies or associations of which they are a member;
  4. Evidence of professional standing in the industry. This can be demonstrated through: published articles; book chapter samples; case studies; lecture notes and/or papers. Where necessary, a face-to-face or Skype interview may be required to substantiate evidence provided; and
  5. Four Referee evaluation statements, to include an explanation of how the referee knows the applicant and their reason for endorsing the application. Two of the four statements must be from TEPs, Full Membership of STEP of good standing. All four referees should be from different organisations and from individuals who are suitably professionally or academically qualified.

Further course information


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



(c) The Essay Route


The Essay route is suitable for applicants who have a recognised professional qualification or vocational degree, plus five years’ industry experience.


Applicants submit three essays which provide emphasis on one’s own research and expertise.


Applicants are eligible to upgrade to Associate membership after completion of one essay. Upon completion of a further two essays, applicants are eligible to upgrade to step Full Membership and use the TEP designation.


Application Guidelines

Complete and submit the Application Form.


There are two submission deadlines per year, and applications are accepted throughout the year.


Further course details


You can read further information on the Essay route to membership 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)