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Subject Matter Experts: Updating the Essentials Presentation Materials

CGQ Contributors

Chief Examiners

Speakers Bureau

Webinar Presenters

Subject Matter Experts: Updating the Essentials Presentations

The Continuing Professional Development Committee will be overseeing the updates of the following 4 Essentials Programs:

  1. Corporate Governance
  2. Corporate Law
  3. Corporate Secretaryship
  4. Financial Management
If you are interested in partaking in this project, please contact Christina with your current resume, ensuring the course name(s) are listed in the subject line and a very brief position statement on how your skills will complement the task by December 6, 2017. The projected completion date is January, 2018 and a stipend will be provided.

Chief Examiners
ICSA Canada is always looking to expand our pool of Chief Examiners in the following subjects. Exams are twice a year, in June and November:

    • Financial Reporting & Analysis
    • Applied Business Law
    • Corporate Governance
    • Corporate Law
    • Financial Decision Making
    • Strategy in Practice
    • Corporate Secretarial Practice; and,
    • Chartered (Corporate) Secretaries Case Study

Currently, ICSA Canada adapts UK based exam papers and marking schemes but it is the intention to create our own assessment materials in the near future. Click here for more information on each of this subject.

Current Duties of Examiner

    1. Adapt the UK examinations and related solutions/marking schemes to reflect Canadian standards and requirements and the materials from the ICSA Canada study guides.   These “Canadianized” exams and marking schemes will then be forwarded to the Canadian Assessment Review Panel (CARP) for review and feedback.
    2. Review the  comments received from CARP and modify the exams and model solutions/marking schemes accordingly.
    3. Mark exam scripts (papers completed by students) according to the specific ICSA Canada guidelines.
    4. For borderline exam scripts, review the marking to ensure it is fair.  A borderline script is one that has been assessed with a mark between 47% and 52%.
    5. Work within required deadlines to “Canadianize” and  assess the completed exam papers.

Examiners must be subject matter experts with recognized degrees or other qualifications in the area in which they are serving as Chief Examiner. Examiners often teach the subject matter at a university-level or may be doctoral student in the subject area. While preference is given to ICSA Canada members (ACIS, FCIS), doctoral students or individuals not affiliated with ICSA will also be considered.   

Examiners will receive $1,000 for each examination and model solution/marking scheme modified as well as $20 for each script marked. If a student requests additional commentary, an additional payment of $50 will be made.

Exam Structure
At the moment, ICSA Canada adapts UK examinations and model solutions/marking schemes.  These are provided to Examiners in Word files.

Examinations consist of six 25-mark questions. The questions are analytical in nature, and are designed to test the ability of candidates to apply their subject knowledge. Candidates are required to answer four of the six questions and are able to choose which four they will answer.  Questions that outline real-world situations that candidates may face are appropriate. A knowledgeable candidate should be able to answer each question in approximately forty-five minutes.

Canadianizing Exams
From the point of view of adaptation, the exam will consist of three types of questions/answers:

    • Those that require little, if any adaptation.  Questions in this category may need spelling changes, Canadian terminology (e.g. substituting “TSX-Venture” or “TSX” for “LSE”, or “AIM” or “Inc.” or “Ltd.” for “PLC”) or currency changes.
    • Those that require significant adaptation – for example, questions/answers referencing UK laws or legal situations that are different in Canada than in the UK, or where the ICSA Canada study guide offers different material than that contained in the UK study guide. Those that must be replaced altogether as they relate to material not discussed in the ICSA Canada study guides or questions/answers that are so different in Canada that adaptation is not possible.

Examiners will need to identify the changes required for each question. Where a question is replaced, it should cover roughly the same subject area as the UK question to ensure balance.  For instance, a question that deals with shareholder rights should be replaced with another one dealing with broadly the same topic.

A good exam will cover all major areas of the study guide (where one chapter represents a major area). Although there are no written guidelines, it is unlikely that more than two questions on the same general topic would be accepted, and two questions on the same subject matter will almost certainly be rejected.

The model solution/marking scheme should contain the full answer to all parts of the question, and should indicate how marks are to be allocated. In the cases of Corporate Law and Corporate Secretarial Practice, the answers should draw on the CCH Canadian Corporate Secretary’s Guide (a copy of which will be provided to the Examiner) and not just on the ICSA Canada study guides.

When adapting exams, kindly use “track changes”, so the reviewers can see successive changes to the exam and model solution/marking scheme.

Exams and model solutions/marking schemes are to be returned to the Office, after which they will be reviewed by Canadian Assessment Review Panel (CARP).  Where there are issues, the relevant question/answer will be referred to the Examiner for further modification. This may happen two or three times on a single question.

Marking Exams
Once the exams have been completed by candidates, the Office will send the scripts to the Examiner for marking. Since the questions are more analytical in nature, they require more than just a mark based on check marks, so more commentary from the Examiner is appropriate. A good guideline is to mark scripts so that a third party can clearly understand why the mark was allocated. A red and green pen will be included in the package of scripts to be marked.

In considering individual scripts, Examiners should be open to the idea that students may bring up points or, in the case of analytical questions, approaches that differ from the model solution/marking scheme.  If the response is valid, it should be accepted. The initial marking should be completed using the red pen provided. Borderline scripts should be re-marked using the green pen. 

ICSA Canada’s target is to have the exams finalized by the week of May 5th. While this may appear to be a somewhat tight schedule, we have been able to adhere to these approximate deadlines in earlier sessions. 

Scripts are usually returned to the Office and sent to Examiners within two weeks of the exam date. They should be marked and sent by the Examiner to the Office within a month of receipt.

If you know of qualified, interested candidates (or are, yourself, interested), please contact David Miriguay, Director of Education at david@icsacanada.org or at 613-595-1151 ext: 1.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

Join ICSA Canada's Speaker Bureau

ICSA Canada is looking to expand its professional development offerings in order provide support to current students in their exam preparations, help our ACIS and FCIS members meet their CPC requirements and attract new members to the Institute. We are also contacted to recommend speakers on occasion. 

We are looking for subject matter experts interested in delivering presentations on relevant topics using a variety of delivery mechanisms. We welcome and encourage all ICSA Canada members to take advantage of this opportunity to share their expertise and experiences with their colleagues and those who are new to the profession.

If you are interested in delivering a presentation, please download and complete the Call for Speakers form and submit it along with your resume or bio by email to christina@icsacanada.org.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to email or phone at (613) 595-1151.

Webinar Presenters
In an effort to provide even more CPD opportunities for our members, ICSA is seeking individuals who may be interested in developing webinar sessions for ICSA. Those members that are interested are asked to contact David Miriguay, Director of Education at

In an effort to provide even more CPD opportunities for our members, ICSA is seeking individuals who may be interested in developing webinar sessions for ICSA. Those members that are interested are asked to contact David Miriguay, Director of Education at david@icsacanada.org or Christina Mash, ICSA Administrator at christina@icsacanada.org to discuss this opportunity further. You can also call the National office at 613-595-1151.

Please note: the time needed to develop the webinars can be used towards your CPD hour requirements.

Please note: the time needed to develop the webinars can be used towards your CPD hour requirements.

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