SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION THAT HAS PASSED THE END DATE: 

Occupational Certificate: Company Secretary 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
104989  Occupational Certificate: Company Secretary 
ORIGINATOR
DQP - Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa CSSA 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  544  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 086/21  2021-07-01  2023-12-31 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-12-31   2027-12-31  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
60654  Professional Post-Graduate Qualification: Company Secretarial and Governance Practice  Level 7  NQF Level 08  120  Complete 
60655  Professional Advanced Qualification: Governance and Administration  Level 6  NQF Level 07  120  Complete 
60653  Professional Qualification: Governance and Administration  Level 5  NQF Level 06  130  Complete 
60651  Professional Qualification: Management and Administration  Level 5  NQF Level 06  129  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as a company secretary. The qualification provides for entry after Level 4 and has two parts. The first part prepares learners to function as governance practitioners in a wide range of organisational contexts and enables learners to exit the learning pathway at Level 7. The second part builds on this general foundation laid in Part 1 and focuses specifically on the role and responsibilities of the company secretary. The autonomy and complexity of responsibilities increase from Part 1 to Part 2.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Mitigate functions within an organisation to achieve the objectives of the organisation while addressing the expectations of its stakeholders.
  • Report to the board on relevant corporate and business legislation and case law relating to compliance with the Act, the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) or rules of the company.
  • Collate and distribute the company's annual financial statements to every person entitled to them for strategic decision-making purposes.
  • Advise directors of any laws relevant to or affecting the company to ensure sound corporate governance principles and best practices in various organisational contexts.
  • Communicate with peers, superiors, subordinates, customers and service providers in a work environment.
  • Apply the concepts and principles of strategic management to organisations in order to protect their reputation and promote good governance and accountability to stakeholders.
  • Critically evaluate and advise the board or governing body on concepts of risk and compliance management in the context of good governance.
  • Certify the annual financial statements and accounting information, to ensure that all the necessary notices and returns have been filed in compliance with the Act and that they are true, correct and up to date.
  • Complete a range of tasks required of the company secretary to ensure compliance of a corporate entity with statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Act as chief adviser to the board or governing body and other stakeholders on best practice in corporate governance, and as the catalyst for systematic application of governance principles and compliance across a wide range of organisations.

    Rationale:
    This qualification is designed to provide for the need for company secretaries in South Africa. A company secretary is the custodian of corporate governance of a company and carries much of the responsibility for maintaining the company's existence as a legal entity. The company secretary is, among others, responsible to provide the directors of a company collectively and individually with guidance as to their duties, responsibilities and powers. All public and state-owned companies are required by the Companies Act 75 of 2008, to appoint a company secretary, while the King Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa recommends the appointment of a company secretary in all registered companies.

    The position of company secretary requires specialised knowledge and skills in the field of corporate governance and, at the same time, it involves the incumbent in serious potential liabilities. It is, therefore, essential that company secretaries are properly qualified to take on this role.

    This qualification was developed in close cooperation with Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa (CSSA), the professional body for company secretaries and governance professionals in Southern Africa, and its constituents. It was also designed to meet the qualification standards set by the Professional Standards Committee of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), which consists of subject matter experts from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and Malaysia. These qualification standards are implemented by the professional bodies of these countries and adherence to these standards assisted in aligning this qualification to international best practice.

    Successful learners will be prepared for employment at senior levels in organisations and will be able to undertake leadership roles with confidence, to understand and advise on legal and governance matters and to contribute to strategic planning within the entities where they work. In addition to the role of company secretary, successful candidates will also be able to fulfil various other functions in the legal and risk divisions of organisations.

    This qualification is of critical importance for the South African economy. Good corporate governance is at the heart of continued domestic and foreign investment, which in turn is a prerequisite for economic growth and job creation. Similarly, confidence in the local financial markets depends on good corporate governance in the companies whose securities are traded in the markets. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    RPL for access to the external integrated summative assessment:
    Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a statement of results or certifying a work experience record.

    RPL for access to the qualification:
    Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
    NQF Level 4 qualification with Mathematical Literacy and Communication. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge, Practical Skill and Work Experience Modules.

