The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) is launching a new Diploma in Pension Trusteeship. The Diploma is an optional qualification for pensions professionals who have already completed their accreditation. It will be available from Wednesday 20 October.
The Diploma in Pension Trusteeship is an advanced, standalone award designed to build upon the accreditation process, enabling those professional trustees who wish to demonstrate their competency through a diploma level professional qualification to do so. The Diploma has been specifically designed to both improve professional trustees’ technical knowledge and ability to navigate an increasingly complex sector and play a part in raising the overall standards of trusteeship across the industry. It was created following feedback from a PMI student member survey that showed 74 per cent of respondents were interested in taking further qualifications.
The qualification will expand on the knowledge and understanding obtained by completing the trustee Toolkit and the PMI APT qualification. It will provide a useful industry benchmark allowing trustees to demonstrate a level of competency in problem solving, judgement, the balancing of competing interests, analysis, problem-solving, and prioritisation. The course will be assessed by a two-hour examination.
The Diploma will also enable professional trustees to demonstrate expert knowledge beyond that of accredited lay trustees. The qualification is designed for those acting as professional trustees of DB and DC workplace pension schemes including Members of Governance Committees, Scheme Secretaries and those who have completed The Pensions Regulator’s Trustee Toolkit.
The Diploma is the PMI’s first qualification to integrate ESG into its course material, making it a markedly more advanced qualification. Given the new ESG regulations within the Pension Schemes Act 2021, ESG considerations are now an integral part of trustee duty and this qualification addresses that by making sure a golden thread of ESG is addressed throughout the course material and exam.
The costs to complete the Diploma are:
Non-member: GBP495 – you will receive complimentary Trustee Group Membership when you enrol on this qualification
Current Trustee Member: GBP345
Final certificate: GBP85
The new qualification has been launched as membership of the PMI has increased to more than 7,000 pension professionals. More than 500 members have joined since the start of 2020.
Gareth Tancred, CEO of the Pensions Management Institute, says: “Despite the pandemic, our membership has increased significantly in recent months. Following feedback our new members and the wider industry, we’ve launched the Diploma in Pension Trusteeship to provide a benchmark qualification for those trustees who wish to demonstrate a certain level of skill and competency in handling increasingly complicated pensions issues. It is hoped that the Diploma will play a key role in raising the bar in pension trusteeship standards across the industry, helping trustees to better manage these issues across the schemes which they govern. We’re proud of our heritage in educating and developing experts who are responsible for running the UK’s pensions industry and hope this new qualification will help the industry to maintain and improve standards in every area of pension scheme management, consultancy and trusteeship.”
David Fairs, Executive Director for Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice at The Pensions Regulator, says: “The Pensions Regulator welcomes any new initiative designed to improve standards of trusteeship. We are pleased that PMI shares our commitment to driving up standards within the professional trusteeship sector.”
Richard Butcher, Managing Director of PTL and Chair of the PLSA, says: “We welcome the principle of a higher level of qualification and where we consider it adds value, will encourage our team to consider it.”
Brian Spence, Dalriada Trustees director and founder of Spence & Partners, says: “Acting as a professional pension scheme trustee is a complex and demanding role that combines broad technical knowledge and a high level of soft skills. It is a role that should not be undertaken without the commitment involved in treating trusteeship as a career.
“I applaud the PMI in launching the new Diploma in Pension Trusteeship which will be particularly valuable in supporting the career development of both entry-level professional trustees and those transitioning from other roles in the industry.”
Keith Hoodless, Director of Qualifications and Lifelong Learning at the Pensions Management Institute, says: “The Diploma in Pensions Trusteeship is a qualification that assumes the person who is taking this examination has the necessary level of knowledge and understanding to complete the trustee Toolkit and the PMI Award in Pensions Trusteeship. The syllabus is therefore derived from the APT syllabus and indicates where a candidate could be expected to demonstrate problem solving ability. They would also have to be able to demonstrate the necessary soft skills as evident at working in the sector in this position at that level, and it is advisable, but not compulsory, to have completed the Certificate in Pensions Trusteeship in full.
“As an integral golden thread of this qualification, the content offers knowledge of how organisations can reshape how they think about and report on their corporate strategy. For that purpose, a focus of this qualification is purposed on the setting of clear targets, accountability and trust, and in the belief that the integrity of reporting and sustainable investment by trustee boards is upheld.”