FAQs for Recertification


How do I submit my recertification application?

Recertification applications in English are submitted online via the Credential Management System. For applications in additional languages, visit the translated section of the IBLCE website.

All recertifying applicants have existing online accounts, even if you have never accessed it. To access your account, use the “Forgot Password” or “Forgot Username” on the Login Page. Please note that you will need your new IBCLC L-# and the email address you have on file with IBLCE.

If you have already activated your Online Account, please go directly to the Login Page and enter your Username and Password.

For a step-by-step walkthrough of the online Recertification process, please review the Recertification Credential Manager Guide.

Is there a fee for Recertification?

Yes. Please refer to the Fee Schedule found in the Recertification Guide.

I am not computer savvy, I need help using the system.

Review the user’s guide including screen shots to help walk you through the process and there is a searchable FAQ section within your online IBLCE account.

How will I know what to do once I log into the online system and am ready to begin filling out my application?

Once you have activated your account and updated your personal information, the “My Home Page” screen is the place where you should go for instructions about what to do next.

Once you click on the “Application Forms” link in the yellow left-hand navigation bar, you will see the application forms that are available to you for completion. After you complete each form, the system should return you to the “My Home Page” screen for the next set of instructions.

I am recertifying IBCLC. Why do I now have two ID numbers?

IBLCE transitioned to a new unified database and is phasing in new numbers as certificants recertify. Please carefully note that the original certification number/original IBCLC ID Number will continue to be valid for verification purposes through 2017. New candidates will be receiving exclusively the new identification numbers. The new numbers are indicated by L-#####. Employers and insurers may submit a verification form located on the IBLCE website, click here to access the form.

I’m an IBCLC, what happens if I don’t pass an exam?

If you don’t pass the April exam, your IBCLC certification will expire on June 30 of that year.
If you don’t pass the October exam, your IBCLC certification will expire on December 31 of that year

How are current IBCLC credential expiration dates affected by moving to two exams a year?

All current IBCLCs will be receiving a new expiration date of December 31 of the year you are expiring.  You will receive an updated certificate within the year that you are expiring.

If I let my IBCLC certification lapse, do I need to meet the clinical hour and education requirements to sit the exam?

If you let your IBCLC certification lapse, then you have one exam attempt or one year, whichever comes first, in which to sit the exam without having to meet the clinical hour and education requirements.

Why is the fee different for between countries?

In order to make its certification financially accessible to all those qualified to participate, despite the wide variance in economic conditions throughout the world, IBLCE uses the purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita metric as determined by international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries. Further information on fees can be found in the Recertification Guide and the Fee Schedule .

Will I get some type of receipt after I submit payment online?

Yes, you will receive a confirmation of your online payment in English via email communication to your primary email address. You can also print a receipt from your online account in the “Payment History” section.

What happens if I don’t recertify?

If you choose not to recertify in the year that your IBCLC certification expires or you fail the exam as an IBCLC, you will no longer be permitted to use the designation “IBCLC” and/or “RLC” after your name. To regain the IBCLC certification you MUST sit the exam and pass. All application deadlines are applicable, so please review these if you plan to seek certification.

Should you let their certification lapse by either failing the IBLCE exam or not renewing by either sitting the exam or recertifying by CERPs, you may take the exam one time within the following twelve months after the expiration year without having to meet the IBLCE exam eligibility requirements; this exemption is limited to one exam sitting within the year that immediately follows the lapse of your certification. For any subsequent exam attempts you are expected to meet the eligibility requirements valid at the time of exam application. For example, an individual who fails the exam in April will be able to take the October exam of that same year or the next April exam without having to meet the pre-requisites for the exam. An IBCLC who fails in October will be granted one attempt for either April or October of the following year without having to demonstrate meeting the pre-requisites.

Should your IBCLC certification lapse, then you will pay the fee associated with initial exam applicants the next time that you apply to sit the exam.

I originally applied to recertify by exam, but have decided to recertify via CERPs instead. How do I update my application?

You can make this change as long as you are within the deadline to recertify via CERPs. Please contact your IBLCE regional office to make a request.