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 242203000-KM-01, Introduction to Financial Accounting, Level 5, 18 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-02, Communication, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-03, Introduction to Law, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-04, Introduction to Corporate Governance, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-05, Advanced Financial Accounting, Level 6, 18 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-06, Principles of Business Law, Level 6, 18 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-07, Managing Information Systems, Level 6, 12 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-08, Principles of Corporate Governance, Level 6, 18 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-09, Advanced Business Law, Level 7, 20 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-10, Advanced Corporate Governance, Level 7, 36 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-11, Principles of Management, Level 7, 20 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-12, Corporate Law, Level 8, 17 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-13, Finance for Decision-making, Level 8, 17 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-14, Applied Governance, Level 8, 17 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-15, Risk and Compliance, Level 8, 17 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-16, Development of Strategy, Level 8, 17 Credits.
  • 242203000-KM-17, Company Secretarial Practice, Level 8, 17 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 298.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 242203000-PM-01, Communicate with peers, superiors, subordinates, customers and service providers in a work environment, Level 5, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-02, Investigate the structure of the South African courts and how court cases are conducted, Level 5, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-03, Prepare financial statements and reports for sole traders, partnerships, clubs and associations, Level 5, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-04, Apply the concepts of corporate governance and best governance practice in small business entities, Level 5, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-05, Use information technology for a range of business purposes, Level 6, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-06, Prepare financial statements and reports for close corporations and companies, Level 6, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-07, Use standardised contract templates and adapt them for a variety of contexts, Level 6, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-08, Apply corporate governance principles according to best governance practice within a corporate or public-sector environment, Level 6, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-09, Complete a range of management tasks, Level 7, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-10, Explain and interpret corporate governance scenarios for various role players in terms of best practice, Level 7, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-11, Apply aspects of business law in a variety of contexts, Level 7, 9 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-12, Provide solutions and advice as to how a corporate governance problem might be resolved according to best practice, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-13, Participate in decision-making and processes concerning the maximisation of value in investment and finance, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-14, Manage risk and compliance in a business entity, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 242203000-PM-15, Report on organisational problems at a strategic level that need to be solved and suggest solutions in report format to be considered by the board or governing body, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 24203000-PM-16, Complete a range of tasks required of the company secretary, Level 8, 8 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 131.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 242203000-WM-01, Complete procedures relating to the registration of small companies, Level 5, 8 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-02, Communicate with peers, superiors, subordinates, customers and service providers using a range of business communication methods, Level 5, 10 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-03, Prepare financial statements of a range of business entities, Level 6, 10 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-04, Apply the concepts of corporate governance with regard to risk management, compliance and financial reporting, Level 6, 8 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-05, Adapt standardised contracts for a variety of contexts including sales, leases, insurance and credit agreements, Level 7, 10 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-06, Evaluate company business practices to determine compliance with legislation relating to intellectual property, insolvency, competition, consumer protection, banking, trusts, and dispute resolution, Level 7, 15 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-07, Provide stakeholders with an analysis of corporate governance problems and suggest solutions and advice as to how the problems might be resolved according to best practice, Level 7, 10 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-08, Carry out various management activities, such as planning, organising, leading and controlling, within a business organisation, Level 7, 10 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-09, File statutory returns, and complete and lodge forms with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-10, Prepare advice for directors and officers regarding director duties, the Companies Act 71 of 2008 (Companies Act), the organisation's memorandum of incorporation (MOI), stock exchange and other regulatory and statutory requirements, Level 8, 5 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-11, Prepare for, attend and report on the processes and content of any three of the following company meetings: board or governing body, annual general or shareholder meetings and committee meetings such as: risk, audit, social, ethics etc., where permitted, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-12, Draft correspondence in response to simulated or real queries from the directors of the company and other stakeholders (shareholders, employees, suppliers) on various corporate governance matters and legislative and other regulatory requirements, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-13, Assist with preparation and dissemination of company meeting documentation: notices, agendas, minutes, board or governing body packs, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 242203000-WM-14, Ensure compliance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2008, Companies Regulations, 2011, the King Report on Corporate Governance, and other legal and statutory requirements, and report accordingly to the board or governing body, Level 8, 5 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 115. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Manage functions within an organisation to achieve the objectives of the organisation while addressing the expectations of its stakeholders.
    2. Apply relevant corporate and business legislation and case law to organisational contexts.
    3. Prepare financial information for the board or governing body for strategic decision-making.
    4. Advise on and apply corporate governance principles and best practices in various organisational contexts.
    5. Communicate with peers, superiors, subordinates, customers and service providers in a work environment.
    6. Complete a range of tasks required of the company secretary to ensure compliance of a corporate entity with statutory and regulatory requirements.
