COVID-19 FAQs

How do I schedule my appointment at a testing centre?

IBLCE will send you an Examination Authorisation Email with detailed information about the scheduling process, including a link to the Prometric webpage where you can schedule your appointment online.  For some candidates, scheduling will need to be conducted by phone, so please consult your Examination Authorisation Email for specific instructions. 

Before you schedule your examination appointment, please review IBLCE’s COVID-19 Examination Day Notice and contact your IBLCE location with any questions.  

You will need to have your eligibility number (provided in the authorisation email) available at the time of scheduling. Important Note: candidates from the rescheduled March/April 2020 examination administration will have a new eligibility number.

Can I call Prometric to schedule my appointment at a testing centre?

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on many scheduled examinations, Prometric is rescheduling over 400,000 candidates in a short period of time, and so you may experience extended customer service wait times if you call.  Scheduling through the online portal is the most time-effective method; questions or issues with this process can be submitted to Prometric through the contact form on their website.  For some candidates, scheduling will need to be conducted by phone, so please consult your Examination Authorisation Email for specific instructions. 

I’m having difficulty with scheduling my appointment at a test centre, as there seems to be no openings in my area. What are my next steps?

Due to COVID-19 and the testing vendors having to reschedule over 400,000 candidates in a short timeframe, along with the social distancing measures in place, please know that you may have some challenges scheduling your appointment at first.  Please know that the testing vendor is opening sites and/or appointment times on a regular basis and the IBCLC certification programme is deemed essential so you will have access to all open test centres.  We encourage you to continue to attempt to schedule your appointment on a regular basis.   

What measures related to COVID-19 are being implemented at testing centres/what should I be aware of when I go to the centre?

Prometric is taking new measures at test centres due to COVID-19. These measures are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (U.S.) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and updated based on the regulations of the local jurisdiction at the time. Below is an overview of these and we encourage you to check Prometric’s website frequently for updates, including in the days leading up to your examination date.  

  • Candidates are required to wear masks or face coverings for the entirety of their time at the test centre, as well as complying with any other federal or local requirements in place at the time of testing.   
  • Social distancing will be implemented during both security procedures and the seating of test takers.   
  • All surfaces and materials (e.g. desks, pens, etc.) are regularly cleaned between examination sessions, and scratch paper will be provided instead of note boards.   

IMPORTANT NOTE: Candidates entering the test centre will by that act be agreeing to wear a mask or face covering and attesting to the following as posted on a door sign:  

  • They have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days;  
  • They have not been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days*;  
  • They are not experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms; and
  • They have not returned from travel to a highly infected area in the past 14 days.**  

*Medical and healthcare professionals who have been practicing safe and preventative measures using personal protective equipment (PPE) with their patients are an exception.  

** Highly-infected areas subject to travel restrictions/quarantine requirements are typically identified at the local level via orders, directives, or guidelines. Please consult with local requirements on restricted travel in the location you wish to test.

Note that Prometric updates these as appropriate, so please review the Prometric website and the social distancing measures regularly leading up to your appointment day.  You can also view the information that the World Health Organization has published about international travel in relationship to COVID-19.  

If you have any questions about this process and/or about your ability to meet these requirements, please contact your IBLCE location.  

Can I choose to take the examination via Live Remote Proctoring instead of going to a testing centre?

If you are taking the examination in English and your computer passes the System Readiness Check, as well as your workspace meets the environmental criteria, then you would be eligible to choose LRP. Review IBLCE’s information about your examination options here.

Further information about taking the IBCLC examination with LRP can be found here.

I have been approved for a breast/chestfeeding break during my examination. Is this still an option at a test centre?

Yes, you may still take the examination at a test centre with the approved breast/chestfeeding break.  IBLCE works closely with the testing vendor to secure a private location for you to breast/chestfeed or pump.  The private location may be a private room or a portable pod. The testing vendor and IBLCE will work with you to locate the testing centre that is closest to your home that can offer a breast/chestfeeding accommodation. Please refer to your Examination Authorisation Email for additional information.  

What happens if I schedule an examination at a test centre and it closes due to COVID-19? Will I have to pay a rescheduling fee?

