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STEP launches ‘The Informed Trustee’

Rosemary Peters Gallagher

During Trustees’ Week, the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) – the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning – launched an innovative new online course for charity trustees, as part of its commitment to providing education in the field of trusts and trusteeship.

Known as ‘The Informed Trustee’, the course will equip both established and aspiring trustees with awareness and knowledge of a broad range of governance issues, in particular charity regulation and charity finance matters.

Rosemary Peters Gallagher, Not-for-profit Partner based in Northern Ireland, is proud to have been involved with the creation of The Informed Trustee, supporting the drafting of the chapter covering Accounting and Reporting Requirements.

Rosemary says: “I was more than pleased to be asked to join the team of writers for the charity trustee qualification. Having worked in the sector for many years and having served as a charity trustee myself, I understand the responsibility placed on trustees and the need for supporting them. You only have to look at recent charity governance failures to show the need for a better mix of knowledge and skills around the Board table.”

The Informed Trustee will cover aspects relevant to the 21st century trustee, including social media and data protection, as well as more long-established topics of charity law, regulation, accounts and risk management. It is intended to lead to more confident trustees who are better able to participate and challenge at Board level.

While the average age of a charity trustee is said to be 59 in England and Wales*, it is positive to note that a number of young people have become charity trustees, with 86,000 of the 1 million or so charity trustees thought to be aged 16-34*. Many take on the task out of enthusiasm for a particular cause, or for personal development to broaden their own experience. The Informed Trustee is aimed at further encouraging a wide mix of individuals to consider taking on a charity trustee role, supporting more diverse Boards.

The course can be taken entirely online and on-demand, so it fits easily with work and family commitments. It has been endorsed by Edinburgh Napier University and involved a writing team of 17 charity specialists drawn from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, including our very own Rosemary.

For more information or if you’re interested in completing the course, please get in touch with Rosemary Peters Gallagher.