Those who choose a career as a Company Secretary, have two paths before them –that they can either opt for work in an organization or choose to work as a consultant in a Company Secretaryship firm. This is a challenging career and different people find motivation in doing such a work in two different ways.
In India, when one opts for such a career, one needs to go through the rigorous three leveled programme offered by the one and only Institute of Company Secretaries of India. This institute offers the only valid certification in the country which is necessary to be able to work as a Company Secretary in a consultant or employee mode.
The course usually consists of three levels of programmes – the foundation, executive and professional programmes which one needs to pass in order to qualify for the practical managerial training that follows. Once a 15 months training is undertaken, one is awarded with the certification of being a CS. This is the time when one needs to decide the career path one wishes to take – that of a consultant or an employed salaried person of an organization.
Those who wish to be practicing company secretaries, need to apply for the Certificate of Practice which is issued by the institute. Without this, one would be unable to practice as CS independently.
Practicing company secretaries have been empowered by law to render their services in various instances. Companies which have a paid up capital of ten lakhs or more but less than five crores, do not need to engage a full time Company Secretary on their rolls but need a compliance certificate to be issued by a practicing Company Secretary. As per the Listing Agreement, practicing company secretaries are required to issue compliance certificates pertaining to corporate governance of companies which are listed on stock exchanges. They are empowered to issue certificates and attest documents which come under the Companies Act, the SEBI Act, the Exim policy and the Depositories Act. Such authorized company secretaries can offer their services for a host of other corporate matters including joint ventures, foreign collaborations, legal, secretarial or corporate governance matters, arbitration, conciliation, project financing, project planning and similar other legal and corporate areas.
Thus, there are a vast number of secretarial firms in the country in the towns and cities which offer their services to small and large companies. Their role is vital for companies to ensure that they stay on the right side of law and hence, practicing Company Secretaryship is a well established career in the country.
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