Summary of student rules for the ICSA qualifying programme

ICSA student status

While you are registered as an ICSA student, you can use the term ‘ICSA student member’ to describe your status. You are not yet an ‘ICSA member’ and you cannot describe yourself as a Chartered Secretary.

Professional ethics and conduct

As an ICSA student, however, you are a potential future Chartered member and we expect that your professional ethics and conduct will be equal to that of a Chartered member while you are studying. As such, when you agree to the ICSA student rules and regulations, you agree to abide by the:

Staying on the student register

To stay on the student register you need to renew your student membership once a year (we will contact you about this) and keep entering for exams.

If you do not enter for exams for two consecutive exam sessions, you should discuss your reasons for delaying with us. You can be removed from the register if you do not sit any exams over a two-year period.

If you do not renew student status and decide to leave the student register, you should discuss this with us. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to enter with the same exam history or the same exemptions.

Entering for exams

We publish deadlines for entering each exam session. These are usually the last week of March for the June exam session and the last week of September for the November session. You can enter for a maximum two exams per session.

After you have entered for an exam and paid the fee, you can pay an administrative fee to defer the exam to a later date as long as you do this before the deadlines. After these deadlines, we will usually keep your exam entry fee for that session even if you cannot attend. If you cannot attend the exam due to serious illness or bereavement, please contact us.

Limits on exam attempts

We place a limit on the number of times you can fail a subject and we also place a limit on the time you have to complete the whole scheme:

  • You can fail the exam for any subject four times only.
  • If you have exemptions and need to complete 2, 3 or 4 qualifying programme exams, you have to complete within 4 years of registering as a student. 
  • If you need to complete 5, 6, 7 or 8 qualifying programme exams, you have to complete within 8 years of registering as a student.

Exam attendance

If you don’t attend an exam, this counts as one of the four attempts at the exam which you are allowed. If there is a reason why you can’t attend, contact us as early as possible to let us know and we may change your ‘fail’ result to ‘withdrawn’. A ‘withdrawn’ exam would not count as one of your four attempts.

Please read the full ICSA qualifying programme student rules and regulations and if you have any comments or questions, please contact us.

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