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Campaign to Raise Recognition for Chartered Secretaries

Wednesday, 28 November 2012
By: Uta

Every organisation has a Chartered Secretary, or at least, somebody who fulfils the functions of one. However, it comes as a great disappointment to me that Chartered Secretaries still don’t receive the recognition that professionals of this calibre deserve.

They are the corner stones of a business. They are high-ranking professionals with unique skills in corporate law, finance, governance and management. They make recommendations on how a business should conduct its everyday affairs as well as being the guardian over governance and compliance.

You will find Chartered Secretaries in a myriad of roles, including working for FTSE100 companies or as chief executive, chairman, director of legal services or in-house counsel. They also work in practice offering business and legal services to a range of clients. In today’s climate, salaries are around £130K plus bonus and benefits.

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) is currently campaigning for the profile of Chartered Secretaries to be raised and they are now listed as professional people on some government information sites. Venetia Carpenter, in an ICSA online discussion, says however, that most companies still don’t know what group to put Chartered Secretaries under and often they end up being put down as a secretary.

Chartered Secretaries act as a point of communication between the board of directors and company shareholders, reporting on company procedures and developments.

Their role is varied but typical responsibilities include:

  • organising and conducting governing body and committee meetings, annual general meetings  and extraordinary general meetings
  • complying with statutory and governance best practice requirements
  • advising of the legal, governance, accounting and tax implications of proposed policies
  • monitoring changes in relevant legislation and the regulatory environment and taking appropriate action

We believe that we should go some way in raising recognition for company and chartered secretaries. We feel our range of professional occupational standards for Governance and Company Secretaries do just that.


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  • Uta
    @NN The difference is historical. Chartered status originates at one time could only be awarded by Institutions who were under Royal Charter by the British Monarch. Both roles however are senior professionals roles in that they are trained in corporate law, finance, corporate governance, company secretaryship and management.

    They fulfil the same functions in that they must overcome tensions in the boardroom, find the balance between financial risk-taking promote good stewardship, and ensuring discussions on executive remuneration and shareholder engagement.
  • What would you say are the differences then between Chartered Secretaries and Company Secretaries?