'People in a leadership position in a medium, large or complex charity need this technical knowledge. I now have a much better sense of what the requirements and pitfalls are, what to look for and the differences between corporate and charity law. It has enabled me to effect continuous improvement within my own organisation.'
Student, CEO, Housing Trust
Students who successfully complete the Certificate in Charity Law and Governance qualification are eligible for 12 months free affiliateship. Continue to benefit from the knowledge and support of our governance and compliance community.
The ICSA Level 4 Certificate in Charity Law and Governance qualification (equivalent to first year undergraduate) is an introductory programme that has been developed for individuals working in charities (registered and unregistered) in England and Wales. It is ideal for those working in roles affected by legal regulation and governance issues and for those with governance responsibilities.
Particular job roles may include:
The qualification introduces the legal framework within which the law and regulation of charities and charitable activity in England and Wales is set, and it covers the key components of effective governance in charities in relation to issues such as generating income and managing assets.
The qualification comprises six compulsory modules followed by one exam that tests knowledge of all six modules. Successful completion of all six modules results in the awarding of a certificate.
The ICSA Level 4 Certificate in Charity Law and Governance 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.
When you register on the qualification, you need to select the date on which you will sit the exam (you have the choice of the next two available exam sessions from point of registration). If you do not complete the exam within the next two available exam sessions, further fees will apply.
Please see the study section for further guidance.
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
Assessment of the course is via one exam (3 hours with an extra 15 minutes reading time), taken in June and November each year. The exam paper contains a mixture of short- and extended-answer questions.
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. If you are considering studying for the exam in a shorter timeframe, we recommend that you discuss your choice with our Members and Students team first as they can advise on when it is best to register on the qualification. Please see ‘More info’ section for further guidance.
Assessment of the course is via one exam (3 hours with an extra 15 minutes reading time), which can be taken in June and November each year. The next available exam sittings are Wednesday 7 June and Wednesday 29 November 2017. 9:15 am.
Webinar and practice task programme
A five month course of webinars runs from January to May every year in which you can join live teaching sessions at a scheduled time or view a recording afterwards. The webinars cover the syllabus content as well as study skills and exam strategy. To take advantage of this service, you will need to have registered and paid for your qualification by mid-January at the latest. A practice task service also operates during the course of live webinars – this involves an examiner marking and providing feedback on your answers to two practice essay questions.
If you choose to register on the qualification at any other time of the year, you will have access to all of the recorded webinar sessions that have already taken place, but no practice task service. You can register on this qualification and start studying at any time during the year, although to get the most out of the resources provided, we recommend that you register in time for the start of the live webinar course in January.
The fee for this qualification is £1,500. We will be happy to discuss payment by instalments with you – please call 020 7580 4741 or contact us
The one-off fee for the qualification includes:
|Exam postponement (per exam)||£80|
|Deferment (per exam)||£30|
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 two eligible students at the next exam session.
To apply for an ICSA bursary, your charity must:
The deadline for this is 1st December 2017
Take these simple steps to register for the Certificate in Charity Law and Governance.
Fill out the registration form:
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.
Send your completed forms along with your payment to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Members and Students
6–10 Kirby Street
Once these have been received and payment authorised, you will be registered as an ICSA student.
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
You are on the “Certificate in Charity Law and Governance” page.