ICSI has issued New Guidelines for Yearly Credit Hours for Financial year w.e.f. 01st April, 2020. These guidelines came into effect from 01st April, 2020.

New Credit Hour Requirements:

It is mandatory for all members of the Institute, except those specified in para 5.1 of guidelines (also mentioned below) to secure 20 CPE Credits in a year through structured and unstructured learning program.

However, no carry forward for excess Program Credit Hours from one year to another year will be allowed.

Applicability of Guidelines

These guidelines shall be mandatory for all the members irrespective of whether they are in practice or otherwise.

These guidelines shall not applicable on following members:

Exemption 1:

The requirements of CPE Credit shall not apply to:

a) A member who attains the age of 60 years during a particular calendar year and who is neither in any gainful employment nor in practice.

b) A member, for the year during which he attains membership of the Institute.

c) Member of Parliament;

d) Member of legislative assembly or legislative council;

e) Member of Judiciary;

f) Members of any of the Central Civil Services;

g) Members of any of the State Civil Services;

h) Employees of regulatory bodies, government organizations (not being corporate entities), and statutory bodies;

i) Members of Armed Forces and Paramilitary forces;

j) A member or class of members to whom the Professional Development Committee of the Council grant full/partial exemption, on case to case basis, either by granting specific /general exemption, on account of facts and circumstances in the following situations:

i. Maternity / Paternity Leave;

ii. Accident / Medical Emergencies;

iii. Partial / Total Disablement;

iv. Absence from the country;

v. Such other case(s), as may be deemed appropriate by Professional Development Committee of the Council.

Provided that the member falling in any of the above exempted categories shall submit a declaration along with documentary evidence at the time of renewal of membership on annual basis or anytime at the time of claiming exemptions.

Exemption 2:

Members holding Multiple Qualification (Like: CA/CWA):-

A member holding membership of more than one sister professional institution, wherein he / she is also required to meet CPE Credit requirements in order to continue the membership, such member shall be granted equal number of CPE Credits as are applicable to such learning activities undertaken under the banner of the other professional body(ies).

INSOLVENCY PROFESSIONAL: In case of members who are registered as Insolvency Professionals or Registered Valuers with the ICSI-Insolvency Professionals Agency and the ICSI-Registered Valuers Organisation as the case may be, the respective bodies may consider granting CPE Credits to the members for attendance at learning programmes on the topics prescribed by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). And the same may be in part fulfillment of the requirement of obtaining CPE requirements prescribed by the IBBI

Un-Structured Activities:

The members shall be granted CPE Credit under these Guidelines for undertaking any of the following unstructured learning activities subject to a maximum of Twelve CPE Credits in each year:

 

S No.

Learning Activity CPE Credits per activity Maximum CPE in a year
1 Web  based learning includinge- learning,  webinar, subject to ,declaration of CPE Hours by the ICSI 2 8
2 Viewing video recording of the learning programmes organized by the Institute subject to submission of self declaration by the member 2 2
3 Publication of article in a UGC approved journal other than the Chartered Secretary Journal. 4 8
4 Publication of book(s). 8 8
5 Revision of Published Book 6 6
6 Acting as Guide / Supervisor for a M.Phil. / LL.M. / Ph.D. student registered with a UGC approved University 4 4
7 Submitting suggestions on Questionnaires/Consultative Papers/Exposure Draft, etc. sought by the Institute. 2 4
8 Reviewing of Articles/Guideline Answers/Study Material and other publications of the Institute 2 4
9 Publication of Research findings / Studies on the areas relevant to Corporate Sector, Capital Markets and Professional interest in a UGC – Consortium  for  Academic Research and Ethics (CARE) approved journal. 4 4
10 Publication of articles of professional interest in national  dailies registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India 2 4
11 Acting as visiting faculty or guest faculty at the various Universities / Management Institutions/ 2 4