    7. Apply the concepts and principles of strategic management to organisations in order to protect their reputation and promote good governance and accountability to stakeholders.
    8. Apply the concepts of risk and compliance management in the context of good governance.
    9. Interpret financial and accounting information in order to provide advice to the board or governing body in strategy development and/or decision-making.
    10. Ensure compliance with corporate law across the various structures, management and performance areas of organisations.
    11. Act as chief adviser to the board or governing body and other stakeholders on best practice in corporate governance, and as the catalyst for systematic application of governance principles across a wide range of organisations. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Develop strategies and plans for the attainment of business objectives that are appropriate and prudent, in the context of the regulatory, competitive and economic environment.
  • Monitor the execution of approved plans to ensure that objectives are achieved or strategies are appropriately adjusted to deal with changes in business or economic conditions.
  • Monitor adherence to approved policies, organisational and procedural controls, and compliance requirements.
  • Ensure that appropriate and timely action is taken to remedy any deficiencies in compliance that may arise, including issues brought to the organisation by regulators.
  • Ensure that management information systems provide timely and relevant information to support oversight responsibilities within the organisation.
  • Set an appropriate "tone from the top", by performing duties in an ethical manner and by setting ethical standards for individuals across the institution.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Complete procedures relating to the registration of corporate entities.
  • Explain the structure of the South African courts and how court cases are conducted.
  • Use standardised contract templates and adapt them for a variety of contexts.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Prepare financial statements for a range of business entities.
  • Calculate and interpret financial ratios in a report to a client or stakeholder.
  • Prepare financial statements for a range of business entities.
  • Calculate and interpret financial ratios in a report to a client or stakeholder.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Apply the concepts of corporate governance and best governance practice in a range of organisations.
  • Apply corporate governance principles according to best governance practice within a range of organisations.
  • Explain and interpret corporate governance scenarios for various role players in terms of best practice.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Prepare clearly-formulated documentation, correspondence and verbal and electronic communication.
  • Identify key audience factors that affect communication with a specified audience and link these to communication methods and message content.
  • Communicate orally and in writing with stakeholders using the correct register and protocols.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Apply the theories, concepts and principles related to the regulation of commercial organisations to practical scenarios.
  • Give a reasoned opinion on the legal structures available to organisations and their appropriateness in different situations.
  • Critically appraise the legal and other issues arising in complex scenarios and apply legislation relevant to the particular jurisdiction.
  • Critically examine the impact of the external regulatory environment on the structure of commercial organisations.
  • Present advice on structural and legal issues affecting organisations.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • Clarify the nature and importance of strategy and strategic planning.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate an organisation's environment and identify global and local opportunities and threats, taking into account the organisation's internal capabilities and resources and the context in which the organisation operates.
  • Evaluate an organisation's culture, governance and purpose, and advise senior management and the board or governing body on the appropriate strategic approaches that would ethically serve the purpose of the organisation and its stakeholders.
  • Evaluate the strategic alternatives available to an organisation and advise senior management and the board or governing body on alternatives.
  • Evaluate the organisational impact of strategic choices and advise senior management and the board or governing body on appropriate structures and controls that will be required for implementation of the selected strategy.
  • Critically analyse the challenges related to change management and apply appropriate tactics to manage change.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:
  • Based on critical assessment, advise the board or governing body on the use of risk and compliance frameworks as a basis for appraising, evaluating, and supporting risk and compliance management.
  • Critically compare and evaluate approaches to risk and compliance management.
  • Evaluate and critically assess the management of risk and compliance and provide professionally appropriate advice to those responsible for governance.
  • Critically examine and advise the board or governing body on the impact of the business environment on risk and compliance with regard to legislation, policy and industry changes.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of corporate conduct, behaviours and culture on risk and compliance management practices.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 9:
  • Develop a working understanding of how financial statements and reports are prepared and evaluate them in order to provide insightful interpretation of the same.
  • Motivate the need for the regulation of financial reporting by entities.
  • Identify and critically evaluate sources of finance and their associated risks and returns.
  • Critically analyse the fundamental financial decision-making theories and evaluate these for decision-making.
  • Evaluate the capital structure of organisations and the cost of capital.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 10:
  • Research and critically evaluate the growing global, regional and local information sources on corporate governance.
  • Justify and promote awareness of, and be responsible for continuing self and personnel development on corporate governance themes.
  • Apply the concepts of corporate social responsibility and ethical standards in governance in various scenarios.
  • Critically appraise and apply corporate governance principles and best practice in the employing or client organisation.
  • Exercise appropriate judgement in the use of professional knowledge and skills to the resolution of practical issues and problems in the proper governance of the employing or client organisation.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 11:
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the role of the company secretary and the differing responsibilities of shareholders, the company secretary, the board of directors or governing body, the executives, management and stakeholders.
  • Conceptualise the nature and principles of regulatory requirements for a company and ensure compliance in the relevant sector.
  • Advise the board of directors or governing body and shareholders on compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Motivate the importance for a company secretary of operating effectively with other people, building understanding and gaining the cooperation of those involved to ensure that the company operates according to good practice and meets the regulatory requirements. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The Occupational Certificate: Company Secretary has been compared to qualifications in the United Kingdom (UK) and in Australia.

