1. Commit

The first step in the Smart Certification process is endorsing the Client Protection Principles (CPPs), which are the cornerstone of client protection in microfinance. The Certification standards and indicators are based on the CPPs.

Commitment involves everyone in your institution – from board members to loan officers.

The Smart Campaign offers a wide range of training products on the CPPs to help boards, managers and staff learn about client protection.

Partner MCF 2The Client Protection Principles embody the values inherent in responsible microfinance. They describe the treatment clients should expect to receive when doing business with a microfinance institution. There is consensus within the microfinance industry that providers of financial services should adhere to these principles:

  • Appropriate product design and delivery
  • Prevention of over-indebtedness
  • Transparency
  • Responsible pricing
  • Fair and respectful treatment of clients
  • Privacy of client data
  • Mechanisms for complaint resolution

Learn more about the seven Client Protection Principles here.

 tool iconTOOL: Use the CPP Training Series to understand the seven Client Protection Principles. These presentations can be used in group training sessions in which the facilitator and presenters are physically present, or in virtual learning sessions, such as webinars. This series is intended for use by networks and MFIs as they work to train their members and employees on the importance of client protection.


Get Familiar With the Client Protection Certification Standards.

The certification standards describe where the microfinance industry sets the bar for each of the CPPs. To be Smart Certified, a financial institution needs to meet each of 30 standards of care, as demonstrated through the corresponding indicators. Learn more about the Certification standards and accompanying indicators:

 tool iconTOOL: Client Protection Certification Standards
Available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese 



 Attend an orientation traning: To view a listing of upcoming trainings and Smart Campaign events, click here.

Smart Operations. This tool shows how an institution can operationalize the certification standards across departments such as Human Resources, Legal, and more.

Detailed Guidance on the CPPs. This tool provides further details on guidance on what each client protection principle means.


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