The IBCLC examination is offered twice a year, in March/April (English) and in September (in all IBLCE languages).
The schedule for application and administration of the 2022IBCLC examination is as follows:
Examination Administration Dates
Application Dates for the March/April 2022 Examination: October 26 – December 7, 2021
March/April 2022 IBCLC Examination Administration Dates: March 23 – April 1, 2022
Application Dates for the September 2022 Examination: April 12 – May 24, 2022
September 2022 IBCLC Examination Administration Dates: September 14 – 23, 2022
Live Remote Proctoring (LRP): Due to continued fluid circumstances, IBLCE will announce later this year if the examination will be available via LRP in 2022.
Application Dates to Recertify by CERPs* in 2022: April 12 – September 30, 2022
*For IBCLCs due to recertify in 2022 who have not extended their certification from 2020 or 2021: As previously announced in the June 2019 IBLCE Briefing, beginning in 2022, the IBCLC examination will remain an option for recertification but will no longer be a requirement. The Continuing Education Self-Assessment (CE Self-Assessment) and required focused continuing education will be an option in lieu of examination at each five-year recertification period. More information on recertification by CE Self-Assessment will be released in future updates.
As a reminder, there are several new criteria for both initial candidates and recertifying IBCLCs:
For a summary of these changes: Watch this short video.
Applications are now open in all languages on the IBLCE website!
Friendly reminder: As announced in the June 2019 Briefing and on our website, as a result of a multi-year review of the IBCLC certification programme by IBCLC subject matter experts, this year there are new eligibility requirements for both initial and recertifying candidates that must be met before you can submit your application! Learn more about the requirements for initial candidates here or for recertifying IBCLCs here.
Applications for the September 2021 IBCLC Examination
Application deadline: June 4, 2021 EXTENDED Examination window: September 8 – 24, 2021 Apply here!
Given COVID-19 restrictions in some areas, the examination window has been extended to give candidates more opportunity to access testing seats. The broader September examination window is Wednesday, September 8 through Friday, September 24, 2021. The September examination is offered worldwide in all IBLCE languages.
You can apply for the September 2021 IBCLC examination between now and June 4, 2021. Initial candidates can learn more about how to apply here. Recertifying candidates can learn more here.
Applications are available in IBLCE’s online credential management system in English, German, and Spanish here. Applications via online form can be found in all other languages on your language page.
Applications for Recertification by CERPs
Application deadline: September 30, 2021 Apply here!
If you are due to recertify this year and you sat the examination in the past five years, then you are eligible to recertify by CERPs. You can apply to do so in IBLCE’s online credential management system in English, German, and Spanish here. Applications via online form can be found in all other languages on your language page.
If you have questions about your specific situation, please contact the IBLCE location that serves you.
Are you a Breastfeeding Counsellor and interested in becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®)? Or would your organisation like to be listed as an IBLCE® Recognised Breastfeeding Support Counsellor Organisation?
If so, IBLCE’s Virtual Informational Session is available below. Learn more about possibilities to enhance your career in the lactation field and/or get this recognition for your organisation.
Find more information about Recognised Breastfeeding Support Counsellor Organisations here.
¡La sesión informativa virtual del IBLCE para consejeras en lactancia ya está disponible en español!
Si es Consejera de Apoyo para la Lactancia, obtenga más información sobre las posibilidades de mejorar su carrera en el campo de la lactancia en nuestra nueva presentación.
Puede obtener más información sobre las organizaciones reconocidas como consejeras de apoyo para la lactancia aquí.
La session virtuelle d’information de l’IBLCE pour les conseillers en allaitement est maintenant disponible en français !
Si vous êtes un conseiller en soutien à l’allaitement et que vous souhaitez devenir consultant(e) en Lactation certifié(e) par le Comité International® (IBCLC®), cette session est faite pour vous. Apprenez-en davantage sur la façon dont les conseillers en soutien à l’allaitement peuvent devenir IBCLC via la voie d’accès 1.
Vous pouvez également découvrir comment votre organisation peut être répertoriée en tant qu’organisation de conseillers en soutien à l’allaitement reconnue par l´IBLCE®.
Pour en savoir plus sur les organisations de conseillers en soutien à l’allaitement reconnues par l´IBLCE vous vous invitons à suivre le lien suivant sur notre site internet ici.
As IBLCE’s 35th year draws to a close, we are reflecting on the incredible impact that IBCLCs have made during this time. In 1985, the year IBLCE was founded, the term “lactation consultant” was very new – and few outside of the field even recognised it. Since then, the field has grown dramatically, and there are now 33,492 IBCLCs in 125 countries and territories around the world!
We spoke to a few pioneer IBCLCs to learn more about the birth of the credential and its history. Here is a look back at how the IBCLC went from an idea to the gold standard in lactation care to breastfeeding families all over the world.
