Foundation Programme

Every journey has a beginning

Summary

Start your path to becoming Chartered with the ICSA Foundation Programme.

Our Foundation Programme provides the relevant skills and knowledge to help prepare you to meet the demands of Part One of our qualifying programme. This is especially useful if you do not have the academic or professional experience to enter the ICSA qualifying programme at Part One. The Foundation Programme is your first step on the path to a career as a governance professional or company secretary.

Entry

This programme is open entry, with no prior qualifications required, and suitable if you are living or working in the UK or internationally. It is a Level 4 qualification, set at the same academic level as a first year undergraduate degree.

However, if you meet any of the following entry requirements, you are not required to complete the Foundation Programme and can proceed straight to Part One of the qualifying programme:

  • Qualified lawyer or accountant
  • Completed a law or finance degree
  • Completed a selected business degree (contact our Student Support team for more information)
  • Completed an HND in Law, Accounting or Business Management
  • Completed an ICSA Level 5 Diploma in International Finance and Administration (IFA) or Diploma in Offshore Finance and Administration (DOFA)
  • Have a degree (not law- or finance-related) plus five or more years’ experience in a company secretary-related role.

Content

The Foundation Programme comprises four modules covering the following subjects:

  • Business environment – how businesses are organised and run and how the external environment affects business activities
  • Law – an introduction to corporate and business (commercial) law and the legal framework within which businesses operate
  • Company compliance and administration – introducing legal, ownership and management structures for companies, how companies are incorporated and routine company compliance and governance obligations
  • Finance – the basics of bookkeeping and how to understand the components of financial documentation as well as the principles of financial decision making.

Study

We recommend 150-200 hours of study for this course which will take around six to nine months.

You will be assessed in one 3 hour exam with 15 minutes reading time. You can take your exam in June and November each year. The paper contains a mixture of short- and extended-answer questions with a pass mark of 50%.

The syllabus, study text and sample assessment materials will be available from July 2018.

The first exam will take place in November 2018. Exam week is 27 - 30 November (specific exam date is to be confirmed).

When registering for the course, you must pick from one of the next two exam sessions.

How to study

Study with one of our registered tuition providers who offer different tuition options to suit your situation and budget. You can choose to study through distance learning, face-to-face classes or blended learning. For more details about your study options, please see our list of registered tuition providers.

Fees

Registration fees: If you are starting the ICSA qualifying programme, there is a one-off fee to register as an ICSA student.

Subscription fees: Paid annually by all students. The first payment is due upon registration and is calculated according to the ICSA membership calendar.

Description

UK

Reduced rate countries

Registration fee

£135

£75

Annual subscription

£185

£130

Half-year subscription

£92.50

£65

Exam entry

£225

£153


The complete list of costs is available here

*The total cost reflects the minimum price of the most direct route through the qualifying programme with no re-sits and every relevant module being taken at today's prices. It also includes the price of study texts and, for the duration of study, student membership, which provides you with many benefits.

Reduced rates

Reduced rates apply for Foundation Programme students living, registered and sitting their examinations in a number of countries. See all countries that are eligible for the reduced rate.

Apply

Complete your registration and start your journey to Chartered status. Completing a few simple questions and we can look at your skills and experience to find the right route for you. 

Register today

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