IBCLC Ethics Updates

Code of Professional Conduct Updates to Enhance Gender Neutrality

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) has made some revisions to the Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs (CPC) to enhance gender neutrality as well as to incorporate British English. As an international organisation, IBLCE uses British English in its publications and documents.

Addendum: Professional Boundaries in Online Communities

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) issued an advisory opinion in September 2015 entitled Professionalism in the Social Media Age. That advisory opinion provided guidance to IBCLCs on professional practice as it relates to electronic communication. It set forth broad principles and issues for consideration to ensure not only the public is protected but also the personal and professional integrity of the IBCLC is protected as well.

Since that time, the use of social media has become increasingly prevalent. Online communities have experienced particularly robust growth over the past several years. These self-organised communities of interest can be helpful to network and share professional information. At the same time, their use should be in alignment with professional behaviour. As IBLCE has received several communications expressing concern about the use of such online communities, IBLCE is issuing an updated advisory opinion, Professionalism in the Social Media Age, which includes an addendum entitled Professional Boundaries in Online Communities. Refresh your recollection on the advisory opinion and review the addendum here.

Updates to Disciplinary Procedures for the Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs

The Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs governs the professional conduct and behaviour of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. In turn, the accompanying disciplinary procedures govern how IBLCE conducts the process when ethics complaints are filed. The IBCLC ethics and disciplinary process is driven primarily by IBCLC volunteer leaders. The procedures have been updated and streamlined so as to emphasise the confidential nature of the process as well as to leverage volunteer time more effectively.

IBLCE has updated the Code of Professional Conduct Complaint Form in a similar manner.

IBCLC Ethics & Disciplinary Information may be found here.

IBCLCs recertifying by CERPs in 2022: Applications to recertify by CERPs are once again available in IBLCE’s online credential management system.

IBLCE Statement on the Shortage of Commercial Milk Formulas

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) is strongly committed to advancing global public health, and we are deeply concerned about the impact that the current shortage of formula milk is having on families who rely upon these products for feeding their babies, particularly those infants with special medical requirements.  

IBLCE applauds recent steps that the US Federal Government and other public bodies have taken to address the situation, while noting that a confluence of factors have led to a “perfect storm” in which too many families experience stress, worry, and urgently seek guidance and resources for their babies and young children.

In the face of this situation, dedicated professionals who are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs), and other lactation support workers and volunteers, are providing guidance and direction to resources, as are staff with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; accredited nonprofit milk banks; and many community-based organisations and hospitals. 

IBLCE commends these IBCLCs and other lactation support workers, who are leading from the frontlines and providing information and care to families during such a difficult and challenging time. You are invaluable in your dedicated service, which helps advance global public health and serve our families!

Those seeking more clinically focused guidance may wish to visit the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

Applications for the September 2022 IBCLC examination are now closed.

Apply to recertify by CERPs with CE Self-Assessment by October 31, 2022.

Learn more about recertifying by CERPs here.