Documentary Credit Courses, Certification and Training (CDCS)

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Trade Finance Global / Introduction to Letters of Credit | 2022 Guide / Documentary Collections / Documentary Credit Courses, Certification and Training (CDCS)

Documentary Credit Specialist Certification and Training (CDCS)

Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS)

If you are looking for a documentary credit specialist certification, you have come to the right place. TFG has partnered with the London Institute of Banking and Finance to offer the Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDSC) designation. CDSC is the industry certification designed for finance professionals who want to improve their knowledge of documentary credits, the products, parties, processes and rules that underpin documentary credit transactions, and receive industry approved Letter of Credit training.

Overview of this Supply Chain Finance Certification

  • Royal Charter approved Qualification
  • Comprehensive training, approved by Trade Finance Global
  • Free one year supply of Trade Finance Talks Magazine
  • Written in consultation with industry experts

The Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS® ) is a professional qualification recognized worldwide as the benchmark of competence for international practitioners; it was primarily designed for students with at least three years experience working with documentary credits. Its purpose is to enable documentary credit practitioners to demonstrate practical knowledge and understanding of the complex issues associated with documentary credit practice. CDCS® develops the knowledge and skills required to accurately check documents and manage documentary credit transactions. Within this, it provides a core understanding of documentary credits and the products, parties, processes and rules that underpin transactions. As well as developing the ability to identify irregularities and risks.

documentary credit specialist certification

Who is the course for?

This course is perfect for those seeking to gain an understanding of documentary credit or anyone aspiring to work within an area dealing with letters of credit. This certificate will allow you to stand out from the crowd as you can use the CDCS designation after your name upon completion. 

If you are already working with documentary credits then this qualification is designed for you.  CDCS® is a professional qualification recognized worldwide as the benchmark of competence for international practitioners. While it is intended for experienced practitioners, the qualification could also be used to gain wider experience/knowledge in this sector, to transfer into the sector and for continuing professional development (CPD) purposes which could, therefore, qualify you to work in another field.

Why get a Documentary Credit Specialist Certification?

The CDCS® will enable you as a documentary credit practitioner to gain practical knowledge and understanding of the complex issues associated with documentary credit practice

The unit is designed to enable documentary credit specialists to understand documentary credits, the products, parties, processes and rules that underpin documentary credit transactions. As well as the ability to manage documentary credit transactions and identify irregularities, by applying knowledge of processes, ICC rules and trade terms.

In addition to this improved knowledge, a documentary credit specialist certification will:

  • enable you to demonstrate a level of expertise in documentary credits that is recognized worldwide
  • help develop the skills to apply knowledge in the workplace and to perform at a high level
  • give you the right to add the professional designation ‘CDCS’ after their name for the three-year validation cycle
  • Improve career and promotion prospects

What are documentary collections?

Course Overview

CDCS® is made up of one mandatory unit on the Principles and Practices of Documentary Credit Transactions (PDT) which must be successfully completed in order for you to achieve the certificate

The qualification will encourage you to: 

  • analyze documentary credit products and reflect upon their desirability and effectiveness in a variety of scenarios;  
  • apply appropriate rules and guidelines to a variety of documentary credit transaction scenarios;  
  • develop an understanding of current technical language, methods and practices of documentary credit transactions;  
  • select and analyze appropriate data and information from a range of sources; and,  
  • increase your ability to work and learn independently. 

Further details

There are no specific entry requirements and registration is open year-round. However, working knowledge of the basics of trade finance would be an advantage and you need to be satisfied with your ability to study in English at Level 4.

In line with the London Institute of Banking & Finance regulations, as CDCS is a single unit qualification, recognition of prior learning does not apply.

The CDCS is an RQF Level 4 qualification that is recognized worldwide as a benchmark of competence in documentary credits. It enables documentary credit practitioners to demonstrate practical knowledge and understanding of the complex issues associated with documentary credit practice.