I was eligible to recertify by either exam or CERPs this year, I chose to take the exam but failed. I have 75 CERPs, can I recertify by CERPs?

Due to the fact that you failed the exam, your certification has lapsed. You may not recertify by CERPs.

I sent my recertification by CERPs application by the deadline but I was short 3 CERPs. Why can’t I get the CERPs since my certification doesn’t expire until December 31st?

Due to the fact that you did not have sufficient CERPs by the application deadline your certification has lapsed. IBLCE does not permit submission of CERPs earned after the application deadline.

Can I apply education obtained before sitting the exam towards my recertification/what is the cut-off date to obtain CERPs?

Education for the purposes of recertification by CERPs can be earned after you are certified as an IBCLC. The timeframe in which CERPs can be earned is dependent on which exam is taken.

For initial IBCLCs who sit the April exam: education can be earned toward recertification starting July 1 of that year through application for recertification 5 years later. For example, if you pass the April exam in 2018, then you can begin to earn education points (CERPs) for recert by CERPs from July 1, 2018 until you submit your application for recertification in 2023.

For initial IBCLCs who sit the October exam: education can be earned toward recertification staring January 1 of the following year through application for recertification 5 years later. For example, if you pass the October exam in 2017, then you can begin to earn education points (CERPs) for recert by CERPs from January 1, 2018 until you submit your application for recertification in 2022.

For current IBCLCs that are recertifying by exam, education may count towards recertification at any point after sitting the exam in the expiration year through application for recertification 5 years later. For example, if you are due to recertify by exam in 2017, then you can begin earning education (CERPs) at any time following the exam seating in which you took until you submit your application for recertification in 2022.

Can I recertify earlier than my expiration year?

The recertification policy is such that IBCLCs can recertify early by one year if you are taking the exam. Please note that if you choose to recertify one year early, then your expiration date is set to five years out from when you sit the exam (e.g. If you are due to recertify in 2017, but you pass an exam in 2016, then your next expiration date will be 2021 and not 2022). If you are denied or fail the April or October exam, your certification will expire on June 30th or December 31st of that year respectively.

IBCLCs are not able to recertify by CERPs one year early.

What is the deadline to submit an application for recertification via CERPs?

The last day to submit an application to recertify via CERPs is September 30th of the year of your expiration.

Do I need CERPs to sit the exam?

IBCLCs are not required to demonstrate any continuing education recognition points (CERPs) in order to qualify for the exam.

Am I required to recertify?

Yes. IBLCE recertification policy requires that certificants recertify every 5 years. IBCLCs have the option to recertify via CERPs on the first 5th year, however it is required that every IBCLC recertify by examination every ten years. This re-examination policy is intended to periodically assess knowledge and cognitive skills related to lactation consulting. At the ten-year interval, the examination for all candidates is premised on a new practice analysis, capturing major developments in the field.

How many CERPs do I need to recertify?

A total of 75 CERPS

  • At least 50 L-CERPs

L-CERPs are awarded to education that is specifically about human lactation and breastfeeding and the provision of care to breastfeeding families.

  • At least 5 E-CERPs

E-CERPs awarded to education that is about professional ethics, conduct and standards for health professionals.

  • At least 20 additional CERPs which may be L, E, or R-CERPs

R-CERPs are an optional category that covers education that is in any way related to the practice of lactation consulting. R-CERPs are not required but can rather be applied for the 20 out of 75 required CERPs


For more information regarding CERP definitions, please click here.

May I use continuing education that has not been awarded CERPs?

When you submit your recertification by CERPs application, you may submit continuing education that has not already been recognised for CERPs. The Individual CERPs Guide and the Continuing Education Review Points provides details about the types of educational activities that you may submit.

Is it possible to have my educational activities reviewed before I submit my recertification by CERPs application?

You can review the Individual CERPs Guide to see if your activities meet IBLCE requirements. Review ahead of the recertification application is not available.

Do I need to submit proof of my 75 CERPs?

You should keep copies of your certificates of participation in the continuing education, as your application may be randomly selected for audit. IBLCE provides 10 business days to submit supporting documentation.