Professional Certificate in DC Pension Trusteeship NEW


Who is this programme for?

The Professional Certificate in Defined Contribution Pension Scheme Trusteeship will equip professional and lay Pension Trustees, and those who advise them, with the knowledge, competencies and skills required to carry out their roles effectively. It will also be of interest to QFAs who may be working in or moving into Defined Contribution Pension Scheme Trustee roles. 

How you will benefit

This programme will provide participants with the opportunity to develop their professional competence in providing trustee services for pension scheme members. The programme will focus on developing candidates’ knowledge of the responsibilities of trustees and their capabilities for ensuring that pension scheme members’ best interests are being served. At the end of the programme students will be able to:

  • Explain the role, duties and responsibilities of Trustees in company pension schemes
  • Identify the relevant legal requirements  pertaining to the constitution and operation of Defined Contribution Occupational Pension Schemes
  • Examine and ascertain the role of key players in pension provision and the impact of regulatory provisions on their activities.
  • Comply with all regulatory requirements for Defined Contribution Occupational Pension schemes and the role of Trustees
  • Appraise current and future developments to ensure that the best interests of the scheme members is served.
  • Advise on and manage conflicts of interest and facilitate dispute resolution
  • Decide on when to seek advice and challenge scheme advisers
  • Exercise discretionary powers in the context of the scheme and trust law principles and practice
  • Prepare and provide information (timescale, scheme requirements, etc.) to with scheme members
  • Communicate clearly to colleagues and stakeholders the rationale underpinning operation of the scheme and decisions taken (investment, benefits etc.) in relation to the scheme.
  • Create service level agreements to ensure effective operation of the scheme.


You study two modules as follows:

1. DC Pension Scheme Trustee Principles (5 ECTS, Level 7 NFQ)
2. DC Pension Scheme Trustee Practice (5 ECTS, Level 7 NFQ)


When you successfully complete this programme you will be awarded a Professional Certificate in Defined Contribution Pension Scheme Trusteeship (level 7) from UCD.


Those successfully completing the Professional Certificate in Defined Contribution Pension Scheme Trusteeship will also be eligible to apply for the designation Professional Trustee Practitioner (PTP).


Each module is assessed by end of semester written examination.

The pass mark is 40% in all modules in line with UCD academic policy.


The programme will be delivered via a blend of workshops and elearning.

Entry Requirements 

The minimum second level educational requirements for entry to the Professional Certificate in Defined Contribution Pension Scheme Trusteeship are as follows:
-    Five passes in the Leaving Certificate, including English and Mathematics
-    Five O Level/GCSE passes, including English Language and Mathematics.
The Institute will also consider applications on a mature candidate basis from applicants who are 23 years of age before the date of their application for admission to the programme.


€440 per module

Professional Body Membership 

You must be a current member of the Institute or become a member, to undertake this programme.

Membership is currently €40 per calendar year.