A new certificate program in trust and estate planning designed for support and administrative employees will be launched this fall.

The Canadian chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP Canada) will begin to accept enrolment for the Certificate in Estate and Trust Administration (CETA) program in November 2014.

STEP Canada currently offers the Trust and Estate Practitioner designation diploma program, which is generally aimed at lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors.

CETA will be offered as an online self-study program featuring three courses and a final examination. The three courses are foundations of estate and trust administration; advanced topics in estate and trust administration; and estate and trust taxation.

The program will also offer tutorial support, self-assessment quizzes, and a social media network as learning tools. Students are expected to complete the program within two years of enrollment and to achieve a minimum grade of 60 per cent.

STEP Canada says the CETA program may be ideal for trust officers, junior trust officers, and retail bank employees; law clerks, junior associates, and paralegals; as well as sole practitioners, wealth management sales representatives, and administrative assistants.