Governance NZ

How do I become a Chartered Secretary?

Qualification criteria

To gain the Chartered Secretary qualification and subsequently become a member of both Governance New Zealand and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), there are four criteria to be met.

1) Residency

Members must be resident in New Zealand. If resident outside of New Zealand, you will need to contact your local Division of ICSA.

2) Education

  • Members are required to hold a degree or professional qualification approved by Governance New Zealand. View Admissions Policy
  • Members are required to successfully complete, (either by study or exemption), the six subjects of our fully accredited post-graduate course, the Professional Education Programme. Subject exemptions may be available and will be dependent on assessment of the applicant's previous studies and experience. View Exemptions Policy

3) Experience

  • There are currently two levels of membership, Associate (ACIS) and Fellow (FCIS)
  • Election as an Associate member requires a minimum of six years relevant experience in the fields of Law, Finance, Accounting, Governance, Risk and Compliance or any other area deemed appropriate by the Membership & Admissions Committee of Governance New Zealand Inc. The six-year requirement may be reduced by up to three years based on the academic or professional qualifications held by the applicant.
  • Fellowships are conferred to Associate members with greater experience and levels of responsibility within the profession. Fellowship election requires a minimum of eight years' experience, including at least three years in a position of appropriate responsibility (Governance NZ assessed). The period required may be reduced by up to three years for equivalent periods of relevant study.

4) Character and good standing

Members are required to be of good character and to abide by the Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct

What to do next

Apply for entry into the Professional Education Programme

If you would like a quick assessment of whether you are eligible for entry into the Professional Education Programme, please contact Lee Edmands.

When you have completed your studies you will be invited to apply for election to membership of Governance New Zealand and, once elected, you will be entitled to use the designation Chartered Secretary and the post nominals ACIS or FCIS in addition to the post nominals AGNZ and FGNZ.

If you are not eligible for entry into the Professional Education Programme, you may still like to be affiliated with Governance New Zealand through our Subscriber Membership Programme.