- Requires sound judgement and excellent presentation, organisational, time management, and communication skills
- With experience, option to become a company's chief executive or managing director
- Option to work freelance as a consultant or as a part-time company secretary for several smaller businesses
As a company secretary, you'll need to ensure a company complies with financial and legal requirements, as well as maintaining its high standards of corporate governance. You'll hold a strategic position at the heart of governance operations within an organisation.
You'll have a range of financial and legal management responsibilities, which would usually include:
- Preparing annual company reports
- Administering share option schemes and paying dividends
- Advising directors and board members about their legal responsibilities
- Dealing with other professionals like lawyers and auditors
- Sending company information to Companies House or the Stock Exchange
Depending on the size of company you work for, you may be responsible for payroll, budgeting and internal audits. You could also oversee health and safety, property and general management.
You will need to keep up to date with policy, legal and statutory requirements for the business.
You'll usually work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, though you may have to attend evening meetings. Part-time work may be available. You'll be mainly office-based, but may travel to some meetings.
To become a Company secretary requires sound judgement and excellent presentation, organisational, time management, and communication skills.
You'll usually need a degree or professional qualification in business, law, accountancy or public administration.
You'll also need a lot of relevant business experience, especially in areas like pensions or insurance, personnel, accounts and credit control, purchasing and office management.
You could start by doing a higher national diploma in business management or law before applying to join a company as a trainee company secretary.
You may also be able to become a company secretary by first qualifying as a solicitor through a degree apprenticeship.
You can take professional qualifications offered by ICSA: The Governance Institute to become a company secretary. You'll begin by doing the Chartered Secretaries Qualifying Scheme, which starts at foundation level. You can join at a more advanced level if you already have a relevant qualification, for example in law.
It would be helpful to join ICSA: The Governance Institute for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
To be the secretary of a public limited company (PLC), you'll need to qualify with ICSA: The Governance Institute or already be an accountant, solicitor or barrister.
With experience you could become a company's chief executive or managing director.
You could also work freelance as a consultant or a part-time company secretary for several smaller businesses.