December 2018
IBLCE Establishes New Global Humanitarian Scholarship
As all are well aware, we are living in challenging times with humanitarian crises emerging continuously around the world occasioned by various causes such as climate change, geopolitics, and natural disasters. These numerous, and often sudden, crises make obtaining a professional credential difficult. It is particularly unfortunate when an aspiring IBCLC has met all prerequisites and all that remains is to sit and pass the professional examination but due to unforeseen circumstances with profound financial impacts, a lactation professional is unable to do so.

In response to these increasingly common crises preventing lactation professionals from completing the final crucial step on the journey towards the credential, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) has established the IBLCE Global Humanitarian Scholarship. Each year, IBLCE will fund several Global Humanitarian Scholarships to be administered through the Monetary Investment in Lactation Consultant Certification® (MILCC®) organisation.

MILCC is the global leader in scholarships for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®), the credential recognised worldwide as the gold standard in professional lactation care. Since its founding in 1987, MILCC has awarded 725 scholarships to deserving candidates in 60 countries! 

MILCC will administer this new scholarship established by IBLCE, and this scholarship will increase the funding available through MILCC, including to those individuals and areas most in need. This new scholarship joins several existing MILCC scholarship programmes, including:

  • MILCC General Scholarship—Awarded annually to those seeking IBCLC certification or recertification with financial need the main criteria for selection and priority given to candidates who serve a population lacking access to the specialised services of an IBCLC. 

  • The JoAnne W. Scott Scholarship—Awarded annually to initial candidate(s) or recertifying IBCLC(s) from peer-to-peer support group backgrounds. 

  • Emerging Leader Scholarship—Established by IBLCE in the spirit of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion among candidates of IBCLCs and future leaders. Available periodically to aspiring IBCLCs that demonstrate leadership potential, belong to a group historically underrepresented in the profession and its leadership, and who may otherwise be unable to pursue the IBCLC.
  • Dr. Clifton J. Kenon, Jr. Health Equity Scholarship—Awarded annually with the goal of reducing health disparities through the certification of professionals who provide lactation care primarily to the African-American community with priority given to those seeking initial IBCLC certification.
In the last five years alone, MILCC has awarded 397 scholarships totalling over $140,000USD. IBLCE’s aim with this newly created scholarship is to help those around the globe working to meet their professional credentialing goal, despite unanticipated and difficult circumstances, and to assist those families acutely in need of professional lactation care in challenging environments. For further information, visit
Updated Interim Guidance on the Use of Technology to Meet Pathways 1, 2, and 3 Clinical Practice Requirements Extended Through September 30, 2023
Due to the ongoing worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, IBLCE will continue to allow certification eligibility clinical practice hours to be met using technology through September 30, 2023.

Pathway 1, 2 and 3 Initial Candidates and their Supervisors/Mentors can learn more about how they can meet clinical practice hour requirements using technology by reviewing the June 2022 Updated Interim Guidance on the Use of Technology to Meet Pathways 1, 2, and 3 Clinical Practice Requirements, originally issued in May and April 2020 and reissued in October 2020 and August 2021, for details.
The IBCLC and Magnet Recognition: Adding Value to Nursing Careers and Facilities
The quality of services offered by professionals, hospitals, community clinics, and other facilities is of utmost importance for protecting the public, and is of keen interest to other entities, such as governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and other professional organisations. In much the same way that a designated BFHI facility gives you and the public confidence in the care it provides to breastfeeding families, third-party approval, often referred to as accreditation, serves as a symbol of rigour and quality. Families receiving care and the professionals who serve them in hospitals or other facilities accredited by organisations such as Baby-Friendly can be reassured that the facility and the care it offers follows rigorous standards and best practices.

