The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) does not develop or offer education; however it does review educational activities submitted by providers and recognise those that are suitable as continuing education for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®). CERP is the acronym for Continuing Education Recognition Point and is the professional education unit given to educational activities that are appropriate continuing education for IBCLCs.
There are three (3) types of CERPs:
- Programs with instruction specific to lactation are recognised with L-CERPs.
- Educational activities about the ethics of practice for IBCLCs are recognised with E-CERPs.
- Professional education that is related to the work of an IBCLC, but is not specifically about breastfeeding or ethics, is recognised with R-CERPs.
One (1) CERP is equivalent to sixty (60) minutes of instructional time. Continuing education units awarded by other health professional review boards are not necessarily calculated on the same basis as CERPs, so the numbers may not necessarily be interchangeable. If education has not already been recognised for CERPs, use the Individual CERPs Guide for guidance.
L (lactation) CERPs can be earned from educational sessions, programs or materials where the primary focus or learning objective is lactation or breastfeeding specific, or addresses the role of the IBCLC.
The content should be:
- at a level appropriate for an IBCLC
- based on current research and scientific principles
- within the scope of practice of an IBCLC if addressing clinical practice
Examples of appropriate L-CERPs topics include:
- Breast anatomy in relation to lactation
- Clinical skills for IBCLCs
- Clinical documentation for IBCLCs
- Influence of culture on breastfeeding
- The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding management
- Breastfeeding research
- Nutrition during lactation
IBCLCs recertifying by CERPs must demonstrate that they have accumulated at least 50 L-CERPs in the 5 years since they last passed the exam.
Category E (ethics) CERPs can be earned from educational sessions, programs or materials that address professional ethics or standards, or ethical issues relevant to IBCLCs.
Examples of appropriate E-CERPs topics include:
- Practice ethics for lactation consultants
- Informed consent
- Health workers and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
- Conflict of interest
- Knowing your limits; when to refer
- Human rights and infant feeding choice
- Dealing with a colleague whose practice is not based on scientific principles and up-to-date information
- Copyright and intellectual property
IBCLCs recertifying by CERPs are required to obtain at least 5 CERPs in the 5 years since they last passed the exam.
Category R (related) CERPs can be earned from educational sessions, programs or materials where the primary focus or learning objective is directly related to the knowledge, skills or professional development of an IBCLC, but is not lactation, breastfeeding or ethics specific.
Examples of appropriate R-CERPs topics include:
- General anatomy
- Infant growth and development
- Research methods and statistics
- Cultural differences in health practices
- Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Postpartum depression
- Counseling or communications skills
- Adult education principles
- Family dynamics
- Infant Massage Practices
- Nutrition (if not lactation-specific)
- Complementary therapies (overview sessions only)
IBCLCs recertifying by CERPs are not required to earn R-CERPs, but may use up to 20 R-CERPs to complete recertification requirements.
Educational programs based on topics not included on the IBLCE Detailed Content Outline are not eligible for CERPs. Examples of topics that will not be recognised for CERPs include:
- Computer skills
- Business management
- Bra fitting (unless specifically related to lactation)
- Motivational sessions
- Instructional programs on complementary therapies
- Specialized health care skills (e.g. fetal monitoring)
In addition, CERPs will not be awarded to the following types of education:
- clinical work as a lactation consultant
- antenatal or postnatal classes for mothers
- private study, including reading journals and watching videos
- programs organized by individuals or companies that manufacture, market or distribute products that are in any way related to breastfeeding and/or infant and young child feeding, nutrition and care, including products within the scope of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (e.g. infant formula, bottles or teats) or programs where these company or company personnel had input into the choice of speakers or the content of the presentations
- sessions conducted by a person who has had his or her certification suspended or revoked by the IBLCE Ethics and Discipline Committee for the period of suspension or revocation
For more information about how educational activities can be recognised for CERPs, please read the CERP Providers page.