Two professionals, including a credit expert, collaborating on a project while looking at a laptop screen in a modern office setting.

Trade and transaction banking Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS)

Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS)

Documentary credits are a vital part of international trade. The Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists is an industry-leading qualification that will develop expertise in this field, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the products, parties, processes and rules that underpin documentary credit transactions.

CDCS will improve your knowledge and understanding of the complex issues associated with documentary credit best practice. You’ll learn to:

  • understand documentary credits – the products, parties, processes and rules that underpin documentary credit transactions

  • identify documentary credit risks, breaches and irregularities

  • manage documentary credit transactions

  • apply knowledge of processes, ICC rules and trade terms.

CDCS is a globally recognised standard of competence, which we created with industry experts and manage in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

While studying with us, you’ll become a Member of LIBF (MLIBF), receiving benefits including careers support and access to professional networking events.

Benefits for you

  • Qualify in as little as six months

  • Study online – anytime, anywhere on any device

  • Access research tools and industry analysis through KnowledgeBank and Financial World magazine

  • Demonstrate your expertise with an internationally recognised qualification

  • Add the professional designation ‘CDCS’ after your name for the three-year validation cycle

  • Advance your career and promotion prospects

  • Supported by Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT)

  • Endorsed by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

Key information


  • £695 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


  • One unit

Your studies will cover

  • The types, characteristics and uses of documentary credits and standby letters of credit

  • Rules and trade terms, including UCP 600, ISP98, Incoterms® 2020 and URR 725

  • Parties to documentary credit transactions and their roles and obligations

  • Types and methods of payment and credit used in documentary credit transactions, including the concept of autonomy

  • Types of transport, commercial and financial documents used in documentary credit transactions

  • Related products including letters of indemnity, air way releases and steamship guarantees

  • The implications of breaching rules including money laundering and terrorist financing

Your qualification at a glance


Exams are on-demand.

Your first exam is included in the registration fee for each module.

You'll receive a digital certificate once you have passed.


Registered with Ofqual in the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)

Unit information

What study materials do I get?

As part of the registration fee you'll get access to:

  • a student-led discussion forum

  • unit syllabus

  • study texts

  • specimen paper

  • student handbook

  • exam simulation exercises

  • e-quiz

  • three CDCS exam training videos: video one (free), video two (£25) and video three (£35)

  • online access to our student portal MyLIBF

  • online access to our virtual library KnowledgeBank


You’ll be assessed in an exam that lasts three hours and 15 minutes. The examination is split into two sections:

  • Section A: 60 multiple-choice questions

  • Section B: ten multiple-choice questions and three document checking exercises

Your first exam is included in the registration fee. If you need to retake an exam a resit fee will be payable.

You can choose when to take your exam and pick from test centres nationwide.

Exam and assessment information


Registration is open all year round.

You can also call our Student and Customer Services team on +44 (0)1227 818609 or talk to them on live chat.

We offer bursaries to some students undertaking professional qualifications – find out if you're eligible.

Full qualification


price includes study materials and exam entry
Additional costs

Corporate bookings

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

Request further information

Additional study support

CDCS Exam Training Videos

In collaboration with Gary Collyer, our CDCS editor and renowned documentary credit expert, and based on our analysis of the CDCS examination results we have produced a series of three videos that will provide you with insight and will help you avoid the common mistakes that others have made in the past.

  • CDCS 1 is free and gives you a taster of what to expect in the other videos

  • CDCS 2 costs £25, relates to the simulations exercises in the examination and looks at the process of answering that should maximise your scores

  • CDCS 3 costs £35 and covers the 6 main areas that students typically find more difficult

The videos can be watched on any device, from anywhere in the world – as long as you have internet access – giving you the flexibility to study when and where it suits you. You can watch them as many times as needed and you will have access to them for 12 months.

Check out our free introduction video (CDCS 1) to give you a taster of our CDCS videos.

Find out more

International students registration

Students from Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and South Korea should contact a relevant country contact to register for CDCS.

Accredited Learning Support Providers

Some students prefer a qualification route with extra learning support. In addition to having long-term partners worldwide, we have recognised a select number of course providers offering CDCS learning support. Using a learning support provider is entirely up to you – it is NOT a requirement of your studies – but this extra support might help your learning. You’ll need to pay for such provision directly to your chosen Accredited Learning Support Providers (ALSPs). Please note you will still need to register and complete CDCS through us as we are the qualification awarding body.

Find out more

CDCS Registry

The international CDCS Registry contains the names of those who hold the CDCS designation.

If you complete CDCS successfully, your details will be added to the registry though this may take up to 30 days after your receive your results. You'll need to recertify successfully every three years to ensure your name remains on the registry.

If you have any queries, please email customerservices@libf.ac.uk or call +01227 913218.

Search CDCS Registry

Contact us about our professional qualifications

If you have any questions about our professional qualifications in finance and banking, please contact our customer services team.

Our office is open Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.00pm GMT.