If your examination appointment is impacted due to site closures or state restrictions, you will receive an email notification informing you that your appointment has been cancelled with instructions for how to reschedule for a future date. No rescheduling fees will be applied

How do I know if Live Remote Proctoring for the examination is an option for me?

For those who are taking the examination in English, Live Remote Proctoring (LRP) may be an option.  Currently, IBLCE’s third-party testing vendor only offers LRP in English. LRP will require the candidate to meet the technical and environmental criteria for testing in their home. 

Please view this graphic with your options. 

Further information about taking the IBCLC examination with LRP can be found here.

What is Live Remote Proctoring?

LRP allows you to take a professional, computer-based test on your own computer equipment in your home, or other location that meets the workspace criteria, with security and testing practices in place that are similar to that of a testing centre.  

All examinations are continuously monitored to ensure the validity of the results. 

As an LRP test taker, you are not alone: if you have a question (not related to the examination content) or need support, you can speak to or message your Remote Proctor at any time. 

What can I expect if I decide to use Live Remote Proctoring for the IBCLC examination?

Prometric will provide you with detailed information in your appointment confirmation email that will explain how to download and install the testing vendor’s ProProctor application, as well as give you an in-depth overview of the process.  

The LRP experience will be similar to your experience at a test centre.  After you launch the examination application, you will start with check-in and security measures (a Readiness Agent will check your environment and person).

Once you start your examination, your device will be locked so you only have access to the test items. During the examination, candidates may flag questions within each section for review and return to them later. For the purpose of making notes, candidates may access electronic scratch paper.

You will be on webcam with the remote proctor for the entire time of your examination.

For further information regarding IBLCE examination policies and examination format, please see the examination FAQs on our website for more information.

If you have a question during your examination (not examination content related), you will be able to speak to or message your Remote Proctor at any time.  

What kind of security procedure should I prepare for?

LRP does include a readiness and security check before you begin the examination. Be prepared for Prometric to take pictures of your two unexpired IDs. The primary ID must be a valid, unexpired government-issued identification that includes your name, current photograph, and signature, and the secondary ID must have either your name and signature or your name and current photograph. Government-issued IDs with expiration dates from February 1, 2020 forward will be accepted. 

You must also show the Readiness Agent a view of the entire workspace where you will be taking the examination. For examination security purposes and is typical in the professional testing industry, your Readiness Agent will also ask you to stand up to do a scan of your person. You will be required to show your ankles, empty and turn all pockets inside-out, and raise shirt sleeves above your wrists. If you are wearing eyeglasses you will be required to remove them for visual inspection.   

Before checking in to the examination, clear your workspace, remove any large jewelry, empty your pockets, and pull your hair back. Make sure to have the two forms of government-issued identification on hand. This will help to reduce the amount of time it takes to get through your security check. Should you leave the view of the camera, the proctor will repeat the security check of your workspace and person.  

Other information regarding prohibited items and actions will be provided with the in-depth view of the testing process when you receive your appointment confirmation email. 

What do I need to do to set up my computer system for success with Live Remote Proctoring?

You will need the following system requirements to be able to take the IBCLC examination with Live Remote Proctoring: 

  • Computer/Laptop: You may use a laptop or desktop computer. Dual-monitor configurations are not permitted (i.e. a desktop with two monitors or a laptop with a separate monitor.) Tablets may not be used with LRP. A Microsoft Surface Pro is considered a tablet for the purposes of LRP and is not able to be used.
  • Web-Camera: You will need a movable webcam for the check-in process. A web-camera in a laptop is acceptable, as long as you are able to move the laptop to show the entire room. You may not have more than one web-camera in use at the same time.
  • Power Source: A laptop/PC plugged directly into a power source, not attached to a docking station.
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 minimum resolution
  • Operating System: Windows 7 or higher / MacOS 10.13 or higher (ProProctor currently does not support Linux products.)
  • Web Browser: current version of Google Chrome
  • Internet Connection Speed: 0.5-1 mbps or greater
  • Wi-Fi Connection: Please position your device where you have a strong signal. For the best experience, use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to the router.
  • Microphone and Speakers or Headset

To check your if your system meets these requirements, you can click here for a System Readiness Check.  

IBLCE recommends performing a System Readiness Check before scheduling for an LRP examination. You will also need to download the ProProctor proctoring software before your examination day.  Prometric will provide an appointment confirmation email with details about this process.  

