Certification programmes periodically review and, as appropriate, update certification and recertification requirements in light of the current state of practice as demonstrated by the periodic practice analysis. A practice analysis provides an evidence-based snapshot of practice. IBLCE’s last comprehensive review of IBCLC requirements resulted in programme changes which went into effect in 2012.
The IBLCE® Certification Committee is charged with providing advice and recommendations regarding worldwide certification requirements, both initial and recertification. Therefore, the Certification Committee engaged in an extensive review of the current eligibility and recertification requirements, including the purpose of the IBCLC recertification programme, and brought forward recommendations to the IBLCE Board of Directors.
As part of this comprehensive review, the IBLCE Certification Committee, chaired by Andreja Tekauc-Golob, M.D., IBCLC of Slovenia and comprised of IBCLCs from diverse disciplines, educational backgrounds, lactation practice settings, geographic locations, and languages, as well as a public representative, met in a series of five intensive meetings and concluded this background work by conferring with a leading doctoral level psychometrician.
As part of the review, in addition to data from the most recent International Practice Analysis of the Lactation Consultant, the committee reviewed literature and research related to certification eligibility and recertification criteria as well as on various recertification models, IBCLC programme data, and National Commission of Certifying Agencies’ (NCCA) standards.
Upon completion of this process, the proposed changes went before the full IBLCE Board who then approved them for dissemination for public comment. This information is now being disseminated for a period of public comment. IBLCE is soliciting public comment in each of the languages in which the IBCLC examination is administered.
Should revisions be approved, IBLCE will announce a timeline for implementation of any programme changes inclusive of revised requirements so as to allow time for candidates and IBCLCs to plan to meet the new requirements.
The following is a summary of the proposed eligibility and recertification requirements as well as certification statuses.
I. Proposed IBCLC Certification Eligibility Requirements Revisions
A) Health Sciences Education
- No changes to these requirements given that the IBCLC is a professional member of the health care team as defined by the most recent practice analysis.
- IBLCE is committed to developing additional tools and resources to assist candidates with further clarification on these requirements.
B) Lactation Specific Education (currently 90 hours for eligibility to sit the IBCLC examination)
- In addition to 90 hours of lactation specific education, the addition of five (5) hours of education focused on communication skills. Preferably, these 5 hours will be directly related to lactation and breastfeeding care, but this is not a requirement.
C) Clinical Experience via Each of the Three Pathways
- No changes to these requirements.
II. Proposed IBCLC Recertification Requirements Revisions
A) Recertification by Examination Once Every Ten Years
- Examination will remain an option for recertification, but will no longer be a requirement, as a self-assessment and focused continuing education will be an option in lieu of examination at each five-year recertification period.
B) Recertification by Continuing Education by Recognition Points (75 hours of Lactation, Related or Ethics CERPs)
- As indicated above, there will be an option of Recertification by CERPs each five (5) year certification period, together with a required self-assessment to guide a continuing education course or plan of study.
- Award two (2) CERPs for each full year of volunteer service on the board of a state, provincial, national, or international organisation that promotes and/or supports breastfeeding. A maximum of 10 L-CERPs can be earned in this manner during a five-year recertification cycle.
C) Practice Requirement
- For recertification (by either examination or CERPs), require 500 hours of practice (full or part-time) in lactation consulting in the area(s) of clinical practice, education, administration, research or advocacy.
III. New Certification Statuses and/or Clarification of Certification Statuses
A) Inactive Status – Introduce an Inactive Status for active IBCLCs who are unable to meet recertification requirements in the year they are due to recertify, but intend to earn the certification again within one year. During inactive status, they wouldn’t use the IBCLC credential, but can regain the IBCLC certification by sitting the examination without meeting the current eligibility requirements or by meeting the Recertification by CERPs requirements plus submitting an additional 15 CERPs.
B) Retired Status – Introduce a Retired Status for active IBCLCs that intend to retire and no longer practice as an IBCLC. For a limited time, those who held the certification in good standing in the past could apply for this status. Those in this status may use “IBCLC Retired” on a résumé or below their name and credential on a business card, but not directly after their name or signature. The intention of this status is one of recognition, and is for those who are no longer actively practicing as an IBCLC, as well as have no intention to return to practice.
C) Examination or CERPs in Cases of Extension Due to Extraordinary Circumstances – For IBCLCs that are granted a year of certification extension due to extraordinary circumstances, offer the option of Recertification by CERPs in the extension year to maintain the certification, instead of requiring them to sit the examination.
D) Clearly Defined Extraordinary Circumstances – Provide greater specificity as to what is considered an extraordinary circumstance. Examples: the certificant or an immediate family member is seriously ill, suffers from severe personal injury, experiences unavoidable natural disaster, or has changes related to active military duty.
The period for public comment will close August 3, 2018.
If you would like to review the current IBCLC certification and recertification requirements, please review the Candidate Information Guide and Recertification Guide.
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Please note that while some comments may be incorporated, providing commentary does not guarantee changes but all comments made via this form will be reviewed.