International Qualifying Program

Chartered Status is Your Passport to the World

In a rapidly changing, increasingly complex business environment, employers and investors are demanding that those charged with governance and risk management responsibilities have the skills and expertise to promote excellence in corporate accountability, conduct, and administration.  This can only be achieved by a Chartered Governance Professional.

Chartered status is the benchmark for excellence amongst corporate secretaries and governance professionals. It shows that you have the knowledge, skills, and experience to take on a job with significant and wide-ranging responsibilities. To attain Chartered status, you must complete the International Qualifying Program, gain the necessary practical experience, and uphold upstanding character throughout your career.

Chartered status is your passport to the world. Successfully completing the International Qualifying Program opens the door to versatile and challenging career opportunities as a trained governance professional in more than 80 countries globally. 

View our global network >

About the International Qualifying Program

The International Qualifying Program (IQP) is a broad-based professional qualification that provides corporate secretaries and governance professionals with the skills they need to confidently serve in a variety of leadership roles.

The IQP covers seven subjects across two levels. Each subject area requires approximately 200 hours of self-study and is assessed by a three-hour exam.

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IQP Level One

The IQP Level One is set at the standard of the final year of an undergraduate degree.

This level consists of four modules.

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IQP Level Two

The IQP Level Two is set at the standard of a master’s program.

This level consists of three modules.

Exams are held twice a year – in June and November – and exam questions are often based on scenarios or case studies that reflect the kind of complex issues arising in an organization at the level at which a corporate secretary or governance professional is working.  Note that exams for each module are scheduled on fixed dates and those dates can not be changed. 

For more information about the IQP, please contact CGIC's Director of Education.

VIEW UPCOMING IQP EXAM DATES 

Path to Certification

It takes, on average, two to six years for a Candidate to graduate from the IQP, depending on any exemptions that may be available to them.  Graduates with the requisite relevant experience can apply for Chartered status as an Associate or Fellow.

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CANDIDATE

Those studying the IQP.
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AFFILIATE

Those who have achieved all four of the IQP Level One modules.
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GRADUATE

Those who have completed the full IQP program and are working towards the experience required for Chartered membership.
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ASSOCIATE

The first level of Chartered membership, for those who have achieved Graduate status and have requisite relevant work experience. Associate members use the professional designation of Chartered Secretary or Chartered Governance Professional.
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FELLOW

The highest level of Chartered membership, for those who have achieved associate status and have the requisite relevant senior work experience.  Fellow members use the professional designation of Chartered Secretary or Chartered Governance Professional.

Exams are held yearly in June and November.

VIEW EDUCATION CALENDAR AND REGISTER

Routes of Entry

Depending on their academic or professional background, candidates may be eligible for some module exemptions. Our most common routes to entry are shown below.

Most Candidates will start at IQP LEVEL ONE with no module exemptions.

Candidates who have one or more of the following qualifications may be eligible to start directly on the Level One of the qualifying program:

  • A degree in Business Studies or Business Management; or,
  • An 'unrelated' degree (i.e. anything other than law, finance or business) and five years’ or more experience in a company secretarial or governance professional related role.

*Less Than 5 Years of  Professional Experience Required

Candidates interested in pursuing the IQP must meet the following minimum educational criteria:

  • A degree in Business Studies or Business Management; or,
  • A degree in an 'unrelated' field (anything other than law, finance or business) and five years’ or more experience in a company secretarial or governance professional related role.

Most Candidates will start at IQP LEVEL ONE with no module exemptions.

>>> Those with a Law Degree and/or a Finance Degree and those holding an MBA may qualify under the Related Degree Entry.

To confirm your route of entry, please contact CGIC's Director of Education.                                                    

Your Investment

Undertaking the CGI qualifying program is a big decision. It is important to consider how it will fit into your existing lifestyle and career.

Time: The time investment is significant - up to 200 hours of study are required per module. The work is challenging, rising to the level of work required to complete a postgraduate degree. The full program can take up to six years to complete.

Cost: Costs can vary significantly from candidate to candidate depending on their confirmed route to entry - from $1,800 for Fast Track candidates to $4,800 for Regular candidates.  Final program costs will be confirmed by CGIC's Director of Education as part of the registration process.  

When registering for the IQP, Candidates are required to pay the one-time administration fee, the applicable exemption fee, and the module fee for their first exam.  Module fees for additional exams are due 60 days before the exam date. The fee breakdown is shown below. 

Other Considerations: Please note:

  • Study materials are included in the program fees.
  • Study materials and examinations are all in English.
  • As of November 2020, exams will be delivered and invigilated/proctored online.
  • Special accommodations are available to those in need.
  • You can take a maximum of 2 exams per exam season (4 per year).
  • Additional fees apply for those who need to defer or re-sit an exam.
  • Failure to appear for an exam results in the loss of the module fee.
  • Continuous annual membership is required both during the program and to maintain your certification. 
  • Membership fees are not included in the program costs shown below.  
  • Annual Professional Development hours are also required to maintain certification.

IQP Registration fees

APPLICATION FEES (CAD):

One-time administrative fee: $50.00

EXEMPTION FEES (CAD):

Regular entry fee: n/a
Related degree entry fee: $100.00
Professional entry fee: $100.00
Fast track entry fee: $250.00 
ICSI applicant fee: $500.00

MODULE FEES (CAD):

Module fees are $750.00 per module

ADDITIONAL FEES (CAD):

Exam deferral fee: $200.00
Exam resit fee: 100.00

Please Note:
Annual membership fees are also required.
Pricing may change without notice.
Pricing subject to applicable taxes.

Transferability of Membership

Candidates may transfer from one Division to another between courses, but not during courses. Divisions recognize one another’s courses as equal to their own, so a candidate who has completed courses in Canada does not have to re-take them if they transfer to another Division.

Learn more about transferring your Chartered membership > 

International Standard

CGIC must meet the International standard that establishes educational program and in admission of members standards across all Divisions. Adherence of the standard is policed by the Professional Standards Committee (PSC), which is a Committee of International Council.

Learn more about the International Council > 

IQP Exam Policies

The IQP exams are guided internally by a number of policies to ensure fairness in the exam process.  Candidates are encouraged to review these policies in advance of writing each IQP exam.

View Education Policies > 

Do I qualify for any exemptions?

Contact our director of Education