Certificate in Academy Governance

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Become an Affiliated member

Students who successfully complete the Certificate in Academy Governance qualification are eligible to become Affiliated members and continue to benefit from the knowledge and support of our governance and compliance community.


This unique Level 4 course has been newly created to help meet the specific needs for effective governance in academy schools. You will learn skills not readily available from other courses in schools management. In particular, the course focuses on the governance needs of multi-academy trusts (MATs), and how solid and consistent governance and standards can be implemented across several schools. 


This programme is open entry, with no prior qualifications required and is suitable for those who work in a governing, management or administrative (non-teaching) role in new or converted academies. 

Particular job roles may include:

  • Office Administrator/Clerical Assistant/Executive Assistant
  • School Clerk/Clerk to Governors
  • Business Managers/Business Support Office
  • School Bursar/Bursar’s Secretary/ School Business Manager
  • Governor/Trustee
  • Company Secretary (working in a junior post and those that do not hold CSQS)


This qualification is delivered in webinar and self-study format so it can be studied anywhere in the UK, allowing students to fit studying into their schedules.

The course includes a programme which starts in September and is supported by live webinars until the following May.

Please note that if you intend to enrol onto this course after 1 November, you will need to contact the Learning and Support Manager at enquiries@icsa.org.uk

Webinars are delivered at least once per month and are run using the Adobe Connect platform (you will need an internet connection to attend). You will be able to hear the presenters and you can communicate with the speakers and other attendees via the chat function. You will receive a copy of the slides, accompanying material and recording after each webinar session.

Two practice tasks are set during the course, which are intended to support revision around certain topics and will help you to prepare for the exam. These do not count towards the final assessment but will provide feedback on your progress. First exam will be in June 2019. 

The qualification will consist of four modules covering the following topic areas:

  • Legal Structures and Framework
  • Governance 
  • Risk, Compliance and Policies
  • Financial Management


Recommended study time for the whole course is 200 hours, which includes the webinars, practice tasks and exam time. This course is based around a self-study model, and therefore requires a significant commitment to study, on top of the provided webinar sessions.

Assessment of the course is via one exam (3 hours with 15 minutes reading time), and can be taken in June and November each year. The exam paper contains a mixture of short- and extended-answer questions with a pass mark of 50%. When registering for the course you must pick one of the next two exam sessions. The first exam session is June 2019. 

Study materials for the course can be downloaded below: 


The fee for this qualification is £1,000*

This includes:

  • Registration and certificate 
  • One exam entry (choice between next two available exam sessions) 
  • Electronic copies of the syllabus, sample assessment materials and study text on the MyICSA area of our website
  • Course webinars and practice task service 
  • Access to two ICSA webinars on study skills and revision skills
  • Student membership and benefits for the duration of your course.
Additional fees
Exam re-sit  £155
Exam Postponement (per exam) £80
Deferment (per exam) £30

*Reduced rate £700


Please note that if you intend to enrol onto this course after 1 November, you will need to contact the Learning and Support Manager at enquiries@icsa.org.uk 


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If you would prefer to send your application by post, please download, print and complete the following application forms.

You can pay in one of the following ways:

Send your completed forms along with your payment to studentsupport@icsa.org.uk or by post to:

Members and Students, ICSA, Saffron House, 6–10 Kirby Street, London, EC1N 8TS

Once these have been received and payment authorised, you will be registered as an ICSA student.

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