The CDCS® Exam

The deadline to register and pay for the exam is February 1, 2021.

Certified Documentary Credit Specialist (CDCS®) is the professional certification that enables documentary credit practitioners to demonstrate specialist knowledge and application of the skills required for competent practice. Learn more here.

Please note that applicants who are based in North America should apply via the "North American Applicants" link. Applicants who are based outside of North America should use the "All Other Applicants" button.

North American applicants are required to create a BAFT-IFSA account and log in before adding the 2014 CDCS exam to their shopping cart. If you run into any problems, please contact for support.

About the Examination

Candidates prepare for the CDCS® examination through independent study, using the study text produced by BAFT and The London Institute of Banking & Finance. All questions will be related to the study text. When you register, you will receive a letter with a link to the following:

  • The Guide to Documentary Credits. Developed by BAFT, The London Institute of Banking & Finance and industry representatives, it provides the main body of knowledge required for the examination. The study text has been updated to incorporate UCP 600 and other revisions.
  • CDCS® Candidate Study Guide. Contains sample examination questions, study tips and key terms that will help you prepare for the examination.
  • CDCS® Practice Test. Prior to taking the exam, candidates will have the opportunity to take a practice exam online. While the actual exam is a paper exam, this online practice exam is similar to the size and layout of the real exam.

You will also receive a hard copy of the CDCS® study guide.Please note that all preparation materials are in English.

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements to undertake the CDCS® examination. However, it is strongly recommended that candidates have a minimum of three years of documentary credit experience. Membership in BAFT, The London Institute of Banking & Finance, or any other organization is not required.

What Is the CDCS® Examination Format?

The CDCS® Exam is a three hour and fifteen minute paper exam. The content of the CDCS® examination is based on the results of a job analysis study that identified key responsibilities of a documentary credit practitioner and areas of knowledge and skills required for competent practice. To earn the professional designation you are required to pass a three hour and fifteen minute examination that is designed to test your knowledge and its application to practical situations. The examination is based on an English study text. The examination consists of multiple choice knowledge and application questions as well as sample in-baskets and simulations that test for analysis skills.

Taking the CDCS® Exam

All CDCS® exam candidates in the United States, Canada, and Mexico will need to arrange for a proctor to supervise the exam and a venue to take the exam. Details on selecting a proctor and venue will be sent to candidates once they register for the CDCS® exam. Please note that a proctor can be someone who works at your institution, but may not be a direct supervisor or co-worker. Most CDCS® candidates take the exam at a conference room at their institutions; however, a room at a public library or university or arrangements through a proctoring/testing service are also acceptable. Candidates are responsible for all fees for venue/proctoring services. Candidates are also responsible for completing BAFT Proctor and Venue forms and returning them to BAFT. BAFT will mail exams, answer sheets, instructions, and prepaid return envelopes to all proctors prior to the exam.

The BAFT CDCS® Exam is for candidates in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. If you are a CDCS® Exam candidate outside of these countries, please contact LIBF at

After the Exam

Proctors will return all exams, answer sheets, instructions and forms in a prepaid envelope to BAFT, whether or not candidates sat for the exam. Exam results will be distributed by BAFT after 6-8 weeks of the examination date. Electronic versions of certificates will be emailed to successful candidates 10 weeks after the exam, with hard copies of certificates following.