Many Chartered Secretaries are CEOs, chairpersons
By Ayesha Inoon
A Chartered Secretary - contrary to common misconceptions - is a
high ranking professional who is qualified in corporate law, finance,
governance, company secretary-ship and management.
key players in the operation of a business organization, they work
as chairpersons, chief executives and non-executive directors, as
well as executives and company secretaries. Their broad based training
enables them to employ their skills in a variety of sectors and
to be the primary source of advice on the conduct of business, spanning
everything from legal advice to the development of strategy and
Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), prepares
graduates for the challenges of the profession. It uses a combination
of examinations and validated work experience to lead to the qualification
of Chartered Secretary. This qualification is internationally recognised
and provides a gateway to employment in many fields.
ICSA’s International Qualifying Scheme (IQS) is the only professional
accreditation programme to offer postgraduate training across board
level business practices; corporate governance; law; finance; administration;
Company Secretaryship and management. It has four compulsory Graduate
Diploma level papers supported by four preparatory papers for those
who need to top up their initial degree.
new ICSA Certificate and Diploma in Business Practice and the Certificate
and Diploma in Offshore Finance and Administration are stand-alone
qualifications that have been created to provide a broad perspective
of the industries and to promote a high degree of operational knowledge,
covering legal, regulatory and financial frameworks. Those who complete
the Diploma level will be eligible for direct entry onto the ICSA
Professional Programme, and eventually to full ICSA membership.
Broadbent, Director Professional Education of the ICSA says, “These
are generalist qualifications that give you the skills and opportunities
to move in any area of business.” She adds that it is always
a pleasure to visit students in Sri Lanka, among whom there is always
an abundance of prize-winners despite the small number of students.
high profile business failures-especially in the USA-sparking a
mass of regulatory and legislative changes, Company Secretaries
are valued by businesses much more than ever before. As well as
working across all sectors of corporate practice, Chartered Secretaries
are employed by international professional services firms within
their company secretariat division to provide company secretary
consultancy and services for a wide variety of clients. Members
are also able to establish their own professional consultancies
such as the private practices of lawyers and accountants, and are
supported in this by the Public Practice Scheme of the ICSA.
Chartered Secretary’s role is constantly challenging and diversified.
From overseeing mergers and acquisitions to preparing board papers
or running share plans and pension schemes, the Chartered Secretary
makes an invaluable contribution to effective corporate management.
One of the primary roles of Chartered Secretaries’ departments
is to research and prepare reports and advisory notes for the board.
also uphold the highest principles of corporate governance through
the constant appraisal and application of changing expectations.
John Ainsworth, Chief Executive of the ICSA, who visited Sri Lanka
with Ms. Broadbent says, “Chartered Secretaries are pioneers
of corporate governance. Developing nations especially need good
Chartered Secretaries so that they can do away with corruption and
deliver the product directly to the people.”
ICSA has been around for 115 years, surviving the changes and trends
through the skills and integrity of its members. In the words of
Ainsworth -“Chartered Secretaries are expected to demonstrate
integrity, honesty and probity and if only all corporations did
the same-our members would be out of a job!”