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Ongoing learning and development

You're strongly recommended to review your trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU) at least annually and to carry out learning to fill any gaps you identify.

Trustee toolkit online learning

We provide a free online learning programme called the Trustee toolkit which you should complete, unless you arrange the equivalent learning. You must login or sign up to use the Trustee toolkit.

Go to the Trustee toolkit

Key points

  • Make sure you have the required level of knowledge and understanding about pensions and trust law, funding principles (in defined benefit schemes), investment principles and scheme-related documents.
  • Keep your knowledge and understanding up to date by carrying out learning to fill any gaps you identify.
  • Plan, complete, record and reflect on your learning.

What you need to know and understand

If you're the trustee of a pension scheme with more than 12 members you must have appropriate knowledge and understanding of the:

  • law relating to pensions and trusts
  • principles relating to the funding of occupational pension schemes (defined benefit only)
  • investment of assets of such schemes

You must also have a working knowledge of your own scheme-related documents.

Find details of what you’re required to know and understand in our TKU guidance.

Maintain your knowledge and understanding

If you’re a new trustee, you have six months from when you’re appointed to be up to speed with what you need to do.

If you’re an experienced trustee you’re strongly recommended to review your knowledge and understanding at least annually against our TKU guidance, and carry out learning to fill any gaps you identify. You may also find that you need to acquire new areas of knowledge in the event of any change which may affect the scheme or the sponsoring employer.

You can keep your knowledge and understanding up to date effectively by working towards your personal development as a trustee. You can use the guide and tools below to help you with planning, completing, recording and reflecting on your learning.

Our personal development quick guide provides additional information to help you get the most from the assess your learning needs tools, study planner and personal development plan below.

Assess your learning needs

The assess your learning needs tools will help you identify what specific learning you need, create a personal development plan and tell you where you can find the required learning on the Trustee toolkit.

There are three tools available in either PDF or Word formats, depending on your preference. You should complete the tool for all trustees first and then, depending on your type of scheme, either the DC or DB tool.

Plan your learning time

Use our Trustee toolkit study planner to help plan your learning time.

Record your learning

Use our learning log to keep a record of your learning activities. You can keep this for your own records or, if required, provide it to your chair or secretary to the trustees alongside your Trustee toolkit development record as proof of your achievements.

Chair's statement for DC schemes

The trustee boards of many defined contribution (DC) schemes need to explain how they meet certain governance standards in an annual statement signed by the chair of trustees. This includes explaining how you possess, or have access to, sufficient knowledge and understanding to run the pension scheme effectively. For more information, go to the chair's statement guidance.