The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) is pleased to announce the launch of APTitude ‘Accreditation for Professional Trustees’, the accreditation programme designed to build credibility and raise governance standards across the pensions industry.
Developed by the PMI, the APTitude programme was formed following standards published by the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group (PTSWG) in 2019 to raise standards and provide assurance about the quality and skills of professional trustees and discourage poor practices in the industry.
For more than 40 years the UK’s leading pension schemes and providers have relied on the PMI, and its extensive programme of courses and events, to provide the strategic insight and education needed to build and promote excellence within the industry.
The APTitude programme is open to all professional pension scheme trustees, who meet the Pension Regulator’s (TPR) description of a professional trustee.
David Fairs, Executive Director of Policy at The Pensions Regulator, said: “We regard the accreditation of Professional Trustees as crucial in promoting improved governance standards. We are pleased to note that PMI has produced an accreditation programme which aims to play an important role in achieving our shared objective of improving standards within the professional trusteeship sector. I encourage professional trustees to fully engage with accreditation programmes.”
Applications will open from 24 February 2020.
To ensure the highest levels of governance and professionalism, the PMI has designed a robust and diligent accreditation process that is expected to mark out those professional trustees who meet the highest standards of scheme trusteeship. To hold the accreditation, professional trustees will have to pass an initial application, which includes the following:
- have successfully completed the latest Pensions Regulator’s Trustee Toolkit
- have passed the Pensions Management Institute’s Level 3 Certificate in Pension Trusteeship (CPT) Unit 1 (more commonly known as the Award in Trusteeship and previously known as the Trustee Certificate)
- have passed the Pensions Management Institute’s Level 3 Certificate in Pension Trusteeship (CPT) Unit 2 (new examination designed to assess a candidate’s soft skills)
- comply with ‘fit and proper’ requirements based on TPR’s Master Trust requirements
- basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
- proof of credible and relevant employment history within the industry for the past 5 years
- references from two reputable figures within the industry, such as an existing accredited professional trustee, a pensions lawyer or a scheme actuary
Given the volume of data to be assessed, the new process will benefit from robust oversight by experienced PMI teams, focused on qualifications, membership and governance, to ensure efficient automated processes and full compliance with all GDPR and relevant data-processing regulation.
Gareth Tancred, Chief Executive Officer, Pensions Management Institute said: “As industry professionals, it is within all of our interests to strive for ever-improving governance standards and drive better outcomes for savers.
“Professional trustees play a vital role in pension scheme governance and must set themselves apart from other trustees by meeting a higher standard of care. It is imperative for them to be fully equipped with all the necessary skills and tools to do their jobs to the best of their ability and for the process to be robust and rigorous in its method. We believe our accreditation programme is best placed to manage accreditation processes for sole traders as well as large firms.
“Even though TPR did not push forward with a requirement for every board to appoint a professional trustee last week, we would like to see mandatory appointments within the next five years. We look forward to working closely with TPR on developing trustee standards further to ensure the industry collectively drives better outcomes for savers.”
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