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 window has been updated to 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​ 

ALL Candidates ​Partial Refund ​
(50% of fees paid)
Submit request to IBLCE by August 152020. 
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. 
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 15, 2020 with documented extraordinary circumstances*. 

*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 November 30, 2020, you may earn clinical practise hours remotely.  Please see IBLCE’s Advisory Opinion on Telehealth as well as the Updated Interim Guidance on the Use of Technology to Meet Pathways 1, 2, and 3 Clinical Practise Requirements (Issued on May 14, 2020) on the IBLCE website.  Additionally, if you are pursuing IBCLC eligibility via Pathway 3, please see the Pathway 3 Plan Guide.

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.