ICSA – Chartered Secretaries Qualifying Scheme (CSQS)2018-10-29T16:15:58+00:00


Kensington College of Business (KCB) has had accredited status with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) since 1984 and is proud to provide the Chartered Secretaries Qualifying Scheme (CSQS).

The CSQS is one of the most broad-based qualifying schemes available, equipping successful ICSA graduates for a variety of different career paths and giving them chartered status upon completion.

CSQS is set at Level 6 and 7 qualification (postgraduate level) and is comprised of two sets of four modules.  Assessment of each module is via a three-hour written examination, held in June and November.

Completion of the first four modules allows students to opt for certification for a Professional Diploma in Governance for a small fee, to show that they are part-qualified.

Completion of the remaining four modules gives students graduate status, and the post-nominal GradICSA may be used.

ICSA graduates, upon fulfilment of the work experience requirement, can apply for full chartered status and membership of ICSA as a chartered secretary.


Course Content

CSQS consists of eight modules over two levels.

Level one

  • Financial Reporting and Analysis – provides the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and supervise execution of the financial responsibilities of a chartered secretary.
  • Applied Business Law – a general framework of the legal principles underpinning business law, as appropriate to the role of the chartered secretary.
  • Corporate Governance OR Health Service Governance – provides the knowledge and key skills necessary to be an adviser to governing authorities across the private, public and voluntary sectors, or the NHS in the case of the health service governance module.
  • Corporate Law – provides an understanding of the legal framework governing organisations with particular focus on the registered company but with applications in all sectors.

Level two

  • Financial Decision Making – provides the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate the impact of financial decisions on different constituencies of stakeholder.
  • Strategy in Practice – examines the elements, processes and techniques involved in the development and implementation of organisational strategy.
  • Corporate Secretarial Practice – examines the role of the chartered secretary in promoting and reinforcing good governance across an organisation through compliance with statutory obligations.
  • Chartered Secretaries Case Study – this module draws on knowledge from all the syllabuses of the other seven modules, demonstrating mastery of the content of CSQS and application of the required knowledge and skills to a business case example.

The full syllabus can be found on the ICSA website.


CSQS is an open entry qualification – meaning anyone can study to become chartered.  Dependent on existing qualifications and experience, there are different routes through the qualification.

Standard route – for non-degree holders or those with non-related degrees.  Students who do not have a degree or have a degree in a non-related subject must complete all eight modules of CSQS.

Related degree route – for those with degrees in law or finance.  Students can apply for exemption of up to two modules.

Law or finance fast track routes – for qualified finance or law professionals with up to five years’ appropriate post-qualifying experience.  Fast track students can apply for exemptions for four of the eight modules.

Fast track professional route – for qualified finance or law professionals with over five years’ appropriate post-qualifying experience.  Fast track professional students are only required to take two of the eight modules.

Please note that all exemptions must be applied for through ICSA not KCB.

Course Fees

The cost for tuition of each CSQS module is £350.

The cost for revision before the examinations is £250-300 per module.

Fees should be paid in full before the course begins.

Payment can be made by bank transfer, cheque or by debit/credit card in person.  Please note that card payment cannot be made over the telephone.

Students can apply to start classes in either February (for June examinations) or September (for November examinations).

Classes are held one evening per week per module (with some weekend classes for some modules).

We also offer weekend revision courses in May and November prior to the exams.  These revision classes are available to students who are attending the evening classes and to those who aren’t.

Exams are held twice a year in June and November.  You can take a maximum of two exams in a single session.

Thinking about how many modules you will be taking and how many hours per week you can dedicate to study will give you an indication of how long it might take to complete CSQS.  The quickest time is 2.5 years.

get the latest csqs calendar here

Undertaking a professional qualification like CSQS is a big decision and requires careful consideration.

Entry requirements

CSQS is open-entry qualification; ICSA leave it up to you to decide whether your previous qualifications or experience are suitable.

That said, it’s worth bearing in mind that CSQS is set at levels six and seven on the UK Higher Education Framework – the equivalent of a final year undergraduate degree and a Masters programme, respectively.  If you have no degree-level qualifications or relevant professional experience, think about the level and breadth of the qualification before registering.


All ICSA study material is produced in English.  All examinations are all conducted in English.

If English is not your first language, we recommend a score of six or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent.  It will help if you have previously studied other subjects or have done essay-style assessment in English before.

Time commitment

The vast majority of our CSQS students study whilst they work, so it’s good to think about time commitment required for CSQS and how it might fit into your existing schedule.

ICSA recommend 150 hours of study per module – incorporating tuition, reading the study text, wider reading, online support, study time with other candidates, practice assessments and the exam.


If you would like to apply for this course please complete the below application form and return it to the college together with your payment.

download application form here

Sponsored students should provide a letter from their sponsor.  This letter should state that you are being sponsored for the duration of this course and to whom/where they would like the invoice sent to.

This course is not appropriate for international students who require sponsorship for immigration purposes.

Please note that we are simply tuition providers for this course.  All students must pay an initial registration fee and their subscription fee to ICSA.  Exams and exemptions are also paid for separately to ICSA.

Students must purchase the study books from ICSA before starting classes.