It is an organic process that we can no more be mere consumers of good governance, we must be participants; we must be the cocreators. Good governance requires working toward common ground and it isn’t easy.
We still, even now, keep seeing the names of Maxwell (Mirror Group Newspapers, 1991), Jeffrey Skilling (Enron 2001), Sir Philip Green (BHS and Arcadia 2016 and 2020) and Carillion (2017) in the headlines of popular newspapers, all creating mistrust and distrust in those who are looking after our retirement provision. This drives into the heart of individual scheme members when we see things such as ‘another pensions scam’, ‘stealing your old age’, ‘pickpocketing your pension’ and ‘fat cats continue to get the cream’.
Lost in the melee of negative headlines and the clamour to find culpability and victims, are the excellent efforts of the trustees in managing, through significant deficits, to keep these types of pension schemes afloat.
It is for those reasons that when evaluating the development of this qualification we had a four-way approach to review: through comparability, through regulation, through trust, and, moreover, through confidence.
1. Comparability to offer ALL trustee’s compatibility in terms of the qualifications we offer.
2. Regulation being deemed as necessary, particularly in a sector like the pensions sector, which exposes individuals and companies to a risk.
3. Our need to build trust, and that trust is built with consistency.
4. Our need to instil confidence, and the understanding that confidence comes from discipline and training.
Developing the Certificate in Pension Trusteeship (CPT) qualification allowed us to certificate not only trustees’ knowledge and understanding, but also the soft skills necessary to operate in that sphere. We could, therefore, further enhance the credibility and display the professionalism that exists within the sector. We have extended this offer to all trustees now, and it is being well received.
The Pensions Regulator is quoted as “rightly expecting trustees to meet high standards of trusteeship, governance and administration” and positively welcomed the PMI’s approach to lay trustee governance.
The AMNT “welcomed PMI’s new accreditation scheme, which gives formal parity of esteem between lay and specialist trustees”.
More senior, professional trustees now have the ability to display their professional integrity through a higher level qualification (Level 5) with the Diploma in Pension Trusteeship (DPT).
The DPT is primarily aimed at professional trustees who want to show differential within the market from lay trustees. It allows for greater confidence and displays a greater depth of knowledge of practice within the sector. The DPT fits directly with the Standards of Professional Conduct for Trustees (at a higher demonstrational level than lay trustees) and the APPT Code of Conduct for Trustees (Sections 1,2 and 3, as a golden thread through authentication and answer in sections 5, 6 and 7).
Our recent member survey, which had over 750 member respondents, shows around 70% of our members are heavily invested in the availability of qualifications that will better benefit their journey and career. As their professional development organization of choice, PMI will be producing more educational content through the PMI Academy. Please keep checking into the website, and through social media, for further details.
This article was featured in Pensions Aspects magazine September edition.
Last update: 15 September 2021