Chartered membership


Membership of ICSA gives you internationally-valued recognition of your skills and capabilities. It demonstrates that you are a highly-qualified governance professional who is committed to continuous professional development and works to a respected code of conduct and ethics.

You can become a member through successful completion of either the ICSA qualifying programme or a validated postgraduate course, and gaining relevant work experience.

The levels of ICSA membership are as follows:

Steps to becoming a Member

Once you have passed our qualifying programme and become a graduate you can apply for Associate status providing you've got six years' experience. On becoming an Associate, you are officially a chartered secretary. Click the 'levels' tab above to find out more about the different levels of membership.

Why join

You do not have to be a chartered secretary to work in governance. But, we firmly believe that becoming a chartered secretary represents the gold standard of the company secretarial field. Becoming an ICSA member will enhance your professional life:

  • You’ll stand out from the competition – those with professional qualifications instantly stand out to prospective employers. We estimate around three quarters of company secretarial jobs have a professional qualification as a desirable or essential requirement.
  • It gives instant recognition of your professional and academic achievement – being chartered shows that you have reached a level of academic achievement and professional experience at a single glance.
  • You’ll continuously be updated with the latest thinking in the profession – keeping up to date with the latest in the GRC world couldn’t be easier. ICSA members receive our magazine, news and technical-briefings regularly.

We also recognise that becoming chartered is not right for everyone who does governance, risk and compliance work. If that sounds like you, then consider joining us as an professional subscriber. Find out more about joining as a professional subscriber.



Sign up to the ICSA qualifying programme or a validated postgraduate course. The ICSA qualifying programme takes, on average, 2–6 years to complete, dependent on any exemptions that your current qualifications may entitle you to; postgraduate courses vary in length. Whilst an ICSA student, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a qualified member.


Once you’ve passed our qualifying programme or graduated from a validated postgraduate course, you’ll become a graduate member of ICSA. To attain graduateship you must first register as an ICSA student and formally accept membership. You can then use the post-nominal GradICSA.


ICSA graduates can apply for Associate status when they have completed six years of appropriate professional experience. This can be reduced to three years should you have a degree. When you become an Associate, you are then a chartered secretary and can use the post-nominal ACIS.


Associate members can become a Fellow of the Institute when they have reached a senior level and can demonstrate at least eight years’ relevant work experience. When you become a fellow you can use the post-nominal FCIS.


We’ve a range of benefits that are available to members at each of the above levels:



To become a chartered member you must complete our qualifying programme or one of our accredited postgraduate qualifications. Once you have completed your studies, the following membership fees apply.

2017/18 yearly membership fees
Member typeFee (UK and overseas)Digital membership (Reduced rate countries)*
Graduate £325 £175
Associate £325 £175
Fellow £355 £185
Retired 64–66 £140 £86
Retired 67 plus £45 £43

2017/18 yearly election fees
Member typeFee (UK and overseas)Digital membership (Reduced rate countries)*
To Associateship £130 £80
Fellowship £260 £150

*ICSA offers a digital membership for members in certain countries. See all countries that are eligible for the digital membership here. The subscription includes a digital version of the G+C magazine and all other current membership benefits. If you would like to receive printed G+C editions you will incur an additional fee of £30, please contact us to sign up. 

2017/18 yearly practising fees
Certificate feeExcluding vatIncluding VAT (20%)
Member in practice £130 £156

More info

If you’re interested in joining us as a chartered member, then visit the qualifications pages to find out more about the ICSA qualifying programme and possible exemption routes.

Talk to one of our team in more detail about your existing qualifications and experience, by calling +44 (0)20 7580 4741.

If you’re already a graduate or Associate member and you want find out how to upgrade to the next level of membership, then log in to MyICSA and click ‘Manage my membership’ for more.

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