1985 – 2021
IBLCE Founding Meeting
“Way back in the 1980s, we started investigating just how professions form, what comes first, how are people regulated, and realised that we needed to do the examination first. We worked with experts all over the world, found a 60-person…
Preparing for the First Examination
“In April of that year, just after the founding meeting, my husband got orders – he was in the military – to move from the DC area, where I lived and was working with JoAnne W. Scott, the founding executive…
The First IBCLC Examination is Held
“The IBCLC credential gave legitimacy to what we were doing in our work with families. We had sat through an extensive examination, we had to recertify, so it meant something far more than just hanging out a shingle.” – Jan…
The First Examination Administration Offered in Three Languages (English, German, Spanish)
The First 4-Continent Examination Administration
“My greatest personal pride was to be chosen to serve as a volunteer leader for six years. I learned more during those years about the science and the difficulty of writing fair, science-based questions for the next examination and the…
First Examination Administration with over 4,000 Candidates
“I think now most physicians, midwives and nurses are very aware what an IBCLC is and how much they can help new families. Also, many within the healthcare fields around the world have decided to obtain this certification. The profession…
Pilot of Computer-Based Testing (CBT)
First Year Offering Two Examination Administrations
There are now 33,492 IBCLCs in 125 countries and territories!
“I think IBCLCs have made a tremendous impact over the last 36 years to move breastfeeding into the norm. When I started, very few of my clients had mothers who had breastfed; by the time I stopped my private practise…
Happy IBCLC Day! Thank You for the Care You Provide to Breastfeeding Families.
“I was extremely proud to become an IBCLC in 1987—and I continue to feel that pride. I am proud of the dedication demonstrated by other IBCLCs, as well as the gratitude communicated by parents.” – Amy Spangler, MN, RN, IBCLC
As you make your plans regarding the 2021 IBCLC examination, we have some updates on the testing modalities and candidate financial options for you to consider.
To give candidates more time to review these new options, the deadline to apply for the April/May 2021 IBCLC examination offered only in English has been extended by one week.
The deadline for applications to the April/May 2021 IBCLC examination is now January 27, 2021.
IBLCE has implemented the following options to help you make an informed decision about the IBCLC examination this year:
Live Remote Proctoring (LRP) in 2021
IBLCE will offer the April/May and September 2021 IBCLC examination administrations via Live Remote Proctoring in English, which is currently the only language offered by IBLCE’s third-party testing vendor.
IBLCE is making this option available again in 2021 after reviewing a variety of factors, including:
Accreditation: IBLCE was able to offer LRP in 2020 as an exception afforded by IBLCE’s third-party accreditor. After reviewing new guidance from our accreditor, IBLCE has determined we can offer this again in 2021, given this new guidance and the continued impact of COVID-19.
User Experience: Adjustments are being made to enhance the testing experience in 2021. Due to an unanticipated high volume brought about by the pandemic and internet bandwidth issues in some locations, there were sustained technical issues (in approximately 4% of IBCLC examination administrations) via Live Remote Proctoring. We appreciate that this was a very frustrating experience for these candidates. We will provide further information on our website regarding enhancements as it becomes available.
Language: IBLCE’s testing vendor currently offers LRP only in English. IBLCE and other certification organisations have requested that the testing vendor make further languages available in Live Remote Proctoring. IBLCE will provide further information as it becomes available.
IBLCE has approved the use of LRP for 2021 IBCLC examination administrations in light of the ongoing global pandemic. Any use of LRP for IBCLC examinations in 2022 and beyond will be subject to further review.
Financial Options in 2021
Please see the full list of your financial options below:
ALL Approved Candidates (April/May and September)
Partial Refund (50% of fees paid)
April/May Candidates: Submit request to IBLCE by April 5, 2021. September Candidates: Submit request to IBLCE by September 1, 2021.
INITIAL Approved Candidates (April/May and September)
This also applies to those who were deferred from the 2020 examinations.
Defer fees to one of the next two examinations* *Candidates must apply and meet the certification requirements in the year that they sit the examination.
Submit request with documented extraordinary circumstances* before your examination date or within 30 days after the examination window.
RECERTIFYING BY EXAMINATION Approved Candidates (April/May and September)
This also applies to those IBCLCs who were deferred from the 2020 examinations.
Defer fees to one of the next two examinations* and receive a one-year certification extension to December 31, 2022. *Candidates must apply and meet the recertification requirements in the year that they sit the examination.
Submit request with documented extraordinary circumstances* and 15 L-CERPs before your examination date or within 30 days after the examination window.
ALL Approved Candidates (April/May and September)
This also applies to those who were deferred from the 2020 examinations.
April/May Candidates: Submit request to IBLCE by April 5, 2021 with documented extraordinary circumstances*. September Candidates: Submit request to IBLCE by September 1, 2021 with documented extraordinary circumstances*. Those who were deferred from the 2020 examinations and wish to request a full refund do not need to submit a new full 2021 examination application in order to request a full refund. If you intend to sit an examination in 2021 then you will need to submit a new application. Please contact your IBLCE regional location for further information.