FAQs

S. No. FAQ’s
Q1. Is there any consequences if CS Member fails to comply with such guidelines?
Ans. A member who fails to obtain the mandatory CPE Credits during the stipulated period may be liable to disciplinary action for non-compliance under the provisions of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, Company Secretaries Regulations, 1982 and the Code of Conduct
Q2. These guidelines shall be applicable from which financial year?
Ans. These Guidelines shall come into force, w.e.f 1ST APRIL, 2020.  ICSI Members except the mentioned in above exception list required to comply these guidelines for f.y. 2020-21.
Q3. How many credit hour required during one financial year?
Ans. It is mandatory for all members of the Institute, to secure 20 CPE Credits in a year through structured and unstructured learning program.
Q4. How Many Maximum credit hour through unstructured learning program a member?
Ans. A Member can have Credit hour through unstructured learning program, maximum of 12  (Twelve ) CPE Credits in each financial year.
Q5. Any credit hour shall be granted if article published in Chartered Secretary?
Ans. A member whose article is published in the “Chartered Secretary” will be entitled to 4 CPE Credits
Q6. Credit Hour in case of joint authorship of an Article.
Ans. In respect of joint authorship of the article, the two credit hours be awarded to each MEMBER WHO has authored the article. However, the joint authorship should be limited to two authors only
Q7. Credit hour for faculties
Ans. Members acting as Faculties in any of the program organised by the Institute, he shall be entitled to minimum 2 and maximum 4 CPE hours for any session of not less than 30 minutes on such sessions

Notes:

√ No CPE Credits will be awarded for any learning program whose duration is less than 1 hour.

√ For Members who’s professional address is beyond 100 km from the nearest Regional Council/Chapter(s)/Study Circle(s) and attend a program at any Program Learning Centre, they shall be awarded double the CPE Credits for which the concerned Program is entitled.

√ Members above the age of 60 years shall be required to obtain 50% of the PCH required to be obtained by the members, if he is in the gainful employment or holding the certificate of practice.

FULL TEXT OF THE ‘ICSI (CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION) GUIDELINES, 2019’ IS AS FOLLOWS:-

ICSI (Continuous Professional Education) Guidelines, 20191

In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (1) of Part II of the Second Schedule to the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 (56 of 1980), as amended by the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 2006, the Council of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India hereby issues the following guidelines:-

1. SHORT TITLE AND COMMENCEMENT

These Guidelines shall be called the ICSI (Continuous Professional Education) Guidelines, 2019 or ‘ICSI (CPE) Guidelines, 2019’ in short. These Guidelines shall come into force, w.e.f 1st April, 2020.

2. OBJECTIVE AND INTRODUCTION

The Company Secretaries Act, 1980 was enacted to make provisions for the regulation and development of the profession of Company Secretaries. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India set up under the said Act has been conducting examinations and prescribing standards for adherence by its members.

A profession cannot maintain its cutting edge competencies unless its members regularly update their knowledge. Attendance and participation in Professional Development Programs, Certificate Programs, and other similar training and professional development programs organized by the ICSI and its offices and other recognized bodies enable members to –

(i) Constantly upgrade professional competence and skills.

(ii) Sensitize them to new and emerging opportunities for professional services.

(iii) Assure users of professional services that they possess adequate skills commensurate with their professional responsibilities.

(iv) Improve their level of confidence to meet ever-changing demands on the profession.

The objective of these guidelines is to facilitate the members in keeping them abreast of latest developments, widening their knowledge base and improving their skills to maintain the cutting edge by providing training and expertise in critical areas of professional interest and to assist members achieve constant upgrading of competence by acquiring adequate skills commensurate with their professional responsibilities.

3. APPLICABILITY OF THE GUIDELINES

3.1 These guidelines shall be mandatory for all the members irrespective of whether they are in practice or otherwise, except those specified in para 5.1.

3.2 The Member shall be required to mark his / her attendance in the attendance register or through biometric or any other electronic mode both at the time of start of the learning event and at the end thereof.

3.3  For the removal of doubts, it is clarified that all issues relating to the implementation and interpretation of terms used in these guidelines shall be the responsibility of the Professional Development Committee constituted by the Council. The Committee may discharge its duties in this regard (including issue of clarifications and advisories from time to time) for implementation within the limits of its authority as specified or prescribed by the Council.

4. KEY DEFINITIONS

4.1 Approved Learning Program shall mean any programme of academic nature (viz., Professional Development Program, Continuing Professional Education Program, Certificate Courses / Program, Refresher Course of the ICSI, Crash Courses, Self-Assessment examinations, Programmes any other program, Seminar or study circle meeting) organised by the HQ, RO, CCGRT, CoE or Chapter of the Institute, and programmes organised jointly with professional bodies, partner institutions or Chambers of Commerce. The Programmes organised by HQ through distance / electronic mode shall also be construed as approved learning programme under these guidelines.

Provided however that the Professional Development Committee under exceptional circumstances (such as complete lockdown, social disturbance, communal riots, curfew, government order prohibiting large gatherings etc.) which render it impossible to conduct any programmes in the physical mode may on case to case basis allow the ROs, CCGRT, COEs or Chapters also to conduct any learning programme through electronic / distance mode subject to reasonable restrictions.

