The Foundation Course for Company Secretary is the beginning programme which needs to be passed in order to move on to the next two levels of programmes. This course has now been renamed as the Foundation Programme, just as the other two courses have been renamed as Executive Programme and Professional Programme respectively.
In India Company Secretary is a professional course that is conducted by one institute – the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Eligibility for Company Secretary program needs the minimum qualification of having passed the 10+ 2 level in high school to apply for the registration. There is no entrance test that one needs to go through since the courses are arduous enough and only those who put in persistent efforts can hope to succeed.
The Company Secretary foundation course offers a glimpse of how the advanced programme contents are going to be. The foundation programme can be easily applied for by downloading the registration form from the ICSI website and submitting the filled in form at the regional or satellite offices of ICSI based in your town or city. The application and postal tution fee comes to a total of Rs. 3600 for the foundation programme. There is a separate fee for examination of Rs. 875 applicable when appearing for the foundation exam and in case of extension of registration, other fees are applicable. The cut off dates for application for the foundation programme are 31st March and 30th September.
The provisional admission obtained needs to be finalized into registration by providing proof of having passed the higher secondary or equivalent examination. Then only the study materials and other documentations such as identity card are provided to the students at their given postal addresses.
Usually, a registration for the foundation programme stands valid for three years within which it needs to be completed. If the three year period expires, then one would need to apply again with the same amount of admission fees.
There are four main modules in the foundation programme. They consist of English and Business Communication; Economics and Statistics; Financial Accounting and Elements of Business Laws and Management. Each of these papers has many sub topics which are covered in detail in the study materials which come along with the course. There are options for attending oral tutorial classes held at the various regional offices of the institute. ICSI even has empanelled private tutorials whereby students can enroll for extra fees to obtain guidance on the different subjects of the exam. There is also the e-learning portal started by ICSI, mainly for those who do not have access to tutorials or are working and do not have the time for extra classes. They can access faculty help online through this portal by registering themselves for a fee.
Thus, there are lots of study aids that are provided by ICSI for students who enroll for the foundation programme.