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Global learning Certificate in SME Lending and Alternative Data Level 3 (CSME)

Alternative data is transforming SME lending across the globe. In both mature and emerging markets, it offers the opportunity to bridge the credit gap, expanding access to finance for small businesses and increasing portfolios.

Knowing how to harness its power can be challenging - lenders can be unsure of what data to use, and how to use it responsibly without increasing risk.

Our Certificate is the first to combine SME Lending procedures with rigorous alternative data analysis. It helps your teams build the expertise and skills required to use alternative data effectively, and make better judgements about lending appetite and which SMEs to support.

How this benefits you

Reduces risk

Create the opportunity for more robust, consistent, cost efficient, faster and safer credit lending decisions from your teams.

Increases sales

Avoid the roadblocks that traditional credit analysis can lead to. New, alternative data models allow your teams to develop their loan books and grow the business in sustainable manner, setting your bank apart from your competitors.

Empowers your workforce

Our practical qualification will ensure your teams are engaged and knowledgeable about current and emerging trends. Their learning experience will be tailored to meet your organisation’s needs, aligning to your internal strategies.

While studying with us, learners will become a Member of LIBF, receiving benefits including careers support and access to professional networking events.

Key information


  • £370 for the full qualification.

Study duration

  • You'll have 12 months from registration to complete the qualification.

  • Everything is online, so you can study at a pace that suits you.


  • Two units in total.

Your studies will cover:

  • A strong understanding of alternative lending techniques and how they can be deployed.

  • Knowledge of how to successfully devise tailored solutions for your SME clients.

  • The skill required to adapt lending techniques to meet the needs of the market environment.

  • The ability to confidently utilise data and information from a range of sources to make financial decisions and recommendations.

  • Knowledge of how to actively monitor, control and manage problem loans and risks.

  • An advanced understanding of how to interpret financial ratios and numerical data.

Your qualification at a glance


Three-hour single multiple-choice exam, consisting of a combination of individual and scenario based questions.

Once you’ve passed you’ll receive a digital certificate. A paper copy can also be ordered for an additional fee.

Study type

Self-study, distance learning.

Classroom sessions available for your team on request at an additional cost.

Unit information

What study materials do I get?

As part of the registration fee you will get access to:

  • online access via MyLIBF to learning materials and to KnowledgeBank

  • unit syllabuses

  • specimen paper

  • student handbook

  • ask-the-expert forum

  • regional case studies.


CSME is assessed in a single three-hour exam:

  • Unit 1 content is assessed through a 50 question multiple-choice questions.

  • Unit 2 content is assessed through four case study exercises each with five multiple-choice questions.

A total of 70 marks are available in the examination where you will be assessed on all areas of the syllabus. The pass mark for each unit is 60%. A pass in both units is required to achieve the Certificate.

You can choose when to take your CSME exam and pick from test centres nationwide or through remote invigilation.

Exam and assessment information


Registration is open all year round.

You can register by clicking 'register now' button below or by calling our Customer Services team on +44 (0)1227 818609.

Corporate bookings

If you are a company and want to register a cohort of students onto CSME please email international@libf.ac.uk for further information.

Full qualification


Prices includes study materials and exam entry.
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