Certificate in Charity Law and Governance



This Level 4 course provides an introduction to the legal and regulatory framework around charities in England and Wales. It gives an understanding of the legal basis of the charity, the role of regulators and how to fulfil your charitable purpose whilst adhering to legal and regulatory requirements. 


This qualification is open entry, which means you do not need any prior qualifications to register on it, although it does help to be working in a related field.

It is suitable if you are affected by legal regulation and/or have governance responsibilities in registered, exempt or excepted charities. It is also suitable if you are studying for a charity finance qualification, providing a broader knowledge base and developing the transferability of your skills to develop your career within the sector.

Particular job roles may include:

  • Secretary/Clerk to the Board
  • Head of Finance/ Finance Officer
  • Head of Governance
  • Company Secretary/Assistant Company Secretary
  • Charity Director


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.

You can register for the exam in June or November following the completion of the course. 

The ICSA Level 4 Certificate in Charity Law and Governance syllabus comprises six modules covering key aspects of charity law and governance:

Module 1: Charity Law

Module 2: Structures and Legal Forms

Module 3: Compliance and Regulation

Module 4: Governance

Module 5: Sources of Income (Generating Resources)

Module 6: Stewardship of Funds and Assets

Detailed information on the syllabus, a sample exam paper and a mark scheme are available below:


This course is based around a self-study model, and therefore requires a significant commitment to study, on top of the provided webinar sessions.

Recommended study time for the whole course is 200 hours (which includes all webinar sessions and the examination), which is approximately 6-9 months of study. When registering for the course you must pick one of the next two exam sessions.

Registration and exam entry

Charity Law and Governance: A Practical Guide is available to buy from the ICSA shop.


The fee for this qualification is £1,500.*

The one-off fee for the qualification includes:

  • Registration and certification fees
  • One exam entry (choice between next two available exam sessions)
  • Course webinars (and practice task service if registering before mid - January)
  • ICSA student membership throughout your course
  • E-copies of the syllabus and sample assessment materials
  • E-copy of the Charity Law and Governance study text
Additional fees 
Exam re-sit £160
Exam postponement (per exam) £80
Deferment (per exam) £30

*Reduced rate £910

We will be happy to discuss payment by instalments with you – please call 020 7580 4741 or contact us


Receive 50% off your course fee with a bursary from ICSA

Supported by The Chartered Secretaries’ Charitable Trust, ICSA are delighted to offer a £750 bursary to one eligible student for the next exam session (June 2019).

To apply for an ICSA bursary, your charity must:

  • be registered with the Charity Commission
  • have submitted its last three annual returns to the Commission on time
  • have a gross annual income in the region of £10,000 - £100,000
  • be able to provide £750 towards your qualification fee.

Please apply for your bursary here


Take these simple steps to register for the Certificate in Charity Law and Governance. 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

1. Complete the registration and exam entry form

 Fill out the registration form: 

2. Organise payment

The fee for the Certificate in Charity Law and Governance is a one-off fee. You can pay for this qualification in one of the following ways:

If you do not have a credit or debit card, you can download a paper application form, enclosing a cheque for the fees.

To enter for an exam re-sit, download the exam re-sit form and send with payment, either a cheque or a completed card payment form.

3. Send forms and payment

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.

More info

If you have any questions about ICSA qualifications or would like to speak to someone about taking the Level 4 Certificate in Charity Law and Governance, please call +44 (0)20 7580 4741 or contact us

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