December 2018
IBLCE Further Strengthens Policies Related
to the WHO Code 

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) has a presence almost everywhere around the globe. This provides the opportunity for significant impact and IBLCE is committed to leveraging its influence in support of the aims of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (1981) and subsequent World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions.

In the IBLCE Briefing of February 2018, IBLCE reported on how it works to advance the WHO Code and subsequent resolutions and promised further updates as they became available.

IBLCE is pleased to report that since that time it has focused significantly on ways to advance the aims of the WHO Code and subsequent resolutions and has made a number of significant policy decisions to that end. Given the scope of these policy changes and that some affect IBCLCs and candidates, they will be implemented incrementally.

These decisions, with further implementation details to follow, include:

  • The incorporation of World Health Assembly Resolution 69.9 into IBLCE policies for all IBLCE volunteers, staff, independent contractors and coordinators:
To minimise conflicts of interest (COIs), receipt of any compensation, collaboration or contribution from interests that deal with the feeding of infants and young children which compete with breastfeeding (or their affiliated foundations/organisations/companies) should be avoided or, at the very minimum, if any such COI occurs, it should be fully disclosed by the individual when providing services or speaking/teaching/writing/conducting research. Any of the aforementioned individuals publishing, planning a conference or event, or doing research should require such disclosures and encourage their colleagues to divest from such conflicts. 
  • The IBLCE Ethics & Discipline Committee will review and revise the Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs (CPC) to incorporate provisions of the WHO Code within the CPC in consultation with legal counsel with the accomplishment of this task in 2021 and with an effective date of 2022.

  • WHO Code training will be mandatory for all individuals on the IBLCE Board and staff, IBCLCs recertifying as well as IBCLC candidates, with inclusion of further specific information in the Candidate Information and Recertification Guides available in 2022.

  • IBLCE will continue to formally assess internal and external documents to evaluate adherence to the WHO Code and subsequent resolutions and create a mechanism by which this is done on a regular basis as new resolutions are passed by the World Health Assembly.

  • Effective 2022, IBLCE will not accept any educational credits earned from that time forward for certification/recertification from companies whose products fall within the scope of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (e.g., infant formula, bottles and teats), breast pump companies, pharmaceutical companies, entrepreneurs who market breastfeeding and baby items such as nipple creams, baby slings, strollers, breastfeeding pillows or nursing stools.

  • IBLCE will review its CERP Provider Programme and Minimising Commercial Influence on Education Policy in relationship to the WHO Code and subsequent WHA resolutions.

  • IBLCE collaborations with professional organisations who are not following the WHO Code should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, offering education whenever possible.

  • Incorporation of the WHO Code and subsequent resolutions in all volunteer and staff orientations.

IBLCE is pleased to report on this progress with respect to the advancement of the WHO Code and subsequent resolutions and will continue to provide updates. While IBLCE is an international certification board with certificants in a host of varying legal, economic and regulatory environments and thus subject to some constraints, IBLCE is committed to doing all that it can to uphold and advance the aims of the WHO Code and subsequent resolutions which are critically important to global public health.
2020 IBCLC Examination Administration
COVID-19 Resource Centre
The COVID-19 Resource Centre is your hub for the latest news about the September 2020 examination administration. We are adding new information weekly, so check back regularly!

Options for the 2020 IBCLC Examination
This September, candidates have several options available to them:
The testing vendor currently makes LRP available in English only.
Deferrals can be requested before your examination date or within 30 days after the examination window. The deadline for refund requests is now August 22, 2020.
Scheduling Your Examination
Many candidates have now received their Examination Authorisation Email. IBLCE is continuing the process of disseminating these emails. All candidates should receive their email in the coming days.

Scheduling your examination may be a bit more challenging this year. The testing vendor needed to reseat approximately 450,000 test candidates from many different certification programmes but as of July that backlog had been reduced dramatically. We have heard from our testing vendor that, as of August 5, 2020, seats are available at most test centres. The IBCLC programme is an essential certification programme so you will have access to all open test centres.

Confirm on Your Calendar:

The September 2020 Examination Window is September 8 – 25, 2020.
2021 Certification & Recertification Updates
As communicated in the IBLCE Briefing of June 2019, there are several changes to certification eligibility/recertification that will affect IBCLC candidates beginning with applications for the 2021 examination administrations. If you are planning to certify or recertify next year, be sure to review these updates. 

