Update to Previously Announced IBCLC Programme Change to Clinical Hours Calculation for Recognised Breastfeeding Support Counsellors

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) announced in the June 2019 IBLCE Briefing that beginning with applications for the October 2020 examination, the use of the flat-rate calculation for those earning clinical hours through a specific organisation listed as an IBLCE Recognised Breastfeeding Support Counsellor Organisation would no longer be accepted. IBLCE has received concerns from those interested in applying for the IBCLC certification via this method. IBLCE wishes to acknowledge receipt of these concerns and thank a number of individuals aspiring to earn the IBCLC for this feedback.

IBLCE re-reviewed the changes that were announced and is extending the time for the implementation of this change. IBLCE is extending the implementation date of this change to IBCLC eligibility requirements from March 1, 2020 to January 1, 2022. The implementation will also be phased in so that any hours completed in 2021 or before can be calculated with the flat rate when applying for an IBCLC examination administration. For clinical hours earned starting January 1, 2022, they will need to be counted on an hour-for-hour basis. As part of the current requirements, please note that the clinical hours cannot be older than five years from the date of the examination application submission.

As stated in the June 2019 Briefing, IBLCE is removing the use of the flat-rate calculation to be in alignment with the changing nature, and varying levels, of volunteer opportunities in breastfeeding support organisations. With this change, all IBCLC candidates are expected to calculate clinical hours on an hour-for-hour basis.

Further details regarding this update will be made available on IBLCE’s website when the Candidate Information Guide and Recertification Guide are updated in September 2019.

The 2019 April Examination Results were mailed from the IBLCE regional locations on June 25, 2019

The 2019 April Examination Results were mailed from the IBLCE regional locations on June 25, 2019

  • Please know that postal delivery timings may vary worldwide.
  • The printed score report is considered the official exam result.
  • The online credential manager system has been updated with the examination results.
  • The online registry was updated July 31, 2019.

Revisions to IBCLC Scope of Practice and Clinical Competencies

As is a certification best practice, and based on the data from the most recent IBCLC®Practice Analysis, IBLCE® has updated 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).
The process to update these key documents included a careful review of the most recent practice analysis by the IBLCE Certification Committee, comprised of IBCLCs from around the globe including three Board members and four additional Committee members, as well as taking into consideration feedback from IBCLCs during an open public comment period conducted in all IBCLC examination languages in 2018.
The data from the practice analysis responses and the comments from IBCLCs during the comment period militated in favour of only modest 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 handling, storage and use of human milk; breastfeeding during an infant separation; the relationship between foods and breastfeeding; and breastfeeding in public.
  • Language is being updated to reflect gender neutrality.

Additionally, given IBLCE’s previous transition to the use of British English, revisions were made to reflect this change. The updated versions of these documents can be found on the IBLCE website.

IBLCE sincerely thanks all of the volunteers who played a part in this important process, as well as the over 100 IBCLCs who provided valuable feedback during the public comment period and which IBLCE carefully reviewed.

IBLCE Receives Reaccreditation of the IBCLC Certification Programme


Contact: Sara Blair Lake, J.D., CAE
Chief Executive Officer
For Immediate Release
December 17, 2018
The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners®
Receives Reaccreditation of the
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® Programme
from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) of the
Institute for Credentialing Excellence
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 17, 2018—The NCCA reaccredited the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners certification programme for a five-year term during a recent meeting.
Founded in 1985, IBLCE® is a professional certification organisation acting in the public interest by establishing eligibility, examination, experience and ethics requirements for certification in lactation consulting. Currently, over 30,000 in 108 countries are certified to use the IBCLC® designation. The IBCLC certification examination is offered in 18 languages. The IBCLC programme first received NCCA accreditation in 1988 and has held this prestigious third-party accreditation continuously for thirty years.
IBLCE earned renewal of NCCA accreditation of its IBCLC programme, the gold standard in lactation care, by submitting an extensive application demonstrating the programme’s compliance with the NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. Upon receiving news of the reaccreditation of the IBCLC certification programme, Chair Roberto Mário Issler, M.D., IBCLC said, “It is a testament to the excellence and quality of the IBCLC programme that it has held this valued and prestigious third-party accreditation continuously for thirty years. Since 1988, the IBCLC certification has been the mark of excellence in professional lactation care recognised by consumers, healthcare providers, employers and other stakeholders.”
NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. Since 1977, the NCCA has been accrediting certifying programmes based on the highest quality of standards in professional certification to ensure the programmes adhere to recognised standards of practice in the certification industry. The accreditation standards cover a number of aspects associated with quality certification programmes including governance, psychometrics, maintenance of certification, transparency to the public regarding programme requirements, and quality assurance. There are currently just over 300 NCCA accredited programmes that certify individuals in a wide range of professions and occupations, including those in healthcare.
The mission of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence is to advance credentialing through education, standards, research, and advocacy to ensure competence across professions and occupations. NCCA’s mission is to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programmes that assess professional competency. NCCA uses a peer review process to: establish accreditation standards; evaluate compliance with these standards; recognise programmes which demonstrate compliance; and serve as a resource on quality certification.