The Association of Professional Pension Trustees (APPT) and the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) announced separate accreditation programmes for professional trustees last week.

Both announcements were made on the back of The Pensions Regulator (TPR) publishing its plan to drive up pension scheme governance standards, albeit without following through on a proposed requirement for schemes to appoint at least one professional trustee.

IPE understands that the emergence of two separate accreditation programmes comes after APPT, the industry body for professional trustees of occupational pension schemes, decided to appoint a different provider to manage its accreditation rather than PMI. IPE previously reported that APPT was to oversee the accreditation framework, with PMI to run it.

APPT, whose announcement preceded PMI’s by a day, has not commented.

Both the APPT and PMI accreditations follow the framework put together by the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group last year.

Those trustees seeking accreditation via the APPT’s process will still need to have completed two PMI exams, but the PMI is now also delivering its own accreditation process.

Applications for PMI’s and APPT’s professional trustee accreditations will open from 24 February and in April, respectively, according to the organisations’ press releases.

David Fairs, executive director of policy at TPR, commented on both the accreditation launch announcements, in each case stating that he encouraged professional trustees “to fully engage with accreditation programmes”.

On APPT’s specifically, he said: “We welcome the APPT’s accreditation for professional trustees to ensure new standards created to improve governance and administration are delivered in a clear and structured way. The standards are an important step to increase protection for savers.”

And on PMI’s: “We regard the accreditation of professional trustees as crucial in promoting improved governance standards. We are pleased to note that PMI has produced an accreditation programme which aims to play an important role in achieving our shared objective of improving standards within the professional trusteeship sector.”