STEP, the organisation for trust and estate practitioners, has launched its Employer Partnership Programme, an accreditation scheme for employers which it hopes will support its members' professional development.

Piloted over the past 18 months as the Employer Training Scheme, which now has 24 accredited partners, the programme provides "a comprehensive and structured support programme" with access to online resources and personal support from STEP's professional development team, promotes recognition of the accreditation as demonstrating credentials as quality employers, and enables accredited partners to network and share good practice with like-minded employers.

Applications are now open globally from interested employers.

STEP's head of employer partnerships, Jenni Hutchinson said: "The Employer Partnership Programme has generated considerable interest, and we are delighted to already be working with 24 companies from the UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Singapore who have helped us to shape the programme by participating in the pilot.

"We are now pleased to open up the programme to applications from all interested employers of STEP students and members who take a pride in the learning and development opportunities that they provide to their STEP employees and want to be able to learn from each other and share best practice.

"STEP's Employer Partners have all demonstrated commitment to strengthening the industry through high-quality, structured professional development. There is huge potential for the future growth of the Employer Partnership Programme across the world, which will bring substantial benefits both to STEP and its employer partners."