December 2018
Number of IBCLCs Worldwide Continues to Grow!
As of January 1, 2022, there are now over 34,000 IBCLCs in 129 countries – this represents a 30% increase in the last decade! Thank you to all IBCLCs around the world for your incredible commitment to supporting breastfeeding families and for all you do to advance global public health!
IBLCE Advocates for Public Health, Equity, and Change in the Global Professional Testing Industry
IBLCE is leading the conversation in professional credentialing and in the global professional testing industry about the critical importance of access to appropriate lactation accommodations during professional certification examinations.

IBLCE recently advanced the issue in a featured article in the influential Credentialing Insights, the online journal for the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (I.C.E.). Credentialing Insights content focuses on credentialing best practices and trends in the field. 

The journal is consulted by 6,000 in the field including leaders of influential medical and healthcare certification boards including those for midwifery, nursing specialties (including obstetrics, gynaecology, and neonatology), physician specialties, dietitians and nutritionists, speech-language pathologists, clinical researchers, physician assistants, and medical technologists, as well as global testing vendors. 

In the article, IBLCE emphasises the wealth of health benefits afforded by breastfeeding and advocates for making appropriate lactation accommodations a key feature of the testing experience, thereby advancing public health. The article also emphasises that women make up a significant – and growing – percentage of those individuals taking professional certification examinations, so the issue is one of equity as well. 

IBLCE will continue to advocate for appropriate lactation accommodations for those around the world pursuing certification through professional examinations. 
The Many Ways to Earn Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs)
There are a number of ways to earn Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) for recertification that don’t involve attending a class!
If you are looking for different ways to earn CERPs, there are a number of alternative learning activity options available to you. Did you know you can earn CERPs for these activities provided they pertain to the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline and meet associated requirements?

  • In-service education provided by your employer
  • Primary author or co-author of an article, abstract or chapter published in a refereed journal or edited book
  • Poster presentation
  • Development of a video for health professionals
  • Primary or co-author of an original, finalised hospital protocol or policy
  • Some volunteer service
  • Pathway 3 Mentorship

Please refer to the Individual CERPs Guide for important details on how to earn CERPs via these activities and how to calculate these hours. 
Updated IBCLC Detailed Content Outline Effective 2023
For those planning on earning the IBCLC in 2023 and beyond, the updated Detailed Content Outline (Effective in 2023) is now available on the IBLCE website. The Detailed Content Outline is the basis for the IBCLC certification programme including the professional examination.
This updated Detailed Content Outline is the culmination of several years of work by subject matters experts in consultation with professional psychometricians as well as input from the IBCLC community. IBLCE conducted an IBCLC Practice Analysis Survey, which was disseminated in 2020 and completed by over 4,000 IBCLCs, to identify the knowledge areas, skills, and abilities necessary to successfully perform the role of an IBCLC. Learn more about the updated IBCLC Practice Analysis.
The current Detailed Content Outline will remain in effect through the end of 2022. Candidates for 2022 IBCLC examinations should continue to use the current version.
Changes to IBCLC Recertification:
Understanding Recertification by CERPs with the Continuing Education (CE) Self-Assessment
The Continuing Education (CE) Self-Assessment, launched in October 2021 in English and November 2021 in 16 IBLCE languages, is a free, 120-minute, online assessment with approximately 70 multiple-choice questions based on the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline. Currently, only IBCLCs due to recertify in 2022 have access to the CE Self-Assessment. To date, over 1,100 IBCLCs have completed the assessment in all 17 IBLCE languages.
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.
2022 is the beginning of the transition period. For IBCLCs due to recertify in 2022, of the 75 total CERPs, only 7 CERPs (10%) will be based on one’s Personalised Professional Development Plan.
IBCLCs due to recertify in 2022 can find a variety of resources on the IBLCE website to learn more about recertification by CERPs with the CE Self-Assessment:
For those due to recertify in 2023 and beyond, more information about the transition plan will be available in the coming months. Please check the IBLCE website or follow IBLCE on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get the latest news.
IBLCE: Transitioning the Organisational Structure
 to Expand Capacity and Elevate Visibility
At the end of 2021, IBLCE announced its new strategic plan, including a major modification of its organisational structure. 

