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An interactive course explaining the new UK Customs Declaration Service (CDS) and how to use it


  • E-learning
  • LMS
  • Animation
  • Mobile first, responsive
Bifa logo

The training challenge

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) provides industry training to both members and non-members, including training on completing customs import and export documentation. With a new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) having been launched in 2018 to replace the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, there was an urgent requirement for BIFA to communicate how to use the new system and explain the changes from the old system as well as the benefits of the new.

As the new system has significant implications for international traders, with further consequences following the UK’s exit from the EU in 2020, BIFA enlisted the expertise of award-winning learning solutions provider Walkgrove Ltd to develop a suitably clear but comprehensive online learning course which would be accessible to experienced freight organisations, as well as those new to the industry (providing they have some customs declaration knowledge before studying), together with a learning management system (LMS) to host it.

Our bespoke learning solution

A key consideration for the course design is that it will be used by a target audience of freight industry employees and workers who are typically short on time. Walkgrove has therefore designed a comprehensive e-learning solution comprising eight concise modules, all focusing on providing and reinforcing work-critical information and ensuring that, by the end of the course, all learners understand the new CDS process and documentation, and feel competent in completing the new forms. As an added incentive, an end-of-course Certificate of Achievement is awarded to all learners achieving a 100% score on the Import and Export assessment which completes the course, and which learners can include, for example, on their CVs and LinkedIn profiles.

The course is divided into six content modules, with two final ‘tasks’ to end the course: a quiz to check learners’ knowledge and understanding of the course, and the end-of-course assessment, where learners get to try out what they’ve learned by completing actual examples of the new CDS import and export forms.

The main content of the course is realistically timed so that each module is slightly longer than the last, to appropriately pace the learning, and provides:

  • A full overview of the new CDS system: the four ‘parties’ of the new CDS, why it is replacing the former CHIEF system, and its features and benefits
  • A detailed explanation of the new system’s main components (including the benefit of real-time access to data)
  • An explanation of the new tariff system and Customs Procedure Codes
  • An overview of the commercial and valuation arrangements introduced by the new system and how to understand and work with these to complete the new import and export forms
  • An explanation of the different types of payments and authorisations that can be made using the new system
  • An examination of the new document indicators and location codes for the new forms (together with links to other types of document records)

To act as an understanding check, learners will find interactive quizzes at the end of each module. These have been designed to inspire confidence along the learning journey, and helpful feedback is provided for all incorrect attempts at answers.

The modules are designed to offer a responsive solution which can be accessed on phones/tablets as well as desktops and laptops, which are expected to be the main types of access device for learners. The course is designed as a BIFA-branded e-learning course, and careful use has been made of BIFA’s corporate logo and imagery throughout, as well as including links out to additional BIFA documentation and resources.

By the end of the course learners will feel competent and confident when faced with the new CDS system.