CS Course Details, Eligibility, Registration, Syllabus, Fees & Exam Dates

In this article, we will have an in-depth analysis of CS (Company Secretary) course. Here, you will find details such as – eligibility criteria, course duration, course content, admission, syllabus, exam pattern, fees, career prospects and salary.

Company Secretary

If you want to take up a managerial/senior administrative role in a private or public sector company, CS course could be of help to you! This program is known to churn out skilled Company Secretaries!

Who is a Company Secretary? What are his/her tasks? What is it like to become a CS? You will find answers to these questions in the next section.


Who is a Company Secretary?

In simple terms, a Company Secretary is responsible for the efficient administration of a company. He/she is responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and for ensuring that the decisions of the Board of Directors are implemented.


In India, every listed company and certain non-listed & private companies are required to have a qualified CS appointed (in a managerial or administrative role).


CS is a challenging and well rewarding profession. It is a very senior position. Company Secretaries are usually appointed to key managerial or administrative roles. They have opportunities available in both private and public sector firms.


If any company (private or public) wants to conduct its operations in India, it must follow certain business laws, regulations and requirements. It is the task of a CS to ensure compliance with the above mentioned regulations.


A qualified CS is knowledgeable in the following areas –

  • Compliance Laws
  • Corporate Laws
  • Corporate Governance
  • Company Regulatory Compliance
  • Strategic Management
  • Corporate Decision Making
  • Corporate Finance Management


“How to become a CS?”, you may ask. You’ll find answers to this question in the next section. Here you go –


How to become a CS in India?

In order to become a CS in India, you must become an Associate Member of ICSI. ICSI stands for the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.


ICSI is the professional body that develops and regulates Company Secretary training, profession and membership in India. This body was established by Act of parliament for taking care of CS profession, training and membership!


“How to become an Associate Member of ICSI?”, you may ask. In order to become an ASC (Associate Company Secretary), you must successfully complete the three stages of Company Secretary course – Foundation Programme, Executive Programme and Professional Programme.


After completing the above mentioned programmes, candidates must also successfully complete 15 months management training in Companies sponsored by ICSI or under the guidance of a practicing CS.


15 months management training can be taken up by candidates who have passed Executive or Professional Programme. After passing Professional Programme examination and completing management training, a candidate may register himself/herself as an Associate Member of ICSI.


Apart from the three programmes and 15 months management training, CS aspirants are also supposed to complete a string of training and grooming programs. Details about these training and grooming programs have been provided ahead in this article.


Let us take a closer look at the course now. In the next section, you will find details such as – course structure, content & syllabus, eligibility criteria, registration and admission process.


Company Secretary Course Details

Company Secretary course consists of three main stages. They are –

  • Foundation Programme
  • Executive Programme
  • Professional Programme


Eligibility criteria associated with each stage is different. Let us check them out –


Eligibility Criteria

  • Foundation Programme: 10+2 pass or equivalent students of Arts, Science or Commerce stream (Excluding Fine Arts)
  • Executive Programme: can be pursued by a Graduate of all streams except Fine Arts.
  • Professional Programme: can be pursued only after clearing the Executive Programme of CS Course


If you are a 12th passed student, you must register for the foundation programme. Eventually, you may clear it and register for executive programme. After qualifying executive stage, you may register for professional programme.


If you hold a relevant Bachelor’s Degree, you may register directly for Executive programme. After qualifying executive stage, you may register for professional programme.


Admission, Registration & Important Dates 2022

Admission to CS course is open throughout the year. Examinations and held twice a year in June and December.


Here are the important admission cut-off dates –

  • Foundation Programme: 31st March for appearing in December Examination in the same year & 30th September for June Examination next year.
  • Executive Programme: 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 OR 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.



