Step 1: Prepare for IBCLC Recertification

IBCLCs hold the certification for 5 years and then they are to recertify.

Please note: There are some changes coming to IBCLC recertification in the next few years. Please watch this video summarising the changes to IBCLC recertification beginning with candidates who will recertify in 2021. Stay tuned  for additional changes that will be implemented in 2022 and beyond.

Five years after last passing the examination, IBCLCs have the option to recertify by Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) or take the examination. It is mandatory that every 10 years IBCLCs sit for re-examination.

The mandatory re-examination at least once every ten years is based on the IBCLC’s previous recertification method. See the chart below:

Please note: for IBCLCs recertifying by either examination or CERPs in 2021 and going forward, IBLCE will require the following in each five-year recertification cycle.

   ▪ 250 hours of practise in lactation consulting (full or part-time) in the area(s) of education, administration, research, clinical practice or advocacy.  These hours may be earned as a volunteer or paid hours, or a combination of both. 

    ▪ Basic life support education. Examples of education that meets this are Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). As healthcare professionals conducting in-person care, it is important to maintain basic life support education for the client
and patient safety. Certificants selected for audit will be asked to submit their card or certificate as proof of basic life support education.

The IBCLC examination 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 of four hours duration.

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).

Recertifying by CERPs requires that 75 CERPs be earned within the 5 years of the certification period and before you apply for recertification. Earning the 75 CERPs includes:

  • Minimum of 50 L-CERPs of education that is specifically about human lactation and breastfeeding
  • Minimum 5 E-CERPs of education about professional ethics and conduct
  • Remaining CERPs may be (R) CERPs which is education related to the practise of IBCLCs, but is neither lactation nor ethics specific

One CERP is equal to 60 minutes of education that must cover subjects found on the the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline. Review the Recertification Guide for more detailed information on CERPs.

IBCLCs are also to reaffirm adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs and report any professional licensing/registration actions and/or professional disciplinary actions.

Resources: visit the IBCLC Information page to find the Recertification Guide and other related resources.

Please note: commencing with IBCLCs recertifying in 2022, the examination will remain an option for recertification but will no longer be a requirement. A self-assessment and required focused continuing education will be an option in lieu of examination at each five-year recertification period. More information will be released in future updates.

Click here if you are ready for Step 2: Recertification Fees & Deadlines

Click here if you are ready for Step 3: Apply for Recertification & Exam FAQs