Every aspirant who clears the exams of all levels of the Company Secretaryship course can apply for enrolment to the title of ACS, and then FCS based on fulfilling the requirements. ‘ACS’ stands for Associate Company Secretary and ‘FCS’ is abbreviated as Fellow Company Secretary. These are the designations or titles of a person who is a member of the ICSI and is earned upon clearing the entire CS Examination levels and the training requirements. The candidate has fulfilled the requirements to be an ACS or FCS may add the title ‘ACS’ or ‘FCS’ after his or her name.

Through this article, we shall give you an insight into the following topics that could arise in your mind:

  1. What is ACS course and FCS?
  2. How to enrol as ACS course / Title?
  3. Requirements to be enrolled as ACS
  4. How to enrol as FCS?
  5. Requirements to be enrolled as ACS
  6. ICSI Membership Restoration

What is ACS Course / Title and FCS
Course / Title ?

A person who has passed all the level examinations of the CS course can become a member of the Institute of Company Secretaryship of India (ICSI). There are two membership statuses provided by the ICSI to such candidates. One is the Associate Membership and the other, Fellow Membership. Once a candidate becomes a member of the ICSI, he or she can work as a professional company secretary in an organization. Not only this, the ICSI members get various benefits provided by the institute such as the CS-Benevolent Fund (CSBF), which is financial security provided to the families of the members during the times of distress. And, the one-time payment of life membership of the CSBF is exempted under Section 80G of the IT Act, 1961.


A candidate upon passing the final or professional level examinations can enrol himself as a licentiate of the ICSI within 6 months of having declared the results. A ‘Licentiate’ can use the descriptive letter ‘Licentiate ICSI’ to show that he has qualified in the Final Examination Program of the Institute. But this does not provide any right of a member of the ICSI or any of its Regional Council or Chapters.

Associate Company Secretary:

As mentioned earlier, a candidate who has passed the Professional level of the ICSI program can apply for enrolling himself as an Associate Company Secretary, which confers upon him the right to practice as a Company Secretary and use the designation of ACS or ‘Company Secretary’ at the end of his or her name.

Fellow Company Secretary:

Fellow member of the ICSI is a person who has gained sufficient experience as a professional CS and has been an ACS for at least 5 years. We shall now look into both the membership.

How to enrol as ACS Course / Title?

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It entitles a candidate to be enrolled as an Associate Company Secretary once he has passed the final examination of the ICSI and also the prescribed practical training requirements. Even those having been exempted from certain training or they can enrol exams as ACS upon meeting the criteria. It entitles a person who has been enrolled to use the title ‘ACS’ as a suffix to his name and can also use his designation as ‘Company Secretary’.

Now, let us look at some requirements to be met to become an ACS.

Requirements to be enrolled as ACS Course / Title:

  1. The candidate must submit a completed and signed application in Form-A, which is available on the ICSI website, along with the fee:
    • Associate Entrance fee – Rs.1500
    • Associate Annual Membership fee – Rs.1125 (Rs. 562.50 if admitted during 1st October to 31st March
    • Necktie or Lady broach (optional) – Rs 50

Total – Rs. 2675

Modes of fee payment:

  • By way of a demand draft or local cheque is drawn in favour of ‘The Institute of Company Secretaries of India’, payable at New Delhi.
  • Through online payment.
  • By cash payment at the counter of ICSI’s Head Quarter or Regional Offices/ Chapter Offices in Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Pune.

There are certain concessions in the fee structure depending upon the age and reservations as provided by the Institute which a candidate may refer to form the official site of the ICSI during enrolment.