Foundation programme consists of 4 papers. They are –

  • Business Environment and Law
  • Business Management, Ethics and Entrepreneurship
  • Business Economics
  • Fundamentals of Accounting and Auditing


Executive programme consists of 7 papers (divided into 2 modules). Module-1 consists of 4 papers and Module-2 consists of 3 papers. They are –

  • Company Law (Module 1)
  • Cost and Management Accounting (Module 1)
  • Economic and Commercial Laws (Module 1)
  • Tax Laws and Practice (Module 1)
  • Company Accounts and Auditing Practices (Module 2)
  • Capital Markets and Securities Laws (Module 2)
  • Industrial Labour and General Laws (Module 2)


Professional programme is divided into 3 modules and also consists of elective subjects (candidate has to choose 1 elective subject out of 5) . They are –

  • Advanced Company Law and Practice (Module 1)
  • Secretarial Audit, Compliance Management and Due Diligence (Module 1)
  • Corporate Restructuring, Valuation and Insolvency (Module 1)
  • Information Technology and Systems Audit (Module 2)
  • Financial, Treasury and Forex Management (Module 2)
  • Ethics, Governance and Sustainability (Module 2)
  • Advanced Tax Laws and Practice (Module 3)
  • Drafting, Appearances and Pleadings (Module 3)
  • Banking Law and Practice (Elective subject)
  • Capital, Commodity and Money Market (Elective subject)
  • Insurance Law and Practice (Elective subject)
  • Intellectual Property Rights – Law and Practice (Elective subject)
  • International Business-Laws and Practices (Elective subject)



Fees charged varies from one stage to another. It also varies depending upon the stream that a candidate is hailing from.


Here’s the detailed fee structure –

  • Foundation Programme: 4500 INR
  • Executive Programme: 9000 INR for Commerce Graduates | 12500 INR for CPT passed of ICAI / Foundation passed of ICAI-CMA | 10000 INR for Non-Commerce Students | 8500 INR for CS Foundation Programme Passed students
  • Professional Programme: 12500 INR


Exam pattern, Fees and Dates 2022

CS examination is conducted twice a year in June and December. The last date for submission of exam application form is –

  • 25th March (with late fee of Rs. 250/- till 9th April) [for exam in June]
  • 25th September (with late fee of Rs. 250/- till 10th October) [for exam in December]


Examination fees charged is as follows –

  • Foundation Programme: 1200 INR
  • Executive Programme: 1200 INR per module
  • Professional Programme: 1200 INR per module


The Institute allows facility to students to appear in examination in English as well as in Hindi (Except Business Communication subject of Foundation Program). 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.


Also read: CA Course

CMA course

Actuarial Science courses


A student is required to complete the Executive and the Professional examination within the registration period. However, on payment of requisite fees the validity of registration may be renewed / extended for further period subject to fulfilling the applicable guidelines.


Training & Development Programs

As part of CS course, candidates are required to undergo the following training and development programs –

  • Computer Training
  • Student Induction Programme
  • Executive Development Programme
  • Long Terms Internship with specified entities (Three years on registration to Executive Programme or Two years after passing the Executive Programme or One year after passing the Professional Programme)
  • Professional Development Programme
  • Training with specialised agency
  • Management Skills Orientation Programme (15 days)


Career prospects

A qualified CS is knowledgeable in areas such as –

  • Compliance Laws
  • Corporate Laws
  • Corporate Governance
  • Company Regulatory Compliance
  • Strategic Management
  • Corporate Decision Making
  • Corporate Finance Management


Thanks to this diverse set of skills that they possess, Company Secretaries have diverse job profiles available in front of them! They have access to both Government and Private sector jobs.


As I mentioned before, thanks to the Companies Act, every listed company and certain non-listed & private companies are required to have a qualified CS appointed (in a managerial or administrative role).


This has resulted in huge demand for skilled CSs! Moreover, Companies need a skilled manager to take care of legal aspects, compliance, finance, mergers and acquisition etc.


Company Secretaries are usually hired by –

  • Government Organizations & PSUs
  • Private Companies (Listed and Non-listed)
  • MNCs
  • Corporate Houses
  • Law Firms
  • Consultancies
  • Industrial Firms
  • Healthcare Institutes
  • Pharmaceutical Firms



Starting salary of a Company Secretary depends upon a number of factors. Some of the prominent factors are –

  • Status of the employer
  • Skills
  • Job location


On an average, starting salary could be anywhere between 45-80K INR per month. In case of a Government job, the salary will be as per the pay scale and grade.

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