Provided further that the Professional Development Committee shall be empowered to add / approve any other activity as approved learning programme on case to case basis.

4.2 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) – The process of members’ continuous learning.

4.3 Structured CPE Credits – The CPE Credits awarded to the members for attendance at approved learning programmes.

4.4 Unstructured CPE Credits – The CPE Credits awarded to the members for undertaking any of the learning activities stated in para 7 of these guidelines.

4.5 Year for the purposes of these guidelines shall mean the period of 12 months commencing from 1st day of April and ending on 31st day of March following. Further, the Council or President if authorised by the Council may increase the year upto 15 months for the purpose of relaxation of requirement of CPE Credits in any such year.

5.1 EXEMPTIONS

The requirements of CPE Credit shall not apply to:

(a) A member who attains the age of 60 years during a particular calendar year and who is neither in any gainful employment nor in practice.

(b) A member, for the year during which he attains membership of the Institute.

(c) Member of Parliament;

(d) Member of legislative assembly or legislative council;

(e) Member of Judiciary;

(f) Members of any of the Central Civil Services;

(g) Members of any of the State Civil Services;

(h) Employees of regulatory bodies, government organizations (not being corporate entities), and statutory bodies;

(i) Members of Armed Forces and Paramilitary forces;

(j) A member or class of members to whom the Professional Development Committee of the Council grant full/partial exemption, on case to case basis, either by granting specific /general exemption, on account of facts and circumstances in the following situations:

(i) Maternity / Paternity Leave;

(ii) Accident / Medical Emergencies;

(iii) Partial / Total Disablement;

(iv) Absence from the country;

(v) Such other case(s), as may be deemed appropriate by Professional Development Committee of the Council.

Provided that the member falling in any of the above exempted categories shall submit a declaration along with documentary evidence at the time of renewal of membership on annual basis or anytime at the time of claiming exemptions.

5.2.1 Multiple Qualifications – A member holding membership of more than one sister professional institution, wherein he / she is also required to meet CPE Credit requirements in order to continue the membership, such member shall be granted equal number of CPE Credits as are applicable to such learning activities undertaken under the banner of the other professional body(ies).

Explanation: An undertaking to be given by the respective members at the time of renewal of membership stating that they have complied the requirements of the other professional body.

5.2.2 It is mandatory for all members of the Institute, except those specified in para 5.1 to secure 20 CPE Credits in a year through structured and unstructured learning program. However, no carry forward for excess Program Credit Hours from one year to another year will be allowed.

5.2.3 No CPE credit will be given to a participant who attends the programme partially.

5.2.4 Members whose reply to prize queries is published in the Chartered Secretary will be entitled to FOUR CPE Credits.

5.2.5 Members above the age of 60 years shall be required to obtain 50% of the PCH required to be obtained by the members, if he is in the gainful employment or holding the certificate of practice. This shall be applicable from the year succeeding the Financial Year in which the member attains the age of 60 years.

5.2.6 In case of members who are registered as Insolvency Professionals or Registered Valuers with the ICSI-Insolvency Professionals Agency and the ICSI-Registered Valuers Organisation as the case may be, the respective bodies may consider granting CPE Credits to the members for attendance at learning programmes on the topics prescribed by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). And the same may be in part fulfillment of the requirement of obtaining CPE requirements prescribed by the IBBI.

6. CPE CREDIT FOR STRUCTURED LEARNING ACTIVITIES

6.1  No CPE Credits will be awarded for any learning program whose duration is less than 1 hour.

6.2 The basis of calculation of CPE Credits will be as under:

No. of hours of Learning Program attended by the member CPE Credit
Beyond 1 hour and upto 2 hours 1
Beyond 2 hours and upto 4 hours in a single day 2
Beyond 4 hours in a single day 4
Program spanning 1 ½ days 6
Program spanning 2 days 8
Program spanning 2 ½ days and above/National Convention 10

6.3 A member whose article is published in the “Chartered Secretary” will be entitled to 4 CPE Credits.

6.4   In respect of joint authorship of the article, the two credit hours be awarded to each member who has authored the article. However, the joint authorship should be limited to two authors only.

6.5 The article published in the Souvenir of National Convention / Souvenir of National Conference of Practicing Company Secretaries / Souvenir of Regional Conferences shall be treated at par with the article published in the Chartered Secretary for the purposes of grant of credit hours.

