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Company Secretary

A Company Secretary (CS) is one of the principal posts in a company. A certified Company Secretary handles the legal aspects of a business enterprise or an individual. A CS is responsible for maintaining and auditing the company’s tax returns, keeping records, advising the board of directors regarding the financial health of the company, and ensuring that the company complies with legal and statutory regulations. To be able to professionally practice Company Secretaryship, an individual has to complete professional training and pass examinations.

Company Secretary is a 3-year course that trains students to handle the legal aspects of a firm including tax returns and record keeping. The Company Secretary is directly involved in a company’s strategy, decision-making, and ensuring all the activities comply with legal, ethical and regulatory requirements.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) trains and regulates Company Secretaries in India under Company Secretaries Act, 1980. There are more than 65,000 members and around 2,50,000 students on the roll of ICSI. As per the new UGC guidelines, Company Secretary is equivalent to a postgraduate degree. Students have the option to pursue higher studies in the field of research.

The CS program offered by the ICSI includes three levels:

  • Foundation Programme (Now replaced with CS Executive Entrance Test  or CSEET)
  • Executive Programme
  • Professional Programme

Company Secretary Exams

  • Admission to ICSI’s Company Secretary program is open throughout the year. The exams are conducted bi-annually in June and December. Aspiring candidates can apply according to their choice of exam month.

  • Those who wish to appear for the Foundation Programme examination in December (same year) must get themselves enrolled by March 31; those who wish to appear in the June exam next year must enroll themselves by September 30.

  • Those who wish to join CS from the Executive Programme level must enroll by February 28 for appearing in both modules in the December exam in the same year or by August 31 for appearing in both modules in the June exam next year.

  • In case one wants to appear in a single module in June Examination the next year; they must get enrolled in the Exeter curative Programme by November 30.

  • A candidate is declared to have passed the Foundation / Executive / Professional examination if he/she secures in one sitting a minimum of 40 percent in aggregate in each paper and 50 percent in aggregate in all subjects.

Company Secretary is a profession that requires analytical skills, keen observation, and an eye for detail. Although the three-level CS course equips the candidates with all the required skills and training, one should choose the course only after analyzing whether they can handle analytical tasks and responsibilities about financial assessments and auditing.

Why Study Company Secretary Course?

Pursuing the Company Secretary course, helps the individual to be a company secretary of a particular organization. The benefits of studying the Company Secretary course are –

  • By pursuing the Company Secretary course, one gets trained to perform every role and responsibility of a Company secretary.
  • Candidates can pursue this subject at any age after 17, and there is no age restriction for being a company secretary as well.
  • Candidates can have flexible working hours, and work under low stress.
  • Good compensation is another benefit of being a Company Secretary (C.S). The average salary of a Company Secretary in India is 6 lakhs per annum.
  • The Company Secretary job is highly satisfying. Being a secretary of a particular organization is a good and respected job, with a high salary and comparatively low stress.

Eligibility Criteria

Any student who aspires to become a certified Company Secretary must fulfill the given eligibility criteria to pursue the course:

  • The minimum qualification required to register for the first level (Foundation Programme or CSEET) of the Company Secretary course is to Class 12 pass in any stream (excluding Fine Arts) from a recognized university or equivalent

  • The candidate who wishes to pursue CS after graduation will have to complete only two levels: Executive Programme and Professional Programme

  • Those who have completed graduation, post-graduation (excluding Fine Arts) or have cleared Foundation level of CA and Cost Accounting course by ICWAI can directly take admission to CS Executive level

Company Secretary Skills Required

Company Secretaryship is a job that requires perseverance, mental strength, and strong convincing power. Some of the desired skillsets for this job are mentioned below:

Skillset for Company Secretary Aspirant
Strong Communication Skills Expertise in Company Law
Time Management & Multitasking  Command over Written and Spoken English
Analytical Skills Strong Numerical Skills

Company Secretary Courses, Subjects & Specialisations

This course is a corporate professional course. The Company Secretary Foundation course includes subjects like business environment, entrepreneurship, management, communication, ethics, economics, and accounting. Authorities have announced the new syllabus for ICSI CS in 2022. The new syllabus will be applicable for candidates registering from the 2023 session onwards.

The Company Secretary Executive syllabus comprises company law, commercial law, tax law, general law, securities law, and accounts & audit practice.

