Do you want to be a Company Secretary?

9 min


The word ‘secretary’ can fill your mind with images of a person living as per the whims and fancies of his boss. And we don’t blame you. That is almost what a secretary’s job is to follow the boss’ orders. However, a Company Secretary is not your average Secretary. In fact, it is one of the most coveted and specialized professions which only a few can enter.

So who is a Company Secretary? In simple words, he can be defined as someone who is at a very senior level management position. He has a very important role to play and is recognized as key managerial personnel along with the CEO and Managing Director of a company.

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A Company Secretary has a multidisciplinary role. He is an in-house legal expert in corporate laws, securities laws & capital market and corporate governance; a compliance officer of the company; chief advisor to the Board of directors of a company on best practices in corporate governance; responsible for all regulatory compliances of a company; corporate planner and strategic manager among other things.

What else is there? Read on to find out.             



Indian Companies Act 2103 has made it mandatory for a certain class of companies to appoint a Company Secretary.  The demand for a company secretary is thus on a rise with the rapid expansion of companies. According to ICSI, by the year 2020, our country will require some 50,000 Company Secretaries.

Ease and Comfort

You can pursue this course along with your graduation. This professional course does not require your full-time involvement like other courses.

No stress

A Company Secretary is required to do administrative work but there is no limitation of time. You won’t have to be stressed about meeting deadlines anymore.

No age restriction

Anybody can face and fight this exam.  Age here is actually just a number. There are no such restrictions on the age of candidates. You only have to possess the right attitude, be a team player and have good decision-making skills.

Flexible working hours

It is often hard to maintain a work-life balance. But within this profession, you will find yourself to be a follower of the “all work and no play makes you dull” philosophy. The working hours are very flexible. There is no need for doing overtime unless it is very important.

Job Satisfaction

It is not easy to find satisfaction with one’s job. But here, you receive many perks as well as job satisfaction. You can get bigger managerial positions quite early in your career.


In order to become a Company Secretary, interested candidates must get themselves registered with the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) to become its members. It is a statutory professional body which promotes, regulates, and develops the profession. This membership is earned after completing the three level courses.

The admissions are open throughout the year. Exams are held twice a year—in June and December. The candidates can appear in examination in English as well as Hindi (except the business communication paper of Foundation Programme)

Foundation Programme

Candidates coming from any stream except Fine Arts can take the Foundation Programme after completing class 12th. This programme consists of four papers.

Those candidates who have passed CAT, XAT, NMAT, GMAT, SNAT, MH-CET, and ATMA can seek exemption from Foundation Course but only after receiving prior approval from ICSI.

Executive Programme

After completing the Foundation programme, ICSI selects 50 candidates for admission to the Executive Programme. Admissions to this programme also based upon the personal interview conducted by ICSI. Interviews and group discussions are held by ICSI to test the candidates on their general aptitude.

Graduate candidates can directly pursue the Executive programme. There are eight papers divided into two modules. The exams are held between the months of November and January in the following year.

Professional Programme

It is the final stage and can only be pursued after finishing the Executive Programme. There are nine papers divided into three modules in CS Professional programme. The syllabus is known for its complexity.

The exam is conducted online by ICSI. The candidate is declared passed if he/she scores at one sitting a minimum of 40% marks in each paper for all three programmes and 50% marks in aggregate of all subjects.


In addition to these exams, the candidates have to undergo practical training for about 15 months with companies sponsored by ICSI after passing the Executive or Professional Programme.

On successful completion of these exams and training, a candidate can avail the membership of ICSI to become a certified Company Secretary.


CS Foundation Programme:  Rs. 4,500

CS Executive Programme: ranging from Rs. 9,000 to 12,500

CS Professional Programme: Rs. 12,000


Starting salary: 25,000 to 1 lakh per month

It depends upon where you work the type of training you have had and years of experience.


Submission of online request for change of Exam Centre (June): 10 April 2019 to 16 May 2019

Executive/Professional Programme Exam: 1 June 2019 to 10 June 2019

Foundation Programme Exam:  8, 9 June 2019

Last date for submission of application (December): 25 September 2019

Last date for submission with late fee (December): 10 October 2019

All the best!

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Picture Credit: Google Images

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