Where can I take my Live Remote Proctored examination?

While many candidates will prefer to take the examination from home, you can take your examination anywhere that meets the workspace criteria below: 

  • Testing location must be indoors (walled), well lit, free from background noise and disruptions. Please note that airwalls are not permitted (many hotels use airwalls configure space).
  • No third party may be present in the room or enter the room for the duration of the examination. If this occurs, it will be noted and reported to IBLCE. Note that for breast/chestfeeding accommodations, these breaks will be taken out of the view of the webcam.
  • Your workspace and surrounding area must be free of pens, paper, electronic devices, etc. No content that could potentially provide an unfair advantage during your examination, including that posted on walls or within your immediate area, can be present during your examination session. 
  • Please note that testing via LRP requires downloading the ProProctor software to a computer, so if you are using a computer that is not your own, check to see if this is possible to do on the computer you will be using.

What is permitted in the room/near my workspace during a Live Remote Proctored examination?

During an LRP examination, the following rules apply: 

  • Unauthorised personal items may not be accessible while testing. Such items include, but are not limited to: outerwear, hats, food, drinks, purses, bags or briefcases, notebooks, watches, cell phones, electronic devices, or wearable technology.  
    • You may not use a notebook or scratch paper. During the examination, candidates may flag questions within each section for review and return to them later. For the purpose of making notes, candidates may access electronic scratch paper.
  • Eating, drinking, smoking, and chewing gum are prohibited during the examination.  
  • Written notes, published materials and other testing aids are strictly prohibited.  
  • If you remove a light clothing item such as a sweater, a suit jacket, a scarf, etc., it must be hung on your chair, not placed in your lap or on a workspace desk/table. Outerwear such as heavy coats, parkas, raincoats, etc., is not permitted in the immediate testing area.  
  • Changing location while testing, leaving the view of your web camera, turning off lighting or audio, speaking to or receiving aid from other individuals is strictly prohibited– even during breaks –  and may be reported to IBLCE. If you ever need to leave your workspace or have a question about LRP rules, please contact your Remote Proctor to avoid dismissal from the examination. 
  • If you need access to additional items for medical reasons, please contact your regional location to request a specific accommodation. The items listed here are permissible without a special accommodation, but will be inspected during your security check. 

(Note: You may need a mirror to help get a full view of your space to complete your environmental check.) 

What if I applied to take the examination in another language, but I’d like to take a Live Remote Proctored examination in English?

Please submit this change to the IBLCE location that serves you. Change requests must be received by September 3, 2020. 

What happens if I encounter technical difficulties during the examination?

If you encounter technical difficulties during your examination such as loss of power or internet connection, Prometric will provide a reasonable time frame for you to get back online and resume your examination. If you are unable to resume your examination within a reasonable time, you will no longer be able to access your examination. Should this occur, please contact your IBLCE regional office

What type of computer equipment works for Live Remote Proctoring?

You will need a laptop or desktop with a single monitor. Dual monitors are not permitted. Tablets may not be used with LRP. A Microsoft Surface Pro is considered a tablet for the purposes of LRP and is not able to be used. Please see the FAQ What do I need to do to set up my computer system for success with Live Remote Proctoring?” for additional information on how to set up your computer system for success for LRP. 

May I use wifi provided by a mobile phone hot spot to take my examination?

Mobile phones are not permitted in the examination room/at your workspace for the IBCLC examination, whether you are taking it at a test centre or via LRP. Candidates found in possession of and/or using such devices during the examination or during breaks will be dismissed and their examinations will not be scored. 

Additionally, wifi from mobile phone hot spots is not always reliable. Please see the FAQ What do I need to do to set up my computer system for success with Live Remote Proctoring?”for additional information on how to set up your computer system for success for LRP and to complete a system check.

Is it guaranteed that I can get an appointment via Live Remote Proctoring?

LRP scheduling is based on proctor availability. We recommend that you request your appointment as soon as possible after receiving your IBLCE Examination Authorisation Email.  

How does scheduling a Live Remote Proctoring examination work?

The process is very similar to scheduling in a test centre, but you will select a time and not a location.  There will be a section on the IBLCE homepage of the Prometric website for scheduling a remote proctored examination. 

