International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
Step 1: Prepare for IBCLC Recertification
IBCLC recertification reassures the public that we serve that IBCLCs remain the most trusted source for lactation and breastfeeding care. The purpose of IBCLC recertification is to promote continued competence through professional development and lifelong learning. IBCLCs are required to recertify every five years to maintain their credential.
All recertifying IBCLCs must meet three requirements during each five-year recertification cycle:
Requirement 1: Basic Life Support Education
Examples of education that meet this are Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). A didactic and/or virtual basic life support course will be sufficient to meet the requirement. As healthcare professionals conducting in-person care, it is important to maintain basic life support education for client and patient safety. Certificants selected for audit will be asked to submit their card or certificate as proof of basic life support education.
Requirement 2: 250 Hours of Practice in Lactation Consulting
Requirement 3: Select & Complete One Recertification Method (IBCLC Examination or Recertification by CERPs)
Beginning with IBCLCs due to recertify in 2022, IBCLCs are no longer required to recertify by examination every ten years. Now, there are two options for every five-year recertification cycle:
Option 1: Recertification by Examination
The IBCLC examination remains an option for recertification but is no longer a requirement.
The IBCLC examination is offered twice per year, in English in March and/or April and in all IBLCE languages in September, and tests the application of knowledge in the disciplines listed on the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline.
The IBCLC examination consists of 175 multiple-choice questions. The examination is given in two parts, and once you have completed Part One, you may not go back to that part. Most questions in Part Two are associated with an image. The standard IBCLC examination is four hours long.
British English is the foundation for all translations of the IBCLC examination. With respect to measurement, the IBCLC examination includes both metric weights and measures as well as US weights and measures, with the more prevalent metric measurement noted first, and with the US measurement noted second in a parenthetical, e.g, 30 mL (1 oz).
Option 2: Recertification by Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) with Continuing Education Self-Assessment (CE Self-Assessment)
Continuing education, now guided by the CE Self-Assessment, helps IBCLCs demonstrate the comprehensive knowledge and skills required to practise as an IBCLC. IBCLCs are required to take the CE Self-Assessment to identify their competences based upon the current IBCLC Detailed Content Outline. Using the Personalised Professional Development Plan (PPDP) generated by the CE Self-Assessment, IBCLCs are then required to complete 75 CERPs.
The CE Self-Assessment is designed to encourage self-reflection by using a “Blended Approach” to continuing education. This balances the commitment to maintain competence – and continuously evolve to align with professional standards in the topics outlined in the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline – while also allowing IBCLCs the flexibility to select continuing education more specific to their career path, practice setting, or interest areas. Once fully transitioned to the CE Self-Assessment, up to approximately half of the required number of CERPs will be prescribed by the areas identified for improvement in the Self-Assessment and the remaining CERPs will be determined by the IBCLC.
The CE Self-Assessment is a free, remote, computer-based assessment with approximately 70 multiple-choice questions taken to create a Personalised Professional Development Plan.It must be taken in one 120-minute (2-hour) time block. The CE Self-Assessment can only be taken once during a five-year recertification cycle.
Upon completion of the CE Self-Assessment, you will receive immediate feedback in the form of a Personalised Professional Development Plan. This plan will show you the topic areas of the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline where you need to focus your continuing education.
As a result of IBCLC feedback, the CE Self-Assessment transition plan has been modified to clarify the recertification by CERPS with CE-Self Assessment requirements. IBCLCs are required to earn a minimum number of their CERPs based on the results of their Personalised Professional Development Plan (PPDP):
For IBCLCs due to recertify in 2023: if you have one or more required topic areas identified in the PPDP, you are required to earn a minimum of three (3) CERPs in each of those topic areas,
For IBCLCs due to recertify in 2024 and beyond: if you have one or more required topic areas identified in the PPDP, you are required to earn a minimum of five (5) CERPs in each of those topic areas, OR
If you have no required topic areas identified in the PPDP, you can earn CERPs based on your career path, practice setting, or interest areas in alignment with the Detailed Content Outline (DCO).
Please find the requirements for IBCLCs due to recertify by CERPs below:
L-CERPS: Human Lactation & Breastfeeding
E-CERPs: Professional Ethics & Conduct
R-CERPs: Related to the practice of IBCLCs, but neither L- nor E-CERPs
After completing all the required CERPs, as well as all additional requirements for recertification, you must submit your recertification by CERPs application and pay the fee during the posted application period.
Please keep your PPDP from the CE Self-Assessment and proof of completion of CERPs in the event of audit.
If you decide that you prefer to sit the IBCLC examination to recertify, you may apply to do so within the examination application deadline – even if you have already taken the CE Self-Assessment.
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