*Extraordinary circumstances also include COVID-19 related concerns, such as job loss of the candidate and/or partner/spouse, COVID-19 health issue for candidate or immediate family member, and/or concern for going into the public due to COVID-19
For more details about these options visit the IBLCE COVID-19 Resource Centre of the IBLCE website, as specific information and updates will be provided there when it is available. These options are only applicable to 2021 examination candidates due to COVID-19.
There will be further updates to the IBLCE COVID-19 Resource Centre’s LRP information this week to align with this announcement. We will continue to update the IBLCE COVID-19 Resource Centre to provide you with up-to-date information to help make decisions in this continued highly fluid environment. Please check back frequently to keep up with the latest developments.
If you have any questions about the options available for the 2021 IBCLC examination administration, please contact the IBLCE location that serves you.
If you are ready to apply, you can learn more about applying for the examination as an initial candidate here, or learn more about applying for recertification here.
The April/May 2021 IBCLC examination is administered in English only. You can find applications in English in our new online credential management system here.
The September 2021 IBCLC examination will be available in all IBLCE languages. Applications for the September examination will open on April 19, 2021.
As we communicated in March 2020, due to COVID-19, the Americas & Israel and International Office staff began working remotely so the best way to reach us would be by email.
Earlier this month, we notified you that in the event you needed your credential verified, you could either refer to your online account or submit a certification verification form to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are reaching out to you now because we are experiencing a technical issue with respect to facsimiles (faxes) at IBLCE’s Americas & Israel location. While we requested that credential verifications be sent only by email, we want to remind you of this given the importance of credential verifications and given this technical issue we are currently experiencing. We are working diligently to resolve this, however, again, please do not fax to the Americas & Israel location, rather email email@example.com
If you need a certification verification, please request it using this form and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that IBLCE’s online public registry will be updated in January 2021.
If you sent us a fax and haven’t received a response from us, please email us at email@example.com.
We have been and will continue to check this email diligently as we approach year end.
We apologise for the inconvenience, and we look forward to serving you via email.
We appreciate your commitment to the IBCLC certification – and we understand that verifying this certification is important to you, your employer, and stakeholders.
Like so many other things this year, the dissemination of IBCLC examination results and recertification by CERPs packets will look a little different than in years past. IBLCE will have new solutions available to you to view your examination results or verify your certification and recertification status.
IBLCE is currently evaluating certificate options that will be available in 2021. IBLCE will not provide ID cards this year.
But you won’t need to wait until 2021 to verify your status. Here is what 2020 IBCLC certification and recertification candidates can expect in the coming months:
If you sat the September 2020 examination, your results will be made available to you online by the end of this year according to IBLCE’s regular schedule. The results won’t be sent by post this year. You will receive an email with instructions to access your results online, as well as details about all certification verification options available at that time.
If you recertified by CERPs, there are already several options available to you to confirm your recertification status, as these packets won’t be sent by post this year:
You can find instructions to check that you have successfully recertified in IBLCE’s online credential management system here.
If needed, you can request a formal certification verification of your certification status through the IBLCE location that serves you. Please submit your verification request form no later than December 18, 2020 to allow for processing time to receive your verification by December 31, 2020.
You will also receive an email confirming your status this year.
Additionally, we anticipate the Public Registry will be updated by January 31, 2021.
We encourage you to start talking with your employer now about how this will be different, and its impact on verifying IBCLC certification and recertification.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our customer service team greatly appreciates your patience as we work to handle numerous worldwide requests in a short period of time.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we implement this new digital system – and for the support you provide to breastfeeding families during this challenging time.
IBLCE disseminated a call for videos showing how IBCLCs were responding to the pandemic, and the responses we received are inspiring. This year has been challenging for so many – and the impact of this pandemic will be felt, in some cases profoundly, for some time yet. Yet these videos give great hope.
We have compiled the video submissions into a short series. You can watch them all here or below.
We are so grateful to the IBCLCs who shared their stories with us and made this possible!
We received stories from seventeen IBCLCs in nine countries: some had transitioned to remote consults. Some donned personal protective equipment (PPE) daily for in-person care. Still others focused on sharing information, training colleagues, or creating spaces for families to meet online. All were united in their effort to work collaboratively to ensure that breastfeeding families can access the support they need when they need it.
A sincere thank you to all IBCLCs for learning new skills, adapting, and showing resilience so that families do not have to navigate the challenges of breastfeeding alone. We hope you can see yourself in the challenges and successes shared in these videos – and know that we are all in this together.
IBLCE International Office ●
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Phone: +1 703-560-7330 ● Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IBLCE in the Americas & Israel ●
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IBLCE in Europe, The Middle East & North Africa ●
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As the new European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, there are updates to IBLCE privacy materials. Three documents are available for review: a Privacy Notice, Privacy Statement and Cookies Statement. The Privacy Notice pertains to IBLCE certificants and candidates. The Privacy Statement pertains to use of our website.