PMI began providing accreditation for professional trustees last year. This represented the culmination of work it began in 2017 with the formation of the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group, and was designed to promote professionalism through giving formal recognition to those within the professional trustee sector who demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the highest standards. However, the success of this initiative stimulated a requirement from leading lay trustees, who were keen to demonstrate that they take their responsibilities every bit as seriously. In response, PMI has now developed an accreditation service for lay trustees.
The accreditation regime for lay trustees is directly comparable to that created for professionals. Although there is no formal ‘fit and proper’ test or references (these are not applicable to the appointment of a lay trustee), the academic requirements are identical. Applicants must have completed the Regulator’s Trustee Toolkit and have passed both papers of PMI’s Certificate in Pension Trusteeship (CPT). Additionally, there is a formal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement. This has been developed from the voluntary CPD arrangement for members of the PMI Trustee Group Board programme. There is to be a dedicated CPD recording tool on the PMI website to allow accredited trustees to record at least 15 hours of structured and unstructured CPD.
The initial cost of accreditation is £300. The annual cost of renewal is £150 for PMI members and £300 for non-members. Accredited trustees are awarded a certificate.
By becoming accredited, trustees will be able to demonstrate a commitment to the high standards first demanded by TPR in its 21st Century Trusteeship campaign.
Members and the Regulator will see clear evidence of a trustee’s commitment to providing high standards of governance.
The accredited lay trustee will enjoy an enhanced degree of credibility through having his or her credentials verified by PMI. PMI’s heritage in providing services to trustees is unique within the industry, and the prestige associated with accreditation will be of great value. In an era where the demands placed on trustees are greater than ever, accreditation will demonstrate determination to meet the challenge.
This article was featured in Pensions Aspects magazine July/Aug edition.
Last update: 16 July 2021