In the Company Secretary Final course, candidates are taught secretarial practices, and financial & treasury management. In the final module, candidates can choose one of the specializations given below:

  • Banking Law and Practice
  • Capital, Commodity, and Money Market
  • Insurance Law and Practice
  • Intellectual Property Rights – Law and Practice
  • International Business Laws and Practice

The Foundation Programme has four papers while the Executive Programme has eight papers divided into two modules and Professional Programme has nine papers divided into three modules. Candidates can check the CS syllabus below:

CS Foundation Programme

  • Business Environment and Law

  • Business Management, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship

  • Business Economics

  • Fundamentals of Accounting and Auditing

CS Executive Programme

Module module

Module II

Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws

Corporate & Management Accounting

Company Law

Securities Laws & Capital Markets

Setting up of Business Entities and Closure

Economic, Business and Commercial Laws

Tax Laws

Financial & Strategic Management

CS Professional Programme

Module module

Module II

Module III

Governance, Risk Management, Compliances, and Ethics

Secretarial Audit, Compliance Management and Due Diligence

Corporate Funding & Listings in Stock Exchanges

Advanced Tax Law

Corporate Restructuring, Insolvency, Liquidation & Winding-up multidisciplinary

Multidisciplinary Case Studies (The examination for this paper will be open-book examination)

Drafting, Pleadings and Appearances

Resolution of Corporate Disputes, Non-Compliances & Remedies

Electives: 1 paper out of below 8 papers

  • Banking – Law & Practice

  • Insurance – Law & Practice

  • Intellectual Property Rights – Laws and Practices

  • Forensic Audit

  • Direct Tax Law & Practice

  • Labour Laws & Practice

  • Valuations & Business Modelling

  • Insolvency – Law, and Practice

(The examination for this paper is an open book examination)


Company Secretary: Course Levels

Company Secretary has 3-course levels namely, Foundation Programme, Executive Programme, and Professional Programme.

Levels Description Duration Fees (INR)
CS Foundation Programme It is the first level among the Company Secretary courses and the path to becoming a Company Secretary. This course is provided by the ICSI and is a mixture of optional coaching and postal tuition classes. 8 Months 3,600
CS Executive Programme The Executive Programme is the second level of becoming a certified Company Secretary (C.S). Candidates coming from any stream can pursue this course, except fine arts. 9 Months 7,000
CS Professional Programme Candidates can only pursue this course if they have successfully cleared the executive program under the Company Secretary course. 10 Months 12,000

Fee Structure 

Candidates pursuing the CS foundation program, need to give both the admission and tuition fees. The fees for both these are INR 1200, and INR 2400 respectively. The total course fee for this course is INR 3600.

Description Fees (INR)
Admission Fees 1200
Examination Form Fee 875
Tuition Fees 2400
Total Course Fee 4475

CS Executive: Duration

Company Secretary course duration for the Executive program lasts for 9 months. The Registration for CS Executive program began on November 30, 2021, for the June session of 2022 (both modules). ICSI CS Executive program registration is open throughout the year for the exam conducted in June and December.

CS Executive: Fee Structure 

The fee structure for the CS executive program differs from the earlier one, and the total course fee is higher in this instance. The registration fee for the CS executive course is INR 1500, while there is another fee for the foundation examination exemption, which is INR 500. The tuition fee for this course is INR 5000, and the total course fee stands at INR 7000.

Description Fees (INR)
Registration 1500
Tuition Fee 5000
Examination Form fee 1800
Examination Fee 500
Total 8,800

CS Executive: Syllabus 

In the CS executive course syllabus, there will be two modules, namely I and II. In each module, there will be 4 papers. In module I, there will be the topics of Interpretation, Jurisprudence, and General laws, in the paper I, company law in paper II, setting up of business entities, and closure and tax laws in the last two papers.

On the other hand, in module the paper I will consist of corporate and management accounting, and Paper II will consist of securities laws and capital markets. In the last two papers, there will be Business, Economics and Commercial Law, and financial and strategic management respectively.

Modules Syllabus
Module I Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws
Company Law
Setting up of Business Entities and Closure
Tax Laws
Module II Corporate & Management Accounting
Securities Laws & Capital Markets
Economic, Business, and Commercial Laws
Financial and Strategic Management

CS Executive Exams Dates

To be eligible for the CS executive course, candidates have to come through the CSEET exam, i.e., CS Executive Entrance Test. Candidates having a UG or PG degree are eligible to apply for this entrance.

