Service Quality Assessment
When purchasing a service, one is actually paying for a promise.
The service provider, when accepting a retainer fee to provide a service, is making a commitment to deliver in the future, and to do so in an acceptable way.
In the case of certain services, such as a hair-cut or car-wash the client can examine previous end-result, other client’s experiences and testimonials to determine the like-hood that the service provider would be able to deliver.
However, there are services, such as our core business, namely; asset protection and cross-border financial structuring, which due their nature, makes this pre-evaluation somewhat more difficult to do. Some of the characteristics which makes a pre-evaluation difficult are:
• Uniqueness, usually each client situation is different and requires tailored solution
• Privacy, it is not common for the service provider to provide the name and describe the solution delivered to other clients.
• Complexity, usually clients do not have the level of expertise and experience required to make a sound assessment of the quality.
The above realities, created the need for an independent organization, on which one can rely, to monitor and control the quality of professionals, and as such provide peace of mind to those in need of these type of professional services.
STEP is the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, foundations, estates and related issues. The STEP members are subjected to a rigorous code of professional conduct, and are required to all times to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of both clients and the wider community in general. Essentially, the public can identify if their adviser is a STEP member by the use of the designation TEP.
STEP members spend their professional lives working with real families tackling real problems.
Common issues for STEP members to advise on are:
• Providing for a husband or wife after a death while protecting the interests of their offspring.
• Ensuring that the succession of a family business will pass safely from one generation to another.
• Care and support for elderly or vulnerable relatives.
• Ensuring that families with interests and family members spread across differing countries are compliant with the laws and tax rules of many different jurisdictions.
• Help families comply with the often complex law and tax rules surrounding trusts foundations, estates and inheritance.
• Helping donors support philanthropic causes in an effective way.
With more than 16000 members in 66 countries, ranging from the US and the UK to New Zealand and Mauritius, STEP is considered a global leading authority in his field, and is frequently invited to communicate the practical viewpoint and expertise of its members to governments, tax authorities, regulators and the public around the world.
STEP aims to promote the highest professional standards through education and training as well as actively promoting continuing professional development among its members through briefings, publications, special interest groups, courses and seminars.
As the late English writer, John Ruskin stated:
Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.