I have been approved for a breast/chestfeeding break during my examination. May I use Live Remote Proctoring?

Yes, you may use LRP and take a breastfeeding break. Please note that you will of course be taking the break outside of the view of the webcam. Specific information regarding this accommodation will be included in your IBLCE Examination Authorisation Email if you have been approved for a breast/chestfeeding break.  

I have been approved for an accommodation during my examination. May I use Live Remote Proctoring?

Many accommodations are possible for use with LRP.  Specific information regarding your approved accommodations will be included in your examination authorisation email. 

When is the rescheduled March/April 2020 examination going to be administered?

The rescheduled March/April 2020 IBCLC examination will be administered September 8-25, 2020.  

When is the September examination going to be administered?

The September 2020 IBCLC examination will be administered September 8-25, 2020.  

What testing modalities will both the rescheduled March/April and September 2020 examinations be administered in?

Both the rescheduled March/April and September 2020 examinations will be administered at testing centres around the world.  For those who are taking the examination in English, Live Remote Proctoring (LRP) may also be an option.  Currently, IBLCE’s testing vendor only offers LRP in English. Live Remote Proctoring will require the candidate to meet the technical and environmental criteria for testing in their home.   

Please view this graphic with your options.

What financial options do I have if I need to withdraw or cancel my examination appointment?

IBLCE has several options available to you regarding withdrawing or cancelling your examination appointment.  Please view this chart of your options and contact the IBLCE location which serves you with any questions. 

2020 March/April and September Examination Candidate Financial Options for Withdrawing/Cancelling Examination Appointment​ 

WhoWhatWhen
ALL Candidates ​Partial Refund ​
(50% of fees paid)
Submit request to IBLCE by August 312020. 
INITIAL CandidatesDefer fees to an examination in 2021 Submit request with documented extraordinary circumstances* before your examination date or within 30 days after the examination window. 
RECERTIFYING BY EXAMINATION
Candidates 
Defer fees to an examination in 2021 and receive a one-year certification extension Submit request with documented extraordinary circumstances* and 15 L-CERPs before your examination date or within 30 days after the examination window.
ALL Candidates Full Refund Submit request to IBLCE by August 31, 2020 with documented extraordinary circumstances*. 

To request a deferral to an examination in 2021, contact the IBLCE location that serves you.

*Extraordinary circumstances 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 page of the IBLCE website as specific information and updates will be provided there when it is available. These options are only applicable to 2020 examination candidates due to COVID-19. 

When will I be able to schedule my appointment for the examination in September 2020?

March/April and September 2020 IBCLC examination candidates will be able to schedule appointments in July-August.   

Please do not contact the testing vendor to schedule until you have received your examination authorisation email from IBLCE.  

IBLCE is working closely with its third-party testing vendor to ensure that IBLCE candidates are seated in a timely manner for the September 2020 examination.  Please be patient with the process, as the testing vendor is working to reseat 400,000 candidates in a very compressed time frame. 

What happens if I or a family member gets COVID-19 near the time of the examination and I cannot take the examination?

IBLCE has an extraordinary circumstances policy which will provide for a deferral for health issues for you or your family, and this also specifically contemplates health issues related to COVID-19. 

The policy does require that documentation be submitted.  Please review the Candidate Information Guide or Recertification Guide or contact your IBLCE location with any questions.  

I am working on earning my clinical practise hours for IBCLC eligibility. May I do that remotely at this time?

Now through September 30, 2021, you may earn clinical practise hours remotely.  Please see IBLCE’s Advisory Opinion on Telehealth (Issued on April 3, 2020) as well as the Updated Interim Guidance on the Use of Technology to Meet Pathways 1, 2, and 3 Clinical Practise Requirements (Reissued on October 6, 2020) on the IBLCE website.  Additionally, if you are pursuing IBCLC eligibility via Pathway 3, please see the Pathway 3 Plan Guide (Updated May 9, 2020).

Is IBLCE extending the deadline for recertification by CERPs?

This deadline remains September 30, 2020.  As a service to certificants, IBLCE has a section on its website that provides information about online CERPs opportunities in a variety of languages and regarding a variety of subjects, including ethics offerings. 