For Initial Certification Candidates Beginning with 2021 Examination Applications
  • Five (5) hours of education focused on communication skills will be required in addition to the 90 hours of lactation specific education.
Please note: Through November, you can earn clinical practise hours remotely pursuant to the Updated Interim Guidance on the Use of Technology to Meet Pathways 1, 2, and 3 Clinical Practise RequirementsLook out for an update a bit later this year to clarify how you can earn clinical practise hours moving forward.

For Recertification via Examination or CERPs Beginning in 2021

  • 250 hours of practise (full- or part-time; volunteer or paid) in lactation consulting will be required during the five-year recertification cycle.
  • Basic life support education will be required in each five-year certification period.
  • There will be two new status options: Retired Status (for IBCLCs who will no longer practise) and an Inactive Status (for active IBCLCs who are unable to recertify in the year they are due but intend to earn the certification again within one year).
The Emerging Leaders in Lactation Scholarship:
Opening the Door to the IBCLC
The Emerging Leaders in Lactation (ELL) Scholarship was established as a new scholarship programme in 2017 in the spirit of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion among the community of IBCLC candidates and future leaders. IBCLC candidates that demonstrate leadership potential, belong to a group historically underrepresented in the profession and its leadership, and who may otherwise be unable to pursue their IBCLC credential are offered this opportunity through the ELL Scholarship.

The first class of ELL Scholars is earning the IBCLC credential – and they are already making a difference in their communities! Semaj Bruce is one of first cohort of Emerging Leaders in Lactation to earn her IBCLC and is working in Nevada, USA to make breastfeeding the norm among families of colour. You can read her story here.
 “Without this scholarship, the knob on the door would not have been reachable. The scholarship brought me hope, and I hope others don’t hesitate to go find help when they need it. Don’t give up! New babies are born every day, and they need us!”
– Semaj Bruce, IBCLC
IBLCE Leadership Transitions
After a special election earlier this year due to the resignation of the former Chair-Elect from the IBLCE Board, Marin Skariah, MSN, FNP-BC, RNC-MNN, C-EFM, IBCLC, assumed her new role of Chair-Elect after the election of Dr. Clifton Kenon Jr. to the position of Treasurer, which Marin had filled previously.
Marin is from Westchester, New York and is the Nurse Manager for Labor & Delivery in Stamford, CT. She also serves as an IBCLC at NYU Langone – Brooklyn. Marin received her BSN from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia and her MSN from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Marin is committed to making a difference by incorporating best practices through advocacy, research, and parental education to improve quality of care for breastfeeding children and families.
Clifton, a registered nurse by training, led the first hospitals within the Indian Health Service to become Baby-Friendly. Additionally, he created the first national nurse residency program to train nurses to work in resource-constrained rural settings and wrote the National Indian Health Service Breastfeeding Protection Guidelines. He currently serves as Senior Diversity & Inclusion Officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he continues to work on breastfeeding, maternal child survival, and reproductive health. When not working at USAID, he is busy with his lactation practice, helping families meet their breastfeeding goals.

Great thanks to Marin and Clifton for assuming these important volunteer leadership roles during this pivotal time and for their commitment to IBLCE! IBLCE also extends its best wishes to former Board members Dr. Shakira Henderson and Dr. Cecilia Tomori in all their future endeavors! 
Do You Want to Reach IBCLCs?
Contact Us About Advertising Opportunities
With over 32,500 current IBCLCs in 122 countries, IBLCE has the largest global list in lactation! If you have a conference or opportunity that would be relevant to IBCLCs and that you would like to promote, IBLCE is now accepting select advertising. Please contact IBLCE's Brand & Communications Manager to learn more about email list options (by region/country), the number of IBCLCs on the lists, and fees. Please note IBLCE will not be sharing IBCLCs’ information with third parties. IBLCE will be disseminating information of potential interest to IBCLCs.

All potential advertisers will be required to attest to compliance with the WHO Code and subsequent WHA resolutions and advertisements must be in compliance with IBLCE’s mission and values.

IBCLCs have the option to opt out. Some regions that require recipients to opt in may not yet be available for advertising communications.
Are you an employer looking to hire an IBCLC? 
With over 32,500 IBCLCs in 122 countries, IBLCE has the broadest reach in the lactation profession. If you are an employer looking to add an IBCLC to your team, the IBLCE Career Opportunity Centre is your go-to location for IBCLC professionals. And, for a limited time, job postings on IBLCE’s Career Opportunity Centre are FREE for the first 30 days. For more information, check out the Career Opportunity Centre and fill out the Interest Form to facilitate your listing.

Please note: postings are currently limited to positions that either require the IBCLC certification or expect candidates to earn the IBCLC as a condition of employment and are also direct care positions.
This briefing is being translated and will be disseminated in all examination languages in the immediate future.
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