Online Self-Study
Start date: 1 August
Course access period: 6 months

Online Self-Study
Start date: 1 September
Course access period: 6 months


*Limited time offer: ICMA Members pay EUR 500  |  ICMA Non-members pay EUR 650 (VAT not applicable)

Rapid growth in the sustainable bond market is driving unprecedented demand for skilled professionals and for targeted training in the fundamentals of the products and the application of the Green, Social and Sustainability Linked Bond Principles, the foundations for sustainable bond issuance.

This introductory course gives you a deep understanding of the mechanics of green, social, sustainability and sustainability linked bonds, taking you from the big picture policy context to introducing the underlying drivers of market development, main product features and regulation. We discuss the Green and Social Bond Principles and Sustainability Bond Guidelines, and then the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles. We then explain how they work in practice, including evaluation and selection of eligible projects for funding, the role of external reviewers and guidance on reporting.

Learning Outcomes

By completing this course you will be able to:

  • Identify recent trends and potential future developments and opportunities for sustainable bonds
  • Discuss why the market matters and how it works
  • Understand the foundation skills necessary for taking part in the sustainable bond market (i.e. how and why to align with and apply the Principles), including:
    • Benefits of sustainable bonds and developing the positioning in your organisation
    • Decision-makers: Identifying who is relevant
    • Strategy: Alignment with overall corporate / environmental strategy
    • Regulation: The Principles’ importance in regulatory trends
    • Players: Mapping leading market players
  • Identify principles aligned issuance framework: 4 pillars of GSS bonds and 5 core elements of SLBs
  • Define green and social: Types of projects eligible for GSS bonds
  • (For SLBs) identify recommendations and practice in reporting, including on the performance of KPIs and ambition of SPTs
  • Recognise reporting frameworks covering recommendations and practice in reporting, including allocation and impact reports and templates offered by the GBP SBP
  • Understand the role and value-added of external review (and other) service providers as recommended the various principles.
  • Identify perspectives and roles of the key players in the sustainable bond market including regulators, investors, underwriters, issuers, external reviewers including rating agencies, stock exchanges, data and index providers

Who should attend?

  • Firms who are looking to issue or invest in green, social and sustainability bonds
  • Market professionals involved in underwriting, research or professional services for sustainable bonds; this includes capital markets lawyers, external reviewers including rating agencies, stock exchanges, data and index providers official sector representatives promoting, supervising or developing policies on sustainable finance
  • Press, academics and other professionals with an interest in sustainable finance and the merits of sustainable bond markets


The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions of which candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction. You will have six months in which to study the material, book and complete an online, fully invigilated exam.

We use a third-party exam invigilation service called ProctorU to administer the exams on our assessed courses. We recommend you take a few minutes to watch this video before you take your exam, which provides information on what to expect on the day. You can also take a look at some further information here.

More information regarding your specific exam will be available in the Exam Orientation page on Moodle, the ICMA training platform.

Certification and Programme Recognition

ICMA is a member of the CPD® Certification Service, an FCA-approved qualifications provider and approved by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong as provider of Continuous Professional Training (CPT).

This course is certified by ICMA and accredited by CPD® Certification Service.

ICMA recommends that 15 learning hours can be associated with this course, based on attended/undertaken hours of study required to successfully complete the learning outcomes.

A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who successfully pass the final exam of this course – see Assessment section for more details.

Please note that your course certificate of attendance or completion should be sufficient to satisfy any professional development requirements – if you require further evidence, please contact us at

Course Trainers 

Product Landscape

  • The Big Picture: Policy Context of Sustainable Finance
  • Product Snapshot: Green and Social
  • Market organisation and product guidance
  • Dynamics in GSS bond markets

Green Bond Principles

  • GBP Pillar I
  • GBP Pillar II
  • GBP Pillar III
  • GBP Pillar IV

Social Bond Principles

  • Social Bond Principles

Coming to Market

  • External Reviews
  • Market Participants
  • Preparing for Market

Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles

  • Transition Finance and the Climate Transition Finance Handbook
  • Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles
  • SLB Market
  • SLB vs UoP – the differences

Online Self-Study Course

Delegates who sign up to online courses will have access for 6 months to enable them to take advantage of the additional online resources, discussion boards and other functions of our new digital learning platform.

Online courses start at the beginning of each month – please note that payment must be received BEFORE access to these courses are provided.

*Online course fees:

Limited time offer:
ICMA Members pay EUR 500 (VAT not applicable)
ICMA Non-members pay EUR 650 (VAT not applicable)

*Expires 31 July 2024

Costs include full access to the online campus and all associated learning materials.

Please note that:

  • Payment for online courses must be received before the start of the course.
  • All payments must be made in Euro.

As an indicative guide, we would recommend a total of 12 study hours is required to go through the material. Please note this is an approximate guide only.


Should you have any queries, please contact

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