  • A key part of that new strategy is the transition to an IBCLC Commission, following best practices and accreditation standards. The Commission will have autonomy over essential IBCLC certification activities, a change which will help expand organisational capacity and will enable the IBLCE Board of Directors to take a broader strategic focus, as well as assume greater and more visible roles in the IBCLC global community.

  • As IBLCE transitions to this new structure, the Commission will comprise approximately six IBCLCs, plus a public member who represents the interests of the general public served by the IBCLC community.

  • Similar to the Board of Directors, Commission members will typically serve staggered, multi-year terms, enabling a consistency of leadership over time, overseeing all essential certification activities to maintain the quality and rigor of the IBCLC credential.

  • This modified structure will help enhance our efficiency, increase nimbleness, and allow IBLCE, including the Board leadership, to do more, while preserving the continued integrity of the IBCLC credential.

  • While this structure will represent a change in governance for IBLCE, a certification commission (sometimes referred to as a certification council) is a common structure in many credentialing organisations, including those holding third-party accreditation and meeting best practices. By way of example, several prominent healthcare and nursing certification programmes such as Lamaze International (Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator or LCCE), the Competency & Credentialing Institute (Certified Perioperative Nurse or CNOR), and the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (speech-language pathology and audiology certifications, CCC-SLP and CCC-A) all have certification bodies within the organisations that are responsible for oversight of the organisations’ professional certification programmes.

  • The initial composition of the Commission will include leaders who have served in volunteer roles on IBCLC examination development, for example, serving on the Examination Development Subcommittee, Item Writing Subcommittee, or the Practice Analysis Task Force. Once first established, the composition of the Commission will thereafter be determined by open calls for volunteers, as is done with the IBLCE Board of Directors.

  • As with all examination development committee composition, it is critical that the Commission reflect the diversity of the IBCLC community, inclusive of geographic location, practice setting, educational background, and professional experience.
IBLCE is excited about this next step as IBLCE continues to grow and evolve to better serve the IBCLC community! Further information will be made available as IBLCE advances this transition.
Update on IBLCE’s WHO Code Road Map 
As shared in the November 2021 IBLCE Briefing, IBLCE continues to work to update its policies and procedures to strengthen its commitment to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code) and subsequent World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions.
Since November 2021, IBLCE has implemented the following from its the WHO Code “road map”:
  • As of January 1, 2022, IBLCE will not accept any educational credits for certification or recertification from companies whose products fall within the scope of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (infant formula, bottles, and teats).

As previously announced, in 2022 and into 2023, IBLCE will be working on the review and revision of the Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs (CPC) to incorporate provisions of the WHO Code within the CPC in consultation with legal counsel. As also previously announced in 2022, IBLCE is engaging in a comprehensive multi-phase review and enhancement of the CERPs Provider Programme.
IBLCE looks forward to continuing to work with its stakeholders on elevating the WHO Code!
Updated IBCLC Registry Now Available
IBLCE’s Public Registry has been updated to include certification updates from the September 2021 IBCLC examination administration and recertification by CERPs as of January 1, 2022.
For IBCLCs who need to verify their certification with their employer or other stakeholders seeking to verify those who are IBCLCs, we encourage you to use this resource. Providing your employer with the link and your Credential Number (L-#) will allow them to verify your certification. You can also print the page to submit to your employer.
Using ShareFile to Send Appeals Securely
The IBLCE Appeals Committee, comprised of IBCLC volunteer leaders, is charged with making decisions on certification and recertification eligibility and examination outcome appeals. The process is designed to be fair and balanced and to uphold professional certification standards.
To protect the security of IBCLC certificants’ and applicants’ information, as well as to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a privacy regulation applying to those in the European Economic Area, IBLCE does not accept appeals submitted via email, mail, or fax.
Instead, IBLCE uses a secure file-sharing platform that enables IBCLCs and applicants to easily and securely exchange documents with IBLCE. Appeals must be uploaded directly to the secure file-sharing platform accessible via the IBLCE website. All appeals and related materials should be submitted via ShareFile here.
Individuals involved in the appeals process may upload documents to IBLCE and download communications from IBLCE. This system will typically allow for more expeditious and secure resolution of appeals. 
IBLCE’s Policy for Appealing an Eligibility and Recertification Decision and the Policy for Appealing an Examination Outcome set forth the processes for reviewing adverse certification decisions. Learn more on the IBCLC Information page of our website.
This briefing is being translated and will be disseminated in all IBCLC examination languages in the immediate future.
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