What is CDCS®

The Certified Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS®) is a professional qualification recognized worldwide as a benchmark of competence for international trade practitioners. It enables documentary credit practitioners to demonstrate practical knowledge and understanding of the complex issues associated with documentary credit practice.

The CDCS® program has been developed and is continually reviewed by BAFT and The London Institute of Banking & Finance (formerly ifs University College) and industry experts to ensure that the certification reflects industry standards and best practices. CDCS® is the international standard for documentary credit specialists, based on the ICC rules.


CDCS® develops core knowledge and understanding of the following areas:

  • Documentary credits - types, characteristics and uses, including standby credits
  • Rules and trade terms, including ISBP 745, ISP 98, UCP 600, URR 725 and Incoterms 2010®
  • Parties to documentary credit transactions and their roles and obligations
  • Types and methods of payment / credit used in documentary credit transactions. Types of transport, commercial and financial documents used in documentary credits
  • Risk issues, including types of risk, control and mitigants
  • Related products, including letters of indemnity, air way releases and steamship guarantees
  • Implications of breaching rules related to financial crime including money laundering and terrorist financing

Why Study CDCS®?
The benefits of continuing professional development include the following:

  • It enables you to demonstrate a level of expertise in documentary credits recognized worldwide
  • It improves your knowledge and understanding of the complex issues associated with documentary credit best practice
  • It helps you develop the skills needed to apply your knowledge in the workplace and maximize your performance
  • It helps you to learn how to comply with regulatory requirements
  • It fosters innovation in customer service and improves your customer relationships
Achieving CDCS® allows you to add the professional designation ‘CDCS’ after your name, improving your career and promotion prospects.

BAFT offers the paper-based CDCS® Exam two times a year – in April and October - to candidates in Canada, Mexico, and the United States*. BAFT registration for the April 2018 CDCS® examination is now open, and can be found here. The exam will take place Friday, April 6 or Saturday, April 7, 2018 at venues of the candidates’ choosing**

*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 David Morrish at dmorrish@libf.ac.uk

**Candidates are responsible for arranging venues to take the exam. Venues may be a conference room at candidates’ 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.