How to Become Company Secretary: The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) is a premier national professional body constituted under an Act of Parliament i.e., the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 regulate and develop the profession of Company Secretaries. Headquarterd at New Delhi and Noida, the ICSI has 4 Regional Offices at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi,  and 73 Chapters located in various cities across India.

ICSI is having two overseas centres at Dubai and New York.

The ICSI has on its rolls more than 58,000 qualified CS members both in employment and in practice and around 3,50,000 students pursuing the Company Secretaryship Course.

The Company Secretary has been given statutory recognition of Key Managerial Personnel (KMP) under the Companies Act, 2013.


In this article you can find everything you want to know about How to become company secretary. Here we are providing complete details like –

  • The Role of Company Secretary ,
  • Company Secretary Course Highlights,
  • Stages to become a Company Secretary,
  • Cut off dates for admission to CS course,
  • Subjects of Company Secretary Course,
  • Qualifying Marks
  • Existing training requirements
  • Employment opportunities in India and abroad .

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How to Become Company Secretary

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The Role of Company Secretary :


  • Advisor to the Board of Directors
  • Key Managerial
  • Personnel (KMP)
  • Compliance Officer
  • Corporate Risk Manager
  • Corporate Planner & Strategic Manager


  • Secretarial Auditor
  • Registered Valuer
  • Insolvency Professional
  • Expert under Corporate Laws
  • NCLT Practitioner
  • IPR, International Trade & WTO Services
  • Mediator and Conciliator
  • GST Professional
  • Representation Services
  • IPR, International Trade & WTO Services

Company Secretary Course Highlights:

  • No Entry Barrier – opportunity for every student
  • Cost Effective
  • Distance Learning – any where in the world
  • 24×7 study through e-learning
  • Flexibility in the schedules – Registration valid for 3 to 5 years.
  • Excellent career opportunities for CS professional
  • Position of Power and Prestige
  • Offers Self Employment  and Job Opportunities
  • Direct Access to Top Management / Board Room
  • Good remuneration and growth opportunities

Stages to become a Company Secretary:

The student who would like to join the Course after 10+2 pass or equivalent has to undergo three stages to pursue the Company Secretaries Course i.e

  • Foundation Programme (Now CSEET)
  • Executive Programme
  • Professional Programme

Foundation Programme which is of eight months duration can be pursued by 10+2 pass or equivalent students of Arts, Science or Commerce stream (Excluding Fine Arts)

Note – Foundation Programme Registration is normally valid for a period of three years from the date of registration or till student passes the CS Foundation Programme examination of the Institute whichever is earlier subject to the Regulation of the Institute, as in force from time to time. Further, New Admissions to the Foundation Programme of CS Course stands discontinued from 3rd February 2020.
(Note : Existing Foundation Programme Students shall be allowed to appear in the Foundation Programme Examinations till expiry of the validity of their registrations. Such students, after passing the Foundation Programme Examinations, may register for Executive Programme as per existing process.)

CS Executive Entrance Test (CSEET) is being introduced which will be a mandatory qualifying test for all categories of students for registration to Executive Programme except a few exempted categories. Graduates / Post raduates, who were hitherto eligible to seek registration directly to Executive Programme, will also have to qualify the CSEET to become eligible for registration to Executive Programme.

In order to become eligible for registration as a student of Executive Programme, an applicant, who is an Indian National, shall apply in the appropriate form, along with the student registration fee, annual subscription, if applicable, education fee and such other fees, as may be determined by the Council and shall also produce proof to the satisfaction of the Council that he,-

  • (i) has passed Senior Secondary Examination (10+2 system) conducted by an examining body constituted by law in India or an examination recognised by the Central Government or State Government or equivalent thereto for the purposes of admission to Bachelor’s degree course and has complied with such requirements as may be determined by the Council; and
  • (ii) has passed Company Secretary Executive Entrance Test (CSEET) conducted by the Institute in such manner, mode and eligibility as may be determined by the Council or any other test or examination recognised or equivalent thereto or exempted therefrom by the Council:

The following categories of students shall be exempted from qualifying CSEET and can seek registration directly to Executive Programme :

  • a) CS Foundation Programme passed students Exemption Fee – Nil
  • b) ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) Final Course passed students – Exemption Fee : Rs.5000/-
  • c) ICMAI (The Institute of Cost Accountants of India) Final Course passed students – Exemption Fee: Rs. 5000/-.

Professional Programme can be pursued only after clearing the Executive Programme of CS Course

ADMISSION TO THE CS COURSE is open throughout the year. Examinations are held twice a year in June & December.Students have to register online at

Cut off dates for admission to CS course

For Foundation Programme31st March for appearing in December Examination  in the same year
30th September for June Examination next year
For  Executive Programme28th February for appearing in both modules in December Exams in the same year  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.

Subjects for CS Course

There are 4 papers in CS  Foundation Programme (wef. 1st April 2017)
There are 8 papers divided into 2 Modules in CS Executive Programme (wef.1st April 2017 )
There are 9 papers divided into 4  Modules in CS   Professional  Programme (wef.1st April 2017 )

CSEET Subjects

The Syllabus of CSEET shall comprise of four papers and the nomenclature of the papers is as under:

  • (i) Paper 1 : Business Communication (50 marks)
  • (ii) Paper 2 : Legal Aptitude and Logical Reasoning (50 marks)
  • (iii) Paper 3 : Economic and Business Environment (50 marks)
  • (iv) Paper 4 : Current Affairs, Presentation and Communication Skills (Viva Voce) (50 marks)

Foundation Subjects

Foundation Programme New syllabus(2017) [4 papers]Business Environment and Law
Business Management, Ethics and Entrepreneurship
Business Economics
Fundamentals of Accounting and Auditing
Note:The mode of examination will be Computer based MCQs.