You may also wish to contact your international or national professional association for other online opportunities. 

IBLCE has an extraordinary circumstances policy, which has been broadened expressly in light of COVID-19.  If you or an immediate family member is impacted by COVID-19 in terms of health, or you or your partner is unemployed due to COVID-19, the extraordinary circumstances policy is available to you.  This simply requires that you apply for it and provide documentation along with proof of completing 15 L-CERPs.  Please review the IBLCE Recertification by CERPs Extension Request Policy for more information. 

I have some clinical questions regarding COVID-19.  Can you answer them for me?

In light of the unprecedented situation, IBLCE quickly disseminated guidance via social media from the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19, particularly when WHO first declared COVID-19 a pandemic.   

As a certification board, IBLCE does not typically provide guidance to clinical questions.  If you have questions regarding COVID-19, you are encouraged, as set forth in the IBCLC guiding practice documents, to consult evidence-based information. 

You may also wish to contact a professional association. 

 I am due to recertify by examination this year; may I recertify by CERPs?

If you are due to recertify by examination this year, you are expected to recertify by examination AND have a number of options available to you regarding sitting the examination or withdrawing or cancelling your examination appointment.  

This is your decision and you should make the best choice for you in your individual  circumstances. 

You can sit the examination via Live Remote Proctoring at your home, contingent upon the technical and environmental considerations, or in a test centre if you are taking the examination in English. Currently, IBLCE’s testing vendor only offers LRP in English. 

For those taking the examination in a language other than English, you can test in a test centre. 

If you are unable to sit the examination due to documented extraordinary circumstances, including those related to COVID-19, then you may request a deferral of your paid examination fees to an examination in 2021, as well as an extension of your certification for a year.   As you recall, the extraordinary circumstances policy includes the submission of 15 L-CERPs at the time of the request.  If you are looking for CERPs you can earn online, IBLCE has a CERP Provider Online Learning Programmes listing on its website. 

What has IBLCE done in light of COVID-19 to address IBCLC, candidate, and public needs?

  • In light of COVID-19, IBLCE provided guidance for professionals and families from the World Health Organization via social media.  Also, although not typically done by a certification body, IBLCE provided global information to address food insecurity so that IBCLCs contacted by families would have ready access to referral sources if needed. 
  • To provide additional time for those completing their requirements and given that IBLCE has not been able to send reminders via post to those recertifying this year, IBLCE extended the September 2020 examination application deadline until June 15, 2020.  While we have emailed IBCLCs recertifying by examination multiple times, due to COVID-19, we are unable to mail the typical notices and have extended the deadline to apply for the examination the maximum extent feasible.  This will allow IBCLCs who need to recertify by examination to make sure their correct email address is on file and receive notices.  (Please note it is your professional responsibility to have valid contact information on file).   

Given the announcement of the postponement of the March/April examination on March 13, 2020, why did IBLCE announce in late April that it would be late May before further information about the 2020 examinations would be provided?

The IBCLC certification programme is one of the most complex certification organisations of its size.  IBLCE has over 32,500 certificants in 122 countries and IBLCE has Coordinators available to you in approximately 50 countries/regions alone! 

IBLCE offers the examination in 17 languages and in 2019, the IBCLC examination was administered to approximately 6,400 candidates in 17 languages, in approximately 70 countries in over 900 test centres.  

With such complexity and the evolving nature of COVID-19, IBLCE had to take several steps and consider many factors to determine the appropriate pathway forward.  

Due to COVID-19, IBLCE’s third-party testing vendor has had to reseat 400,000 candidates in a very compressed time frame.  The testing vendor has approximately 350 clients (some with multiple certification programmes) in addition to IBLCE.  

To be able to share information with candidates about the choices regarding the pathway forward for those taking the examination in 2020, IBLCE had to go through several steps. 

IBLCE’s long-time third-party accreditor approved and provided for an exception for Live Remote Proctoring (LRP), which previously was not considered to have met the accreditation standards before COVID-19. 

IBLCE then amended its existing contract with its testing vendor like so many other of the testing vendors’ clients. 

IBLCE then applied for the exception to use LRP with its third-party accreditor and was approved for an exception.  Many certification programmes have been applying for this as well.  

More examination FAQs can be found here. 

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