6.6 If the Programme Director / Programme Co-ordinator / Programme Facilitator / Course Coordinator attends the full program, full credit of the CPE Credits allotted for the program will be given.

6.7  Members acting as Faculties in any of the program organised by the Institute, he shall be entitled to minimum 2 and maximum 4 CPE hours for any session of not less than 30 minutes on such sessions, where CPE credit granted is being granted to the members. Further, no CPE Credit shall be given to a member for acting as a faculty in Oral Tuition Classes or any other student training programs.

6.8 For Members who’s professional address is beyond 100 km from the nearest Regional Council/Chapter(s)/Study Circle(s) and attend a program at any Program Learning Centre, they shall be awarded double the CPE Credits for which the concerned Program is entitled. However, this will not apply to attendance at the National Convention/National Conclave/National Conference of Practising Company Secretaries/Regional Conferences organised by the Regional Councils.

6.9  Where the members in practice who has practice set up beyond 100 km from the nearest Regional Council/Chapter are not able to attend the professional development programmes, they may write to the Institute for approving a topic on which they can prepare research paper to get the exemption from securing CPE Credits or may resort to unstructured learning activities as per para 7 of these Guidelines.

6.10 The Research paper include:

(i) A concept paper on emerging areas of practice for Company Secretaries

A Referencer / backgrounder on contemporary topics relevant to Company Secretaries

A booklet on any topic relating to the areas of practice for Company Secretaries

A monograph on any contemporary topic relevant to the Company Secretaries

An empirical study of practical relevance to the Company Secretaries

6.11  Members  whose  research  paper  is  approved  by  the  Professional Development Committee of the Council, will be exempted from the requirement of securing CPE Credits for the year during which the research paper is approved.

7. CPE CREDIT FOR UNSTRUCTURED LEARNING ACTIVITIES

The members shall be granted CPE Credit under these Guidelines for undertaking any of the following unstructured learning activities subject to a maximum of Twelve CPE Credits in each year:

 

S No.

Learning Activity CPE Credits per activity Maximum CPE in a year
1 Web based learning including elearning, webinar, subject to declaration of CPE Hours by the ICSI 2 8
2 Viewing video recording of the learning programmes organized by the Institute subject to submission of self declaration by the member 2 2
3 Publication of article in a UGC approved journal other than the Chartered Secretary Journal. 4 8
4 Publication of book(s) 8 8
5 Revision of Published Book 6 6
6 Acting as Guide / Supervisor for a M.Phil. / LL.M. / Ph.D. student registered with a UGC approved University 4 4
7 Submitting suggestions on Questionnaires / Consultative Papers / Exposure Draft, etc. sought by the Institute 2 4
8 Reviewing of Articles / Guideline Answers / Study Material and other publications of the Institute 2 4
9 Publication of Research findings / Studies on the areas relevant to Corporate Sector, Capital Markets and Professional interest in a UGC – Consortium for Academic Research and Ethics (CARE) approved journal 4 4
10 Publication of articles of professional interest in national dailies registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India 2 2
11 Acting as visiting faculty or guest faculty at the various Universities / Management Institutions/ Institutions of National importance / ICAI /ICAI (CWA). 2 4
12 Reading articles published in the Chartered Secretary Journal or any other UGC approved journal (subject to submission of self declaration by the member) 1 2
13 Acting as a panelist at a programme organized by the press and media 2 4
14 Participation at meetings of the research groups / task forces / core groups / Board(s), as may be constituted by the Council. 2 6

8. CONSEQUENCE OF NON-COMPLIANCE

A member who fails to obtain the mandatory CPE Credits during the stipulated period may be liable to disciplinary action for non-compliance under the provisions of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, Company Secretaries Regulations, 1982 and the Code of Conduct, as amended from time to time.

9. Removal of Difficulties

If any difficulty arises with respect to the observance / interpretation of these Guidelines, or some unforeseeable circumstances occur which have not expressly been provided for in these Guidelines, then the Secretary, ICSI shall decide the matter in consultation with President, ICSI and pass such orders as may appear necessary or expedient for carrying out the objectives of these Guidelines.

https://www.icsi.edu/media/webmodules/CPE_Gls.pdf

(Author – CS Divesh Goyal, GOYAL DIVESH & ASSOCIATES Company Secretary in Practice from Delhi and can be contacted at csdiveshgoyal@gmail.com)

[1] https://www.icsi.edu/media/webmodules/CPE_Gls.pdf

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