Development of Strategy


As the pace and volume of change in the environment affecting organisations in all sectors increases, company secretaries/governance professionals must seek to understand what is happening and play their part in determining the organisation’s response. All organisations are faced with the challenge of strategic direction either to grasp new opportunities or to overcome significant problems.

The aim of this module is to provide the elements, processes and techniques involved in the development and implementation of organisational strategy. As part of the senior management team, company secretaries/governance professionals have a significant role to play in ensuring that strategy fits organisational purpose, is acceptable in terms of risk, and is consistent with good governance as well as with stakeholder requirements and concerns.

Download Develpment of Strategy syllabus

Download Development of Strategy November 2019 pre-seen case study


Exam material

View recent exams to practise the different types of questions that you might face in the exam.  You can then take a look at the mark scheme to compare the two and find out where you may need to do more study.

Development of Strategy exam material
Exam sessionExam paperMark schemeExaminer's report
Sample paper View View Not available for sample paper
November 2019 View View View


We deliver a number of study support webinars for each exam session covering topics ranging from planning your study to exam strategy. You will get details of upcoming webinars via email. Each session is recorded so you can view it at a time to suit you.


    For some sessions we can show examples of answers students wrote in the examination, complete with the grade the answer achieved.

    Development of Strategy resources
    Exam session Question Student answers
    November 2019 Available after the November exam Available after the November exam

    You are able to view example answers to exams from the previous version of the qualifying programme in the ‘CSQS exam archive’ section.

    Below you can find links to other resources which you can use for wider reading in your studies.

    Suggested wider reading from our website

    Here are some useful resources you can access using your MyCG student member login:

    The Company Secretary: Building trust through governance

    In 2013 we worked with Henley Business School to explore how company secretaries help organisations create trust through governance, and the skills and knowledge that they need. 

    You can download a copy of the report, watch videos summarising the findings and access a range of related filmed talks and published articles here.

    Conflict and tension in the boardroom

    This report was a further collaboration with Henley Business School. The research sought to understand why tensions and conflicts arise in board rooms, and offered practical suggestions for how to harness and manage these forces.

    You can download a copy of the report and view a short video here.

    Next Generation Governance

    This research examines the perspectives of millennial and generation Z company secretaries, in contrast to more established practitioners. We wanted to identify similarities and differences in members’ understanding of the role of governance.

    You can view a video and download the report here.

    The future of governance: Untangling corporate governance

    Chris Hodge, Chartered Governance Institute Policy Adviser and former Director of Corporate Governance at the Financial Reporting Council, considers how the UK corporate governance framework has been stretched to perform a role that was never intended when the Cadbury Committee reported twenty-five years ago.

    You can view a video and download the report here.

    FT-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether surveys

    The FT–ICSA Boardroom Bellwether is a twice-yearly survey of FTSE 350 companies that seeks to gauge the sentiment inside UK boardrooms. It canvasses the views of their company secretaries to find out how boards are responding to the challenges of the economy, market conditions and the wider business and governance environment.

    Read a summary of the most recent survey and download past reports here.

    Minute-taking guidance

    This minute taking guidance was developed through a series of discussions with experienced minute takers from both corporate and not-for-profit sectors. It provides up to date expert advice about all aspects of the process from preparing the agenda to the storage of the finished documents, and has a wealth of handy tips about how to avoid some of the pitfalls that can face those taking minutes of meetings.

    You can listen to a podcast and download the guidance here.

    Effective Board Reporting

    Research from The Chartered Governance Institute and Board Intelligence suggests that, in many organisations, board packs are a barrier rather than an aid. Too often they are dominated by inward- and backward-looking detail, rather than the sort of information that will help the board to plan its future strategy. Furthermore, the sheer volume of information that board and committee members are presented with makes it unlikely they can read it all, let alone absorb it or pick out the key issues.

    Download the report and related further reading suggestions here.

    Other suggestions

    • The list above shows a few relevant and recent resources from our website, but you should also go to our ‘Knowledge’ page and search and investigate other guidance available here.
    • Look up introductory texts which can help give you background on areas of the Qualifying Programme syllabus you are not familiar with. For example, there are a lot of introductory books which set out to explain financial reporting to people who are not accountants. You will also find introductory texts on relevant topics like company law, risk and strategy.
    • Contact your local branch to enquire about events in your area and whether student members can attend. Check events on the our website if you are able to attend in London.


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