This page provides Company Secretary Course Details such as Company Secretary Course in India, Company Secretary Course Syllabus, etc. One of the most prestigious jobs in India is that of a Company Secretary. It is viewed as a great money-making opportunity, which is perceived as equally respectful. So, before dwelling on the various details pertaining to the Company Secretary course, we should first brief ourselves with a general understanding about a Company Secretary. This will assist the readers in a greater appreciation of the course details which shall be mentioned later in the article.
A Company Secretary, which is also known as CA, refers to a senior position in a public sector organization or private sector company and is usually a managerial position or above. In publicly listed companies operating in the United States of America and Canada, a Company Secretary is normally referred to as a Secretary or a Corporate Secretary. A Company Secretary bears the responsibility for systematic administration of an organization or a company, especially in the area relating to compliance with regulatory and statutory requirements and implementation of the decisions taken by the company’s Board of Directors. Thus, a Company Secretary is an integral component in the effective functioning of the administrative wheel.
The term “Company Secretary” is a misnomer, as the functions of a Company Secretary are not clerical in nature. It oversees the compliance with law and regulations, keeps the high echelons of the company (most importantly, the Board of Directors) informed about the statutory obligations they are bound to perform, among many other responsibilities. On Legal documents, a CS is named as a representative of the company. Additionally, a Company Secretary is also responsible for registration and communication with shareholders, overseeing that the dividends are duly paid and that the records of the company are maintained and routinely updated, such as lists of shareholders and directors, annual accounts, etc. In many countries, it is a legal mandate for private companies to appoint a Company Secretary, who should typically be a senior member of the board. Now having discussed what a Company Secretary and its functions are, let us move to the course and its details.
Eligibility Criteria for Company Secretary Course
The eligible criterion for the CS Foundation course requires the interested candidates to have qualified a Senior Secondary Examination of a recognized Board or a University established by the law in India or any examination, which has been recognized by the Union Government or any equivalent. There is an exemption to the Foundation Course available to the graduates and post-graduates (though fine arts is excluded) and those who have qualified the Foundation Examination or the Common Proficiency Test (abbreviated as CPT) conducted by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India or for that matter any recognized accountancy institution in the country or overseas recognized by the Council of Institute. Such graduates and post-graduates can seek direct enrolment to the Executive Program level of the CS course.
Course Structure of Company Secretary Course
The scheme of the Company Secretary course consists of 4 papers for the CS Foundation Programme, 7 papers for the CS Executive Programme, and 8 papers for CS Professional Programme. The Foundation Programme covers Business Management, Ethics and Communication, Fundamentals of Accounting and Auditing, Business Environment & Entrepreneurship, and Business Economics.
The 7 papers in the Executive programme are divided into two modules. The first module covers subjects Company Law, Economic and Commercial Laws, Tax Laws and Practice, and Cost and Management Accounting. The second module covers Company Accounts and Auditing Practices, Industrial, Labour and General Laws, and Capital Markets and Securities Laws
Lastly, the Professional Programme, in which the 8 papers are divided into four modules. The first module covers subjects Drafting, Appearances and Pleadings and Company Secretarial Practice. The second module covers Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency and Financial, Treasury and Forex Management. The third module covers Advance Tax Laws and Practices and Strategic Management, Alliances and International Trade. Finally, in the fourth module the subjects covered are Governance, Business Ethics and Sustainability and Due Diligence and Corporate Compliance Management.
Examination medium and qualifying marks
The examination is conducted biennially in the months of June and December. The organizing institute facilitates the candidates to give the examinations in Hindi as well as English, with the exception in subject Business Communication. A candidate is required to secure minimum 40 percent in every paper and 50 percent aggregate in all the subjects in each course.
As mentioned above, it is required that the candidates qualify the courses. Following this, the selected candidates undergo Management training in companies for a period of 15 months. The training is sponsored by the ICSI after having successfully qualified the examinations. Upon successful competition of the training, the candidate is admitted but initially as an Associate Secretary of the Institute. This entitles the candidate to suffix his name with ACS (which denotes Associate Company Secretary).
Job and Career options after Company Secretary Course
A Company Secretary is regarded as one of the most respectable jobs, which can only be secured after a long, arduous but successful academic struggle. The course is tough and requires determined intellectual involvement of the individual. Considering the nature of the job, there are many lucrative job and career opportunities available.
A Company Secretary acts as a legal officer, monitoring the compliance of corporate bodies with regulations and statutory provisions. He is the chief counsel to the Board of Directors and thus, has a say in the decision-making process. A CS is therefore required in different disciplines.
A Company Secretary can render his services in Financial Market services, management services, corporate law advisory, etc. He can engage himself in corporate and secretarial governance, project planning, investor relations and capital market.
A Company Secretary is entitled to practice independently and has the authority to issue and attest certificates. This authority is derived from multiple legislations such as the Company Act 2013, The Securities Exchange Board of India Act, the Depositories Act 1996, etc. Prior to setting up of independent practice, the CS is required to obtain a Certificate of Practice from the Institute. All of this gives a clear picture that opportunities to a Company Secretary are endless.