The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF), the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) are celebrating the 21st birthday of the Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS).

CDCS was created by BAFT and The London Institute of Banking & Finance to professionalise the practice of issuing documentary letters of credit and checking presentations. It was first examined in 1999 to test candidates’ knowledge and practical application of the relevant International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) rules such as UCP 600 and ISP98.


Since the qualification was launched over 26,000 students in 100 countries have taken the qualification, with over half of those being female (57%).

Alex Fraser, Chief Executive of The London Institute of Banking & Finance said:

“Documentary credits are a vital component of keeping the wheels of international trade turning – ensuring funds for the import and export of goods flow smoothly between parties. Getting this wrong can have disastrous consequences. We’re proud to have supported thousands of students around the world to get the skills they need in this vital global sector, and particularly pleased that over half of our students are women.”

Tod Burwell, President and CEO, the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT) said:

“BAFT is thrilled to continue to work alongside LIBF in its efforts to support trade professionals in their learning and development. Since the inception of CDCS in 1999, BAFT has been committed to working with LIBF to make this the market-defining certification for documentary credit professionals, and we look forward to continuing the successful partnership.”

Julian Kassum, Global Membership & Services Director, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said:

“ICC and ICC Academy are proud to have contributed – together with our esteemed colleagues from LIBF – to the training of thousands of trade professionals. Trade finance will remain a key industry to support international trade flows and spread the benefits of the global economy. From compliance to sustainability, digitalization and the emergence of new market players, the new landscape comes with unprecedented challenges. We are committed to shaping this new environment and maintaining a high level of proficiency from our learners and practitioners. The Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS) was where the journey began 21 years ago, and we are delighted to have been part of its continued success.”