Registration fee: £580

Exam resit fee: £347

Exam Deferral Fee: £145

Recertification fee: £200

Key Skills Developed

By completing this letter of credit training course, you will gain knowledge in:
  • Documentary credits – types, characteristics and uses, including standby credits
  • Rules and trade terms, including UCP 600, ISP98, ISBP 745, Incoterms® 2010 and URR 725
  • Parties to documentary credit transactions and their roles and obligations
  • Types and methods of payment/credit used in documentary credit transactions, including the concept of autonomy
  • Types of transport, commercial and financial documents used in documentary credit transactions
  • Risk issues, including types of risks, control and possible mitigations
  • Related products, including letters of indemnity, airway releases and steamship guarantees
  • Implications of breaching rules including money laundering and terrorist financing

Time required to study

Total Qualification Time (TQT) is a prediction of the total time a student with no prior knowledge might need to complete the course. 

TQT consists of two elements, Guided Learning and all other hours:  Guided Learning is the amount of time spent studying under the immediate guidance or supervision of a teacher.  All other hours include hours spent unsupervised in research, learning, e-learning, e-assessment, exam preparation, and formal assessments. 

CSCF is primarily considered as a distance learning qualification with on-demand examinations through Pearson VUE. 

Guided Learning Hours: 0 hours 

Other hours: 292 hours 

Total Qualification Time: 292 hours

Examination / Assessment and further details

Assessment for CDCS consists of a 3-hour multiple-choice examination, designed to test knowledge and its application to practical situations. The examination paper consists of 70 multiple-choice questions, 3 in-basket case studies and 3 document checking simulations. The examination paper is split into 2 sections: 

  • Section A – 60 multiple-choice questions. This component of the examination is worth 60 marks. 
  • Section B – 10 multiple-choice questions, with one mark available for each correct answer; three in-basket exercises comprising five multiple-choice questions linked to a set of documents, with one mark available for each correct answer; and three simulation document-checking exercises, you must identify five discrepancies from a choice of 10. Each discrepancy correctly identified is worth one mark. A total of five marks are available for each simulation exercise. This component of the examination is worth 40 marks. 

To achieve an overall pass, you must achieve a mark of 70% overall (and 60% for Section B). Credit cannot be claimed for gaining 60% in Section B but failing to gain 70% overall, only overall achievement is graded.

CDCS is examined in over 30 countries each year with examinations given in paper format at designated international centres.

When you have successfully completed the CDCS® qualification, the CDCS® designation remains valid for three years. To retain the designation after this period, you are required to either continuing professional development (CPD) in order to recertify or re-take and pass the examination.

 To recertify you will be required to submit 36 CPD Learning hours / PDUs to recertify successfully.

Learning resources that you’re given

CDCS is an online qualification where students are expected to learn through self-study.  Preparation for the examination usually takes six months with comprehensive learning materials provided.  Upon registration, students will be sent a detailed study text which they study from independently. In addition to the study text, a mock paper is also available to download.

The following study materials are also included in your registration fee and are available immediately after registration:

  • online access through MyLIBF to learning materials and to KnowledgeBank
  • a unit syllabuses
  • Study text
  • e-quiz
  • specimen paper
  • a student-led forum

Please note: in order to reflect any changes to the syllabus, the study resources are normally updated annually. It is a student’s responsibility to make sure they are studying from the most up-to-date materials that will be assessed. 

Extras (from TFG) 

By registering for this course through the TFG partnership program you will also receive:

  • A free hard copy subscription to TFG’s Trade Finance Talks magazine,
  • A free subscription to TFG’s podcast series, and  
  • A free subscription to TFG’s e-newsletter

TFG produces a wealth of educational videos and guides for businesses on topics around trade, and shares industry knowledge through its role as strategic media partners for trade conference providers around the world.

Attracting around 100k monthly readers, our online publications (the Trade Portal) have a global audience in 185 countries. Our newly launched specialist content hubs provide guides, thought leadership articles and features on almost every aspect of trade. Gaining access to this wealth of information will be the perfect supplement to your supply chain finance certification and will enable you to continue learning and increasing your expertise. 


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About the Author

Sheena Magdaraog is responsible for the TFG Weekly Trade Briefings at Trade Finance Global.

With an extensive background in WordPress CMS and Digital Marketing, she loves the digitalization of trade and is fascinated about its impact on day to day transactions.

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