Revision of IBCLC® Scope of Practice and Clinical Competencies:

Call for Public Comment

The foundation of every quality professional certification programme is its practice analysis.  Conducted periodically, the practice analysis, is an extensive and methodical survey which gathers data from practitioners in a given profession.  Such a survey typically asks practitioners actually in the profession what it is they need to know (i.e., knowledge) and what specific skills they use (i.e., skills or competencies).

The responses to a practice analysis survey generate data which is then analysed by a professional psychometrician, or someone who is an expert in the science of mental measurement.

A practice analysis, therefore, results in a current, accurate and objective “snapshot” of what practitioners do and what they know.  It provides a picture of the necessary knowledge, tasks and competencies within a profession based on information provided by the practitioners themselves.

IBLCE completed the most recent IBCLC practice analysis in 2014-2015.  This practice analysis, resulting in more up-to-date information regarding the practice of lactation consulting, then informs the Scope of Practice for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Certificants as well as the Clinical Competencies for the Practice of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).

Therefore, after completion of the most recent practice analysis, and under the leadership of Tomoko Seo, M.D., IBCLC, FABM and Andreja Tekauc-Golob, M.D., IBCLC, IBLCE conducted an extensive review and analysis of the practice analysis data.  This review took place over eight meetings inclusive of six with IBLCE’s previous Certification Committee comprised of IBCLCs from around the globe including three Board members and four Committee members. The Executive Summary of the practice analysis may be found here.

The data based on the survey responses provided by IBCLCs militated in favor of only modest necessary or recommended changes to the Scope of Practice and Clinical Competencies documents.  Specifically, changes to these documents are reflective of current practice and include the following:

  • Emphasis is being added to the assessments and skills needed to address child(ren) specific needs.
  • Additional information is included in the Scope of Practice regarding the IBCLC’s role in providing breastfeeding and lactation care in relationship to maternal and child health and mental health.
  • Additional information is included in the Clinical Competencies about the safe use of human milk, breastfeeding after returning to work, the relationship between foods and breastfeeding, and breastfeeding in public.
  • Language is being updated to reflect gender diversity.

Additionally, given IBLCE’s transition to the use of British English, revisions were made to both documents so as to reflect this change.

As part of the final process of updating the Scope of Practice for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Certificants and Clinical Competencies for the Practice of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), IBLCE is soliciting public comment. This step is vital to the final formulation of the documents to ensure they reflect the focus, scope and essence of the IBCLC practice.

To provide feedback, please review the .PDF document and use the link at the end of this email to submit your comments.

Deadline for comment submission has been extended to January 28, 2018.
(Please note, this Call and all related documents will be translated into every examination language and every language group will have the opportunity for public comment).

Your comments will be reviewed and evaluated carefully by IBLCE and used to inform and strengthen these documents as appropriate.

Thank you for your review and feedback. If you have any questions, please visit to contact the IBLCE team members serving your geographic region.