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Pathways


The IBLCE® Board of Directors has established three methods by which individuals may fulfill the eligibility criteria for the certification examination. These three methods, or Pathways, require candidates to meet criteria in the following areas of education and experience.
  • Education in specified health science subjects
  • Education in human lactation and breastfeeding
  • Clinical practice in providing care to breastfeeding families
Pathway 1
Candidates following Pathway 1 must demonstrate completion of the following requirements:
  • 14 health science courses
    • The specifics of this requirement are detailed in the Health Sciences Education Guide.
    • At least 90 hours of lactation specific education that was completed within the 5 years immediately prior to applying for the IBLCE examination
      • The lactation specific education may be obtained through classroom, distance learning, and/or online education.
      • Ninety “clock” hours (60 minutes) of education are required. Please note that some continuing education units are based on 50 minutes, not 60 minutes.
      • A minimum of 1000 hours of lactation specific clinical practice that was obtained within the 5 years immediately prior to applying for the IBLCE examination
        • This lactation specific clinical practice must have been obtained through paid or volunteer work as a Recognised Health Professional and/or Recognised Mother Support Counsellor.
          • Volunteer recognised mother support counsellors who provide in-person group or individual breastfeeding support receive 500 hours of lactation specific clinical practice for each full year of volunteer service. Only full years of service are credited.
          • Volunteer recognised mother support counsellors who provide telephone, email or web-based breastfeeding support receive 250 hours of lactation specific clinical practice for each full year of volunteer service. Only full years of service are credited.
Pathway 2
Candidates following Pathway 2 must demonstrate completion of the following requirements:
  • 14 health science courses
    • The specifics of this requirement are detailed in the Health Sciences Education Guide.
    • Within the five years immediately prior to applying for the IBLCE examination, graduation from an academic program in human lactation and breastfeeding which IBLCE has verified to include in its curriculum:
      • At least 90 hours of didactic education in human lactation and breastfeeding
      • A minimum of 300 hours of directly supervised clinical practice in lactation and breastfeeding care
IBLCE does not endorse or recommend any particular academic program. Currently, there are 5 academic programs that offer the education and clinical practice experience required of Pathway 2 applicants.
Each academic program has unique admission and graduation requirements. You may contact these schools for more information about their requirements.
Note: Beginning January 1, 2017, academic programs purporting to prepare students to qualify for the IBLCE examination through Pathway 2 must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or an equivalent accrediting body.
Pathway 3
Candidates following Pathway 3 must demonstrate completion of the following requirements:
  • 14 health science courses
    • The specifics of this requirement are detailed in the Health Sciences Education Guide.
    • At least 90 hours of lactation specific education that was completed within the 5 years immediately prior to applying for the IBLCE examination
      • The lactation specific education may be obtained through classroom, distance learning, and/or online education.
      • Ninety “clock” hours (60 minutes) of education are required. Please note that some continuing education units are based on 50 minutes, not 60 minutes.
      • A minimum of 500 hours of directly supervised lactation specific clinical practice that was obtained within the 5 years immediately prior to applying for the IBLCE examination
        • This directly supervised lactation specific clinical practice must be completed within the structure established by a Pathway 3 Plan that has been verified by IBLCE.
        • The specifics of establishing a Pathway 3 Plan, which must be verified by IBLCE prior to beginning the directly supervised lactation specific clinical practice, can be found in the Pathway 3 Plan Guide.
Please consult the FAQs page for answers to frequently asked questions.