Distance Learning with The College of Will Writing

22nd April 2020Anthony Belcher4

The Society of Will Writers has been providing training through The College of Will Writing to our members and other professionals for over 25 years now. We believe that only through proper training can you be confident that you are providing the correct and most current advice to clients, which is why training has always been at the heart of what we do. As you may be aware, the events that have unfurled so far in 2020 have sadly forced us to close the College to residential courses but this does not mean our training has ceased altogether.

Distance learning is nothing new to us. Our original correspondence course was available for many years and in 2018 SWW Director General Brian McMillan took it upon himself to revamp our distance learning options to provide a better experience for our students. Extensive research was conducted into which system would be best and, in the end, TalentLMS – the number one online learning platform was chosen.

Our distance learning courses remain available all year round, but what are these and what do they offer?


SWWEPP Wills and Estate Planning Certificate Course

The SWWEPP course is the course. Whether you’re totally new to the industry, looking to add will writing as another arm to your existing business or even if you’re just looking for a refresher, this is the place to start. The SWWEPP Distance Learning course consists of 4 modules, each tailored to different aspects of will writing and estate planning. These start from the very basics through to more advanced topics such as trusts, all whilst making use of case studies and practical scenarios designed to help you understand the instruction taking process, as well as teaching you how to identify your clients’ needs and what best suits them.

Taking the Distance Learning course puts you in good company. There are currently over 140 students taking the Distance Learning course, with everyone having been assigned a personal tutor who they can call upon for assistance as well as one-to-one learning. All students also get access to a shared Trello board where they can ask questions, download additional resources and interact with their fellow students. You will be given 12 months in total to complete the course so you can take it at your own pace although we expect that for most students the course will be completed in around 50-60 hours. It can of course be done quicker or slower to suit your own schedule.

At the end of the course there is a 3-part exam taking the form of essay-style questions, case studies and scenarios. The exam is completed directly through the learning platform and will be sent off to an external examiner for marking. Passing the exam completes the course and earns you the SWWEPP Certificate which you can then use to aid in gaining entry to the Society’s membership should you wish.

For more information on the Distance Learning course, click here or email [email protected].


Psychopomp: Leading the Legacy

At first you might wonder, what on earth does that mean? Well, Psychopomp is the name of the spirit who guides souls to the place of the dead and much like the spirit, your role is to guide people through a proper estate plan.

Every client and every family situation will be different. In a world that is constantly evolving, with the evermore complex lives people lead, producing the proper estate plan can become a difficulty. This course goes into great depth on how to correctly identify your client’s needs, including capacity, liabilities and ambitions enabling you to properly arrange various aspects of both lifetime and will planning. The course covers draft plans, trusts, lifetime gifting, IHT, storage and much more, and takes a hands-on approach through a series of case studies to give you a far better understanding of estate planning at a higher level.

As with the SWWEPP course, you will be assigned a personal tutor to call upon for help. There are assessments to complete as you progress through the course, however there is no final exam at the end.

For more information on the Psychopomp course, click here or email [email protected].


A Guide to Powers of Attorney

Want to know all there is to know about Lasting Power of Attorney? Look no further.

This course covers the necessary elements regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney. After taking this course you should have the requisite knowledge to be able to support clients in the creation of the LPA forms for both Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs.

The course consists of 3 modules, with a self-test after each module. You must pass the test before moving onto the next module.

For more information or to book, click here.


SWW Online CPD

Continuous Professional Development is a mandatory requirement of membership to the Society. All members must complete a minimum of 16 structured and 8 unstructured hours each year and one of the easiest ways to earn this is through our free online CPD.

The Online CPD takes the form of a handout on a given topic, usually around 5-6 pages, followed by a 15-question multiple choice quiz. In total, the reading and the quiz should take an hour, meaning a total of 12 hours are available each year. Achieving 80% or more on the quiz counts as a pass, and the system will produce a certificate which can then be used to count for 1 structured hours CPD. If you do not meet the pass mark, you may still count the online CPD as 1 hours unstructured CPD. All members are registered with a login for the online CPD and to access it, simply click on ‘student login’ which can be found at the top and bottom of the home page of the College website.

The quiz automatically goes live at the start of each month, and we will announce the topic in our newsletter each week. If you have any issues accessing the online CPD, we have produced a handy video guide which you can view here. If you need any further assistance, please contact [email protected].


Anthony Belcher

Anthony graduated from the University of Lincoln with a first in Audio Production in 2016. Deciding to pursue an alternative career, he started as the Society’s graphic designer that same year with his appointment to the board of directors coming later in 2019. Outside of the Society he is still a keen musician and avid collector of vinyl records.


  • julie Marie West

    26th October 2020 at 4:14 pm

    If I do the distance learning for the society’s certificate does that mean that i can then become a member of the society without further tests/exams. I seemed to get slightly confused


    • Anthony Belcher

      26th October 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Hi Julie,

      Successful completion of the distance learning course would meet our entry requirements, all you’d need to do is complete the application form. If you need any more information, please do give us a call or send an email to our membership team and they’d be more than happy to help.



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About The Society of Will Writers

The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit making self-regulatory organisation whose primary objectives are the advancement, education and ethical standards within the will writing profession.

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