Why study the Green and Sustainable Finance Certificate?

Managing climate-related risks and supporting the transition to a low-carbon world are our most significant global challenges. Achieving these requires the combined efforts of global bodies, national governments and the financial services sector, putting sustainability and stewardship at the heart of finance.

Key facts:

  • The transition to a sustainable, low carbon world is estimated to require $6 trillion per year of investment - 80% of which will come from the private sector;
  • The green bond market has grown to over $200 billion of annual issuance (2019).

To support the sector’s continued growth, finance professionals need to develop and demonstrate the specific knowledge and expertise needed to help direct investments to support the transition to a low carbon world, address climate-related risk, and explore green finance opportunities.

The Green and Sustainable Finance Certificate was launched by the Chartered Banker Institute as the first global, benchmark qualification for the green finance sector. It has been updated for 2020 to encompass broader aspects of sustainability, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Benefit from membership of both professional bodies

Awarding body

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Is the Green and Sustainable Finance Certificate right for me?

The broad introduction on this qualification makes it suitable for a range of individuals:

  • Bankers, insurers, investment managers, central bankers and regulators, risk managers, analysts and consultants - If you are already a financial services professional, or wish to become one, this qualification can lead to further areas of study or practice in this area.
  • Firms - Firms wishing to increase their staff knowledge in this area could also use this qualification in induction materials.
  • UK and global audiences – The certificate includes broad financial services sector coverage which is relevant internationally.

Key features:

  • CISI and CBI Student membership – if you register via the CISI, you will become associated with two globally recognised Chartered professional bodies. Join a network of over 50,000 members globally and take advantage of the professional and personal benefits offered by two leading bodies
  • Prepare for a career in green and sustainable finance - this qualification provides an overview of the sector and will help kick start your career
  • Available to all - there are no entry requirements for the Green Finance Certificate, and no prior knowledge of the Green Finance sector is assumed
  • Globally-recognised qualification - awarded by the Chartered Banker Institute, delivered in partnership with the CISI.
  • A fast and affordable recognition – the certificate can be studied for using online resources at your own pace (130 hours of study time required), and is assessed via a 1.5 hour, 75 question test, delivered online with instant results
  • Access to higher level qualifications - The certificate may be studied on a standalone basis but can also act as a contributory module to the three modules required for the Professional Banker Diploma offered by the Chartered Banker Institute

Green and Sustainable Finance Certificate

The purpose of this standalone examination is to enable candidates to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main elements of green finance. This includes: scientific background; key concepts; principles, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals; risk management; products and services (banking, insurance and investment); and ethical dimensions.

Syllabus Summary: Green and sustainable finance in the context of retail, commercial and wholesale banking, central and development banks, insurance and investment sectors | The science of climate change and the role of the financial system | Global, international and national policy, regulatory and industry responses | Climate-related financial risks, and other environmental and sustainability risks | Key sustainable finance frameworks/principles | Supporting customers in their transition to sustainability | Green and sustainable FinTech | Ethical dimensions

Current Syllabus

Delivered in partnership with the Chartered Banker Institute (CBI), success in this exam leads to the CBI Green and Sustainable Finance Certificate. 

Please note that the CISI is not the Awarding Body for this qualification.

Qualification structure

This level 4 qualification is achieved by successfully passing a computer based exam of 75 multiple-choice questions.

Exam duration: 1.5 hour
Recommended study time: 130 hours
CPD time: 6 hours upon successful completion

Exam Availability

Exams are booked via the Chartered Banker Institute and are delivered online, with instant results. Remote invigilation is available, enabling learners to schedule exams anytime, anywhere.


The Certificate costs £595 per candidate, including all learning materials, access to the examinations and student membership of both bodies.

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Study support


Supported by an updated Green and Sustainable Finance Principles and Practice, the world’s first Practitioner Guide, the certificate is delivered via an online study guide which breaks up learning into bite size units. Each unit is followed by a short concept-check test or quiz to ensure understanding of the material.

Learning materials are delivered via the Chartered Banker Institute’s learning management solution, which enables learners to access them anywhere, anytime, using most computer, tablet and mobile devices.

The 12 unit programme can be completed in as little as 12 weeks. However, registration lasts for 1 year, so you can also work through at your own pace.

Employer support

Employers can track progress of individuals and cohorts through regular progress reports and learner analytics, enabling timely intervention when necessary. A range of blended support options for employers (eg, tuition, revision workshops) are available on request.

Post Qualification and Membership Opportunities

Both the CISI and the Chartered Banker Institute offer a range of qualifications and membership opportunities to suit those aspiring to work in the sector, right through to the most experienced professionals.

Upon completion, candidates will be entitled to use the designation Green and Sustainable Finance Professional.

You will also be eligible to join the CISI at Associate level. As a member of the Institute, you will enjoy the recognition of being a professional in a world of increasing competition. The extensive continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities available through the CISI’s suite of membership benefits ensures financial services practitioners can maintain competence and meet the requirements of firms and the regulator.

CISI membership enables you to develop your career, increase your competence and maintain the highest standards of professional integrity. Our programme of free professional benefits assists you to keep up to date with the financial services sector.

To further your theoretical and practical knowledge higher level CISI qualifications can be taken.