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All about CS

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

As defined in the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, a ‘Company Secretary’ (CS) is a member of India’s Institute of Company Secretaries. To earn an ICSI membership, candidates are required to complete a comprehensive 3-level company secretary course. Usually, CS plays a vital role in a company’s financial and legal management


CS professionals have a bright future. It is one of the prestigious job profiles in the field of Commerce and Accounting. After completing the course, candidates can make a career in stock exchange, company affairs departments, financial auditing firms, law boards and various government departments.

Company Secretary course opens various avenues for an individual. A trained and certified Company Secretary can work as an independent advisor to a firm for procedures of loans, taxes, partnerships, government licenses, registrations, etc. or join a company secretary firm to render services to its clients.

Key responsibilities of a Company Secretary include:

  • Keep the company's records

  • Maintain company's tax returns

  • Advise the Board of Directors of their legal obligations for compliance with statutory legislations

  • Important link between the company and its board of directors, shareholders, regulatory authorities, government, and other stakeholders

  • Ensure that the procedures are followeed and regularly reviewed

  • Guiding the Chairman and the Directors on their responsibilities under various laws

  • Advising on good governance and compliance of norms as prescribed under various Corporate, Securities and other Business Laws and regulations and guidelines made thereunder

  • Assists in developing a corporate and social sustainability framework

  • Responsible for secretarial compliance audit and certification services

  • Representing the company before the law board, consumer forums, tax tribunals, securities appellate tribunal, registrars, etc.

  • Advising on arbitration, negotiation and conciliation in commercial disputes between parties and drafting the agreement

  • Advisory services to companies on tax management and tax planning under Income Tax, Excise and Customs laws, Service Tax and VAT, etc.

  • Providing advice in issues of shares and other securities in India and abroad

  • Drafting of prospectus/offer for sale/letter of offer/other documents related to issue of securities.

  • Obtaining various approvals in association with lead managers.

Company Secretary as an independent professional can render services in the following areas:

  • Legal

  • Secretarial and Corporate Governance

  • Corporate Restructuring

  • Foreign Collaboration

  • Joint Venture

  • Arbitration and Conciliation

  • Financial Management

  • Project Planning

  • Capital Market and Investor Relations

  • Due Diligence

  • Corporate Advisory Services

  • Company Secretary

The profiles that candidates get after completing the course are given below -

  • Assistance to the Board of Directors

  • Company Registrar

  • Legal Advisor

  • Corporate Policymaker

  • Chief Administrative Officer

  • Principal Secretary

  • Corporate Planning

  • Chairman, Managing Director

  • Administrative Assistant

  • Administrative Secretary

  • Investor Capital Market Relationd

  • Contents Coordinator


Eight months Study Period for each level

Three levels of exams

Minimum CS program duration

10+2 - 3.5 years

Graduates - 2.5 years


  • Students with 10+2 can start with the foundation program

  • Those who have completed either foundation level or are graduates can opt for the executive program.

  • To pursue the professional program, it is mandatory to complete the executive program

Exam Ladder

After passing 10+2 (except Fine Arts students), candidates must complete the foundation program. The minimum duration for the program is eight months, but it must be completed within three years of registration. Aspirants can take the exams only after the completion of nine months from the date of registration

Those who have cleared the foundation program or are graduates (except in Fine Arts) can enroll for the executive program.

The minimum duration is one year and must be completed within five years of registration for the program. The executive program consists of two modules, and students can sit for exams of both modules after completing a minimum of 9 months of study course

Only those who have completed the executive program can enroll in the professional program. The minimum program duration is one year, but it must be completed within five years from the date of registration for the executive program.

Registration Procedure


31st March for appearing in December Examination in the same year

30th September for June Examination next year


28th February for appearing in both modules in December Exams in the same year

31st May for appearing in single module in December Examination in the same year

31st August for appearing in both modules in June Exam in the next year

30th November for appearing in single module in June Examination in the next year


30th November for both modules in June Examination in the next year

31st January for single module in June of the same year

31st May for both modules in December of the same year

31st July for single module in December of the same year

Registrations Fees

  • Foundation Level - INR 4,500/-

  • Executive Level -

Commerce Graduate: INR 9,000/-

Foundation passed of ICAI/CMA: INR 12,500/-

Non-commerce student: INR 10,000/-

CS Foundation passed student:INR 8,500/-

  • Professional Level - INR 12,000


Examination is conducted twice a year in June and December.

Medium of Examination

The Institute allows facility to students to appear in examination in English as well as in Hindi.

(Except Business Communication subject of Foundation Program)

Qualifying Marks

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

Examination fees

Foundation: Rs. 1200/-

Executive: Rs. 1200/- per module

Professional: Rs. 1200/- per module


CS Foundation

(4 papers)

Paper 1: Business Environment & Laws

Paper 2: Business Management, Ethics & Entrepreneurship

Paper 3: Business Economics

Paper 4: Fundamentals of Accounting and Auditing

CS Executive

(2 Modules * 4 papers= 8 Papers)

Paper 1: Jurisprudence, Interpretation and General Laws

Paper 2: Company Law

Paper 3: Setting up of Business Entities and Closure

Paper 4: Tax Law

Paper 5: Corporate & Management Accounting

Paper 6: Securities Laws & Capital Markets

Paper 7: Economic, Business & Commercial Laws

Paper 8: Financial and Strategic Management

CS Professional

(3 Modules * 3 papers= 9 Papers)

Paper 1: Governance, risk management, compliances & ethics

Paper 2: Advanced Tax Laws

Paper 3: Drafting, pleadings & appearance

Paper 4: Secretarial Audit

Paper 5: Corporate Restructuring

Paper 6: Resolution of Corporate Dispute

Paper 7: Corporate Funding & Listings in stock exchange

Paper 8: Multidisciplinary Case Studies

Paper 9: Electives (1 out of the below 8 subjects)

9.1- Banking law and practice

9.2- Insurance law and practice

9.3- Intellectual Property Rights- Laws & Practice

9.4- Forensic Audit

9.5- Direct Tax Law & Practice

9.6- Labour Laws & Practice

9.7- Valuations & Business Modelling

9.8- Insolvency - Law & Practie


Oral Coaching: As part of the formal education requirements, 30 lectures of 2 hours duration for each subject are mandatory for the foundation program. For the executive program, 35 classes of 2 hours for each subject are compulsory. For the professional program, 40 lectures of 2 hours for each professional program topic are mandatory.

Other short-term training programs: After completion of the executive program, students are required to complete.

EDP: Students also have to undergo an Executive Development Program (EDP) of 8 days after completing the executive program and before the 15 months training.

Fifteen months Management Training (including PDP): After passing the executive program, candidates are required to undergo 15 months of management training under a company secretary in practice or with a company. This training includes 25 hours of Professional Development Programme (PDP).

Training programs (SIP), Compulsory Computer Training: Within six months of registering for the executive program, candidates must complete a 7-day Student Induction Programme (SIP). Additionally, students have to complete a 70-hour compulsory computer training program to enroll for the executive program exams, including two days of induction, three days of e-governance, five days of skill development, and five days of entrepreneurship development.

15 Days Specialized Training: Candidates are required to undergo 15 days of training in a specialized agency such as the Office of the Registrar of Companies (ROC), stock exchange, financial or banking institutions, or a management consultancy firm. This training is only undertaken after passing the professional program examination and completing the SIP, EDP, and a 15 months training program.

MSOP: There are 15 days of Management Skills Orientation Programme (MSOP) after the professional program and 15 months of training.

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