• Standard Life is looking for the next generation of Trustees, with the aim of helping to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in the pension industry
  • Programme open to participants from all walks of life, including those without previous pension experience
  • Those that complete the programme will gain knowledge and insight into the world of pensions and receive the qualifications needed to become Trustee Ready

Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, in partnership with the Pensions Management Institute (PMI), is today announcing the Trustee Accelerator Programme. The programme, designed to support increased diversity in the trustee community, is open to all, including those with no previous pension experience, and will provide participants with a wealth of knowledge and insight into the world of pensions. It will also provide the qualifications needed to become Trustee Ready.

What is the Trustee Accelerator Programme?

The unique two-year programme starting in April 2024 will train a select number of people to become Trustee Ready and has been designed with flexibility in mind, putting people in control of their learning, so they can study around a job, caring responsibilities, and any other commitments.

Those that take part will learn in a variety of ways including:

  • An introduction to pensions
  • Get to know Standard Life and how we support customers today
  • Eight learning modules (with webinars provided by the PMI): Fundamentals of Trust Law, The Pension Landscape, Defined Benefits schemes, Defined Contributions schemes, Member Data, Contributions and Transfers and Asset Management, Governance and Member Communications, Soft Skills for Trustees, Mock Trustee Board Meeting
  • Mentoring from a Trustee
  • A buddy relationship with a pension professional
  • Group sessions to share learnings
  • Shadowing of Trustee Board and/or other governance meetings

What will people get from the Trustee Accelerator Programme?

People who take part in the programme will be assessed through a mock Trustee meeting and final exams before receiving the qualifications needed to become Trustee Ready, including:

  • Qualifications from the PMI:
    • Award in Pension Trusteeship
    • Certificate in Pension Trusteeship
    • Trustee Ready Certificate from the PMI
  • Other benefits include:
    • A new network of pension professionals and Trustees
    • Experience of Trustee Board meetings and/or governance meetings

Helping to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in the pension industry

When it comes to planning for retirement, many pension savers may be uncertain where to start, making it vital for pension providers, employers, and the wider pensions industry to ensure the best possible decisions are taken for savers.

Harnessing diverse views from all walks of life leads to a better understanding of what’s important to people and how the decisions they make can impact their financial future, and so reflecting diversity across Trustee Boards and governance committees is equally vital.

Through the Trustee Accelerator Programme, Standard Life is committed to driving change and creating opportunities for people from different backgrounds to become Trustee Ready.

Donna Walsh, Head of Master Trust at Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group said: “I’m delighted that we’re offering this unique programme to support people to becoming Trustee Ready. Blending different learning techniques with support from a mentor and buddy, this two-year programme has been designed to attract people from diverse backgrounds.

“Applicants shouldn’t worry if they have no pension experience, because the programme will start with the basics. Standard Life will sponsor those that take part throughout the programme and cover all learning and exam costs, supporting them every step of the way towards their first role.”

Partnering with Standard Life to deliver the Trustee Accelerator Programme, Gareth Tancred, CEO of the Pension Management Institute commented: “The Pensions Management Institute is excited to announce a landmark partnership with Standard Life to launch the Trustee Accelerator Programme. This two-year initiative is designed to rigorously train and develop the next generation of Pensions Trustees.

“As a leader in Pensions education, PMI recognises the ever-growing need for competent, well-trained, and diverse trustees in the sector. Our collaboration with Standard Life is a testament to our commitment to raising the bar in Trustee education.”


James Ikin
07825 191308

Darragh Leeson
Standard Life
07713 918949

About Standard Life 

  • Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples’ life savings for nearly 200 years 
  • Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers’ pension scheme.
  • Standard Life is part of the Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We’re proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together
  • Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people’s needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We’re proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
  • We support our customers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about.
  • The value of investments can go down as well as up, and may be worth less than originally invested.

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