Exam Events June Session December Session
Registration Date Up to Nov 30, 2021 (Both Module)
Up to Jan 31, 2022 (Single Module)
May 31, 2022 (Both Module)
July 31, 2022 (Single Module)
CS Executive Exam Dates June 1 to June 10, 2022 3rd week of Dec 2022
CS Executive Result declaration date August 25, 2022 February 2023

CS Professional Course

The CS professional course is the final level of the CS program. Check out the eligibility, duration, course fee, syllabus, and entrance exams, below.

Check: CA Final

CS Professional Eligibility

For candidates seeking admission to the CS, Professional Courtney must comecome through the CS executive program successfully.

Check: CA Final Eligibility

CS Professional: Duration

The final course in the CS program is the professional course. The company secretary program lasts for three years, where the first two courses combine a duration of  the cs professional course is equal to the duration of the first two, i.e. 15 months as well.

CS Professional: Fee Structure 

The course fee for the cs professional course is the highest and certainly bigger than the first two. The registration fee for the same is INR 1500. Candidates have to pay the fee for both exemptions from the foundation and exemption from the executive program exam, which is INR 500 for both. Lastly, the tuition fee for this course is INR 9500 and combining all these, the total course fee stands at INR 12,000.

Description Fees (INR)
Examination Form Fee 2250
Registration Fee 1500
Tuition Fee 9500
Total 13,250

CS Professional: Syllabus

In the CS Professional course, there will be three modules, and each module will consist of three papers.

Module Syllabus
Module I Governance, Rgovernanceent, Compliances, and Ethics
Advanced Tax laws
Drafting, Pleadings, and Appearances
Module II Secretarial Audit, Compliance Management, and Due Diligence
Corporate Reconstructing, Insolvency, Liquidation, and Winding-up
Resolution of Corporate Disputes, Non- Compliances, and Remedies
Module III Corporate Funding and Listing in Stock Exchanges
Multidisciplinary Case Studies
Elective(1 out of below 8 subjects) Banking- Law, and Practice
Insurance- Law and Practice
Intellectual Property Rights- Laws and Practice
Forensic Audit
Direct Tax Laws and Practice
Labour Laws and Practice
Valuations and Business Modelling
Insolvency- Law, and Practice


CS Professional Exam Dates

CS Professional exams take place twice a year. This takes place mostly in the months of Jer. The CS Professional Exam Results are released after 1 month of the exam.

Exam Events June Dates December Dates
CS Professional Form submission February 7 to May 31, 2022
CS Professional Admit Card 10-12 days before the Exam To be announced
CS Professional Exam Date June 1 to June 10, 2022 To be announced
CS Professional Result August 25, 2022 To be announced

Company Secretary Training

There is some training which the students need to undergo, to complete the company secretary course. The total time to complete this training course is around 20 months approx. Check these in detail below.

Type of Training Description Duration
SIP or Student Introduction Programme Students need to pursue this training within 6 months after applying for the CS executive program, to be eligible to sit for the exams for both modules. 7 days
EDP or Executive Development Programme This training course is the most pursued among all, which the students can get into after coming through the cs training program before the 15 months of training. 8 days
Compulsory Computer Training Programme All the students have to pursue this course to get eligible for the cs executive program. 70 hours
PDP or Professional Development Programme Candidates have to pursue this training course for a period of 15 months of trail 25 hours
Specialized Agency Training Students can pursue this course after completing EDP or SIP or passing the professional program, and by completing the 15 months of training. 15 days
MSOP or Management Skills Orientation Programme This training course can be pursued if the student has been partially or fully exempted from training and has registered the documents needed to fulfill the regulation of 1982. 15 days
Professional or Management Training Candidates can pursue this course with the completion of the CS Executive or CS professional program. Students must complete their training with the companies which are registered with the Company Secretary in Practice or the ICSI Institute. 15 months
Practical Training Candidates can only pursue this training course, only if they have completed the cs professional program. Also, they are eligible to do this training only if they are exempted from undergoing the 12 months of training under the 1982 companies secretaries regulation. 3 months


Duty of a Company Secretary

The roles and responsibilities of a company secretary are as follows –

  • Company secretaries are the compliance officers and give suggestions as in-house legal experts.
  • They also play their role as a chief advisor to the board of directors in corporate governance.
  • A company secretary is an expert in corporate laws, capital markets, and securities laws.
  • They are also responsible for the regulatory compliance of an organization.
  • They also play a significant role in corporate planning and as a strategic manager.

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