All candidates registered under Syllabus (2012), enrolled for the Foundation Programme examination shall be examined under Syllabus (2017), from June 2018 session onwards, i.e., candidates shall be compulsorily switched over from Syllabus (2012) to Syllabus (2017) for Foundation Programme Examination with effect from June 2018

Executive Programme New syllabus(2017) [8 papers]
Module I
1.Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws
2.Company Law
3.Setting up of Business Entities and Closure
4.Tax Laws
Module II
(4 papers)
5.Corporate & Management Accounting
6.Securities Laws & Capital Markets
7.Economic, Business and Commercial Laws
8.Financial and Strategic Management

1. The last examination of the Executive Programme under the old syllabus shall be held in December, 2019.

2. From and including June 2020, Executive Programme Examination shall be held under the new syllabus only.

3.It has been decided by the institute that examination of following subjects shall be held in MCQ based OMR format w.e.f. December 2019

  • Module 1 Paper 4-Tax Laws
  • Module 2 Paper 5-Corporate & Management Accounting
  • Module 2 Paper 8.Financial and Strategic Management
Professional Programme New syllabus(2017) [9 papers]
Module I
(3 papers)
1.Governance, Risk Management, Compliances and Ethics
2.Advanced Tax Laws
3.Drafting, Pleadings and Appearances
Module II
(3 papers)
4.Secretarial Audit, Compliance Management and Due Diligence
5.Corporate Restructuring, Insolvency, Liquidation & Winding-up
6.Resolution of Corporate Disputes,Non-Compliances & Remedies
Module III
(3 papers)
7.Corporate Funding & Listings in Stock Exchanges
8.Multidisciplinary Case Studies (The examination for this paper
will be open book examination)
9.Electives 1 paper out of below 8 papers:

9.1 Banking – Law & Practice
9.2 Insurance– Law & Practice
9.3 Intellectual Property Rights– Laws and Practices
9.4 Forensic Audit
9.5 Direct Tax Law & Practice
9.6 Labour Laws & Practice
9.7 Valuations & Business Modelling
9.8 Insolvency – Law and Practice
(The examination for this paper will be open book examination)


1. Candidates registered prior to 1st September, 2018 will be permitted to appear in the Professional Programme Examination under the new syllabus if they so opt.

2. The last examination of the Professional Programme under the old syllabus shall be held in June, 2020.

3. From and including December 2020, Professional Programme Examination shall be held under the new syllabus only.

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.

Existing training requirements 

The students are required to undergo the following trainings:

Type of Training Duration of trainingEarlier Training Structure
(Applicable to students
registered in CS Executive
Programme on or before
31.03.14 )
Modified Training
Structure (Applicable to
students registered in CS
Executive Programme on
or after 01.04.14 )
Computer TrainingSeventy HoursNot ApplicableNot Applicable
Student Induction
Programme (SIP)
Seven days (to be undergone
after taking registration in
Executive Programme )
Not ApplicableNot Applicable
Programme (EDP)
Eight days (to be undergone after
passing examinations of
Executive Programme )

(If any student is completing 3 days e Governance & 5 days Skill Development of 15 days Academic Program, it will be treated equivalent to completing of 08 days’ EDP).
Not Applicable
15 days Academic
(2 days Induction+ 3 days eGovernance + 5 days Skill
Development +5 days
Not applicableApplicable on the Students
passing Executive
Programme Examination
on or after 25.08.2015
Long term
internship with
specified entities
Fifteen months (after passing Executive Programme)Three years on registration to Executive Programme;
Two years after passing the Executive Programme ;Or
One Year after passing the Professional Programme
Programme (PDP)
Twenty four hoursApplicableNot applicable
Training with
specialized agency
Fifteen days (to be undergone
after passing examination of
Professional Programme)
ApplicableNot applicable
Management Skills
Fifteen days)to be undergone
after completion of all
Trainings/Exemption therefrom)
ApplicableNot applicable


After qualifying the CS Professional Programme and on completion of training as provided under the CS Regulations, a candidate is enrolled as an Associate Member of the Institute and he can use the descriptive title ACS; after his / her name.

Employment Opportunities

As a qualified company secretary, one can find good positions in the private sector and public sectors, banks and financial institutions. You can also look for openings in stock exchanges, the Department of Company Affairs, company law boards and various government departments.

Also,The Institute’s Headquarters and its Regional Offices provide placement assistance to its members.

Campus Placements are also organised for young Company Secretaries looking for employment and students looking for training through Placement and Trainee Drives .

Opportunities Abroad

A qualified company secretary may nevertheless find employment opportunities similar to those available to business graduates in the USA, Australia UK or other European countries.

Icsi MOU with Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)

The ICSI and Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) having regard for each other’s high standards of examination for mutual benefit of members  signed an MOU on 13th November, 1998 providing for reciprocal exemptions of subjects as well as training requirements to members of each other’s Institutes.

Further more, ICSA and ICSI have signed a supplement to the existing MoU for inclusion of subjects as per New Syllabus of ICSI and ICSA and extended the same with nine divisions of ICSA namely Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, Zimbabwe, UKRIAT, Canada, Hong Kong/China, Malaysia and Singapore. Henceforth, members of the ICSI can study with the ICSA divisions of their choice, subject to residency requirements in some countries.

Latest Comments

  1. Please explain more about traing and how to approach companies for training. And what if when we doesnt go for traing?

  2. Sir I’m qualified in cpt and IPCC I would like to know about CS process after IPCC and fee structure .is it same for any caste if not please inform me I hope you will help me.thank you sir.

  3. Res sir

    Kindly I request plz suggest me which course is better for my carrier ,Cs or CMA due to iam working in Mahindra fin as a branch account head credit department & told me current fee structure about both courses


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