    United Kingdom:
    The University of Portsmouth in the UK offers a Master of Laws (LLM) Corporate Governance and Law/Grad ICSA Degree course.

    This Degree is designed for law and non-law graduates, practising lawyers and business professionals. Graduates will be eligible, after graduation, for the Grad ICSA qualification from ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators), and with relevant work experience graduates may also be able to apply for ACIS status (Associate in the Chartered Institute of Secretaries).

    Core Modules:
  • Legal Approach to Business.
  • International Commercial Arbitration LLM.
  • Personal Tutorial.
  • Financial Reporting, Analysis and Decision Making.
  • Corporate Secretarial Practice and Strategy.
  • Corporate Law and Governance.

    Optional Modules:
  • Cilex Client Care Skills (Masters Route).
  • Cilex Level 6 Practice (Masters Route).
  • Commercial and Consumer Law.
  • Community Legal Research Project.
  • Employment Law (L7).
  • Global Approaches to Medical Law and Ethics.
  • Global Corporate Responsibility.
  • Intellectual Property Law.
  • International and European Human Rights Law.
  • Negotiation Theory and Practice.
  • Theory of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Work Based Project Unit (Law).
  • Employment Law (L7).
  • Corporate Secretarial Case Study.
  • Legal Dissertation Postgraduate.

    Australia:
    Governance Institute of Australia offers a Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance.

    The Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance provides the graduate with comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in good governance. This course leads to becoming an internationally recognised Chartered Secretary. The qualification follows a public or private sector stream.

    Modules specific for Private sector stream:
  • Applied Corporate Law.
  • Corporate Accountability: Meetings and Disclosure.

    Public Management and International Relations specific for Public sector stream:
  • Public Law and Government.
  • Public Sector Accountability and Transparency.

    Modules applicable to both streams:
  • Corporate Governance.
  • Risk and Compliance.
  • Financial and Management Accounting.
  • Corporate Financial Management.

    Conclusion:
    The South African qualification (Occupational Certificate: Company Secretary (Governance Professional)) compares well to the qualifications mentioned above in terms of the subject matter covered and relevant applied skills needed in the workplace. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
    This qualification articulates horizontally with the following qualification:
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Governance, Level 8.

    Vertical Articulation:
    This qualification articulates vertically with the following qualifications:
  • Master of Public Management and Governance, Level 9.
  • Master of Arts in Public Management and Governance, Level 9. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of statements of results and work experience.

    Foundational Learning:
    Not required for this qualification.

    Additional Legal or Physical Entry Requirements:
    None.

    Criteria for The Accreditation of Providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The curriculum title and code is: Company Secretary 242203000.

    Encompassed Trades:
    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
    This is not a trade related qualification.

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP):
    Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

    Part Qualifications:
    242203000, Occupational Certificate: Governance Practitioner, Level 7, 376 Credits. 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced qualification.
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.