E-Learning Modules

The IST E-Learning modules cover the essential knowledge and skills areas across the three IST education pillars of International Trade, Sustainability and Leadership. The modules can be taken as standalone courses for CPD hours. They also form the learning content for the Certified Membership exams at Sustainable Trade Practitioner (STP) and Sustainable Trade Manager (STM) membership levels.

Each module consists of:

  • 1-hour of video content divided into shorter micro-learning videos
  • An e-booklet with lecture slides and links to further study
  • A multiple-choice exam (for those seeking Certified IST Membership)

Within 12 months of joining the IST, members at STP and STM member levels are required to complete either six or eight modules and exams (one module minimum every two months). There are four mandatory core modules and members can choose from a menu of elective modules to complete their programme of study as outlined below:

Sustainable Trade Practitioner (STP): Total 6 Modules (4 core and 2 electives)

Sustainable Trade Manager (STM): Total 8 Modules (4 core and 4 electives)

The fee for each exam is €125.

E-Learning Modules Overview

Trade Modules

An introduction to international trade and an overview of the functions of key regulators and stakeholders.
The role of customs compliance in international trade and the key rules and regulations governing the import and export of goods.
The key rules and regulations of the Unction Customs Code (UCC) and EU customs systems.

An overview of customs classification, international and European classification systems, and how to use TARIC to find commodity codes.
Understanding customs valuation and the six methods of determining the value of a range of product types.
The concept of origin in international trade, preferential agreements and when and how to apply for a Certificate of Origin

An overview of the 11 Incoterms, what they cover and their impact on international trade.
The seller and buyer’s perspective on Incoterms and key factors determining the choice of Incoterms for a particular product and trade journey.
An overview of key international commercial contracts and their impact on international trade.

An overview of FTAs and their main features and benefits.
How businesses can take advantage of FTAs to find markets for their products and save on duties and other costs.
The terms and key benefits of the post-Brexit trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and the UK.

An overview of the common terms and definitions in customs compliance and an overview of the customs journey for imports and exports.

An introduction to completing customs declarations for a range of products across international borders.

An overview of transit procedures, warehousing and distribution in international trade.

An overview of the key elements of supply chain management in an era of rapid technological change.
Transport and logistics management in complex supply chains.
The future of supply chains: digitisation and sustainability

Sustainability Modules

An overview of the basic science of climate change, the urgent case for climate action and the key implications of climate change legislation for businesses.
The actions businesses can take to decarbonise their operations throughout the supply chain using a 3-Step plan of ’Measure, Optimise and Reduce’.
An overview of the Measure, Optimise, Restore strategy for calculating and reducing emissions and costs and the steps businesses can take to positively impact the natural environment including carbon offsetting and green investments.

An overview of the basic mathematics and principles involved in calculating carbon emissions from a range of business activities, and an examination of different transport modes and their climate impact.
Exploring the difference between Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, the difference between scope and boundaries and how to determine what activities to include in carbon footprinting by defining boundaries.

An overview of common tools and standards used for calculating and reporting on an organisation’s carbon emissions.

An overview of the concept of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and its relevance for organisational strategy and decision making.
An overview of key European legislation impacting businesses including the Non-Financial Reporting Director (NFRD), the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Due Diligence on Human Rights in the Supply Chain.
How to get started on non-financial reporting – reporting standards, tools and best practice.

An overview of the 17 SDGs and some of the key targets within the goals. Some specific targets within the SDGs which are most relevant for businesses to adopt within their organisations.
Practical guidance on how to define strategic SDG priorities, set goals, integrate the goals into business operations and report on progress

An overview of the fundamental principles of the circular economy, including the elimination of waste and pollution from business operations and the innovative design, production and use of materials, components and products in line with the circular economy principles of preservation, recovery and repair.
Strategies for businesses to transition from linear to circular business practices.
Guidance on how to engage with buyers, suppliers and supply chain partners as part of an organisation’s holistic circular economy strategy

An overview of the business case and potential savings that can be made by companies with ambitious emissions reduction strategies.
An outline of the Avoid, Shift, Improve approach to implementing effective carbon reduction strategies within an organisation.
Guidance on reducing scope 3 emissions from supply chain activities and an overview of key practical tools companies can use.

An overview of sustainable or ‘green’ procurement and the key steps organisations need to take to ensure their procurement practices are sustainable and ethical.
An overview of the Smart Freight Centre (SFC) / World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Freight Procurement Guidelines and the key implementation steps for sustainable procurement strategies including preparation, planning, tendering, contracting, managing and reporting.
How to engage buyers, suppliers and other supply chain partners in sustainable energy and carbon reduction programmes and how to ensure supply chain partners are providing accurate and complete data.

An overview of the key risks to business associated with climate change including physical risks, corporate image and reputation, regulatory and legislative compliance and competitiveness.
Assessing climate risks, their likelihood of occurrence and their potential impacts on an organisation.
Guidance on how to implement effective mitigation strategies to prepare for and reduce the impact of climate risks to an organisation.

An overview of the key global and European sustainability agreements, laws and regulations and their impact on business.
A closer examination of some key legislation and their impacts on international trading businesses including the EU Green Deal, the Non-Financial Reporting Director (NFRD), the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
A look ahead to impending legislation that will impact businesses such as the EU Due Diligence on Human Rights in the Supply Chain directive.

An overview of why businesses must transition to more sustainable practices to survive and thrive and the importance of sustainability leaders to drive change within organisations.
Guidance on how to build a business case for sustainable change and how to motivate and inspire colleagues and teams to help deliver results.
How to attain a sustainable growth mindset that draws on creativity and innovation to seek out opportunities from sustainability challenges.

Leadership Modules

An introduction to the concept of leadership, what a leader is and the different kinds of leaders within an organisation.
An overview of the key qualities of an effective leader includes good judgement, effective communication, excellent interpersonal skills, vision and self-awareness.
Effective leadership strategies for managing personal and organisational change and transformation.

An overview of the critical steps involved in effective organisational transformation.

The course covers:

  • Why are businesses transforming
  • What does transformation look like
  • The Transformation Heartbeat
  • How to mobilise transformation
  • Potholes and tailwinds on the transformation journey

An overview of the key skills needed for effective communication including active listening, being clear and concise in spoken and written communications and delivering engaging presentations.

Adapting communication styles to the situation, and to diverse audiences, being conscious of factors such as level of seniority, diversity, social norms and language ability

Using effective and persuasive communication to advocate for an organisation and its products and services to clients, customers and other external stakeholders.

An overview of the design thinking methodology for problem-solving including an outline of the five key steps: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.
An exploration of how design thinking can be used by teams and organisations to find creative solutions to ‘wicked’ problems such as sustainability challenges.
An outline of a step-by-step case study example showing the design thinking methodology being applied to a real-world challenge.

An overview of organisational risk and an examination of some common strategic risks to international trading companies including supply chain disruption, credit and foreign exchange risks and reputational damage due to unethical or unsustainable business activities.
How to quantify and rank risks by likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on an organisation.
Choosing and implementing the most effective mitigation strategies appropriate to key risks to an organisation.

An overview of key characteristics of high functioning teams and the importance of forming teams with members with diverse backgrounds and a broad range of skills, approaches and personality types.
The importance of organising and delegating key tasks and duties to the right team members to maximise positive outcomes.
An introduction to emotional intelligence and how it can support team leaders to motivate and inspire their team.