Certificate copies to be attached:

  1. Educational Qualification certificate (graduation and others) and Certificate of birth duly attested by the member of the Council/Regional Council/Managing Committee of the Chapter/Satellite Chapter or Executive Officers/any Officer of the Institute.
  2. Mark-sheets CS Final Examination (all the groups)
  3. Proof of completion of training requirements including SMTP.
  4. Specimen signature card with coloured passport size photograph.
  5. Two fitness certificates from two members of the Institute having a standing of at least three years of the Institute.
  6. Separate Application form for enrolment as a member of Company Secretaries Benevolent Fund with DD/Cheque for Rs.  2500/- drawn in favour of ‘Company Secretaries Benevolent Fund’ towards subscription for Life Membership. One-time payment (Optional).

One may refer to the Format of Fitness Certificate from the following link – https://www.icsi.edu/media/webmodules/student/enrollment.html

How to enrol as FCS?

A Fellow member of the ICSI is a person who is a practising Company Secretary, a person who is an Associate member for at least 5 years and fulfils the conditions as per Regulation 4(2) of the CS Regulations 1982. Once enrolled as FCS with the Institute, it entitles the candidate to use the suffix FCS after his name to denote that he or she is a Fellow member of the institute.

As per Regulation 4(2) of the CS Regulations 1982, the following are the mandatory conditions for a person to be enrolled as FCS:

  • The person should have been a Fellow(including Honorary Fellow) of the dissolved company immediately before the commencement of the Act.  (OR)
  • He or she was admitted as a Fellow under earlier regulations. (OR)
  • The person is an Associate and has been in continuous practice in India as Company Secretary for at least 5 years. (OR)
  • The person is an Associate for a continuous period of at least 5 years and possesses experience of at least 5 years in a supervisory position out of which at least 3 years shall be as Secretary or a post considered equivalent or higher thereto by the Council in a company or body corporate having an aggregate paid-up capital of not less than Rs. 25 lakhs. (OR)
  • The person is an Associate for a continuous period of at least 5 years and possesses at least 5 years of total experience in law, management, or commerce either in a Group-‘A’ post of the Central Government or such equivalent post in the State Government or Local Authority or in a Supervisory position in any organization deemed by the Council.

Requirements for enrolment as a Fellow Member:

  1. The candidate must submit a duly completed and signed Form-B
  2. Fees
    • Fellow Entrance fee – Rs.1000
    • Fellow annual membership fee – Rs.1500 (in case of Associate membership fee is paid, only the fee difference between ACS and FCS is required to be paid)
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Total – Rs 2500

  1. The candidate must submit a duly completed and signed Form-B
  2. Fees
    • Fellow Entrance fee – Rs.1000
    • Fellow annual membership fee – Rs.1500 (in case of Associate membership fee is paid, only the fee difference between ACS and FCS is required to be paid)

TotalRs 2500

Fees Concessions:

For the current financial year of 2019-20, the ICSI has provided certain concessions in the annual membership fees. A person who is a senior citizen of age 60 years or above may receive 50% concession in the membership fees and those of age 70 years and above are entitled to a 75% concession in fees.

One may use the following link to apply for the Associate or Fellow membership – https://www.icsi.in/student/Portals/0/OnlineServices/WelcomePage.htm

Also, for further queries and FAQs, you can visit the official site of the ICSI – https://www.icsi.edu/contact-us/faq/faq-membtp/

ICSI Membership Restoration

There can be instances where an ACS or FCS loses his membership because of non-payment of the membership fee or such other reasons. This deprives the members of the various privileges provided by the Institute. Here, the ICSI provides ways to re-register as members to the Institute for members whose names have been deleted from the Register of Members. The candidate can register by paying the applicable fees before the due date. The following steps can be considered for the restoration of membership:

  • Paying the arrears of an annual membership fee, which has been due for over the years along with an additional entrance fee of Rs.2000 and restoration fee of Rs.250 (plus GST)
  • On completing the online payment, Form-BB will be available for download by the candidates. This form needs to be duly completed and signed, and then its scanned copy must be uploaded.

For more details on members, certificate of practice, etc., one may visit the official website link – https://www.icsi.edu/member/

You can watch a few demo lectures by SuperProfs for CS and see if you would want to consider subscribing to our video series for a better shot at clearing the CS examination.

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