Similarly, both the public and those seeking or holding credentials want to be assured that these credentials are of high quality to facilitate qualified care. To that end, the IBCLC programme has long been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (I.C.E.). In fact, it is one of the earliest programmes to have earned and continuously maintained this valued accreditation. It has held the prestigious independent accreditation for 35 years, since 1987. The NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs are widely recognised as the benchmark of quality and excellence for certification programmes, particularly healthcare certifications, and this accreditation provides third-party validation to candidates, certificants, employers, and the public at large that the IBCLC programme has met the rigorous standards set by the credentialing industry. Accreditation reflects the value of the credential, and that those who hold the IBCLC represent skilled, knowledgeable, and qualified professionals.

Another benefit of achieving NCCA accreditation is earning approval to be a Magnet-recognised certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)® Magnet Recognition Program®. The Magnet programme offers accreditation to healthcare organisations that meet the highest standards of excellence in nursing. When a healthcare organisation earns Magnet status, it demonstrates to the public that the organisation recognises the invaluable potential of nurses to lead healthcare change.

ANCC relies on accreditation as the benchmark for approving a certification. Thus, by earning and maintaining NCCA accreditation, the IBCLC credential continues to be approved as an accepted professional Board certification, thereby enabling healthcare organisations to seek the prestigious Magnet recognition. Also, while ANCC Magnet recognition may apply only to US-based facilities, in many countries there are similar organisations and programmes that offer recognition for meeting stringent standards of practice in healthcare to which an accredited credential like the IBCLC could contribute.

IBLCE is proud to offer one of the longest-standing NCCA-accredited certification programmes and remains committed to continuously meeting the highest standards set by the credentialing industry.
IBCLC Image-Based Examination Items
As those who have sat or are preparing to sit the IBCLC examination know, approximately half of the items on the examination are image-based. These items require a test-taker to analyse an image before selecting the correct answer. As much of the work of an IBCLC requires visual assessment of a parent and/or infant or child, image-based items enhance the rigour of the examination programme by requiring the application of knowledge.

IBLCE greatly values the diversity of the communities and families served by IBCLCs around the world and recognises the importance that global diversity be represented on the IBCLC examination. Continued diversification of examination images is a top priority for IBLCE. Due to the confidential nature of examination content and the need to protect the security and integrity of the IBCLC examination, images that have appeared in a public domain or for which IBLCE does not own all rights cannot be used on the examination. Therefore, IBLCE is securing additional exclusive images that further reflect the diversity of the communities served. This remains a high ongoing priority, and test-takers can expect to see further diverse images on the 2023 examination administrations.
IBCLC Examination Language Policy Update
As part of its strategic planning process, IBLCE engaged in extensive environmental scanning. As part of that extensive environmental scanning process, noteworthy is the fact that the World Health Organization has six official languages.
As previously shared, IBLCE’s updated strategic plan contemplates a languages framework, given the rapid growth of technology and virtual work, with these changes further accelerated by the global pandemic. The revised strategic plan also emphasises fiscal health and sustainability.
In light of the revised strategic plan and in alignment with good stewardship, IBLCE analysed the cost neutrality point for administering the IBCLC examination in multiple languages.
As previously announced, effective 2022, IBCLCs no longer must periodically recertify by examination. In fact, data reveals that since this change became effective, the percentage of those recertifying by examination has dropped by a dramatic 82% between 2021 and 2022. The Continuing Education self-assessment required for recertification is, and will continue to be, available in 17 languages.
As discussed in the March 2022 IBLCE Briefing, there are a variety of creative and economical ways to earn Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs), through one’s employment or through some volunteer opportunities, authorship, or mentorship.
In light of these facts, IBLCE analysed the number of candidates taking the examination to earn the credential by language and found that over the last several years, seven languages did not meet the sustainability threshold (cost neutrality) and in some of these languages, the number of initial test takers was quite low—in some cases, even in the single digits.
Therefore, as a matter of organisational equity and fairness as well as financial sustainability, the IBLCE Board has decided, after very thoughtful and data-driven consideration, that it is in the best interest of the organisation to focus efforts at this time on the 10 most frequently administered examination languages.
Examination administrations in the seven languages which are not cost neutral will be offered in 2023 but will not be offered effective 2024, given the number of initial test-takers does not meet current sustainability minimums. Given that all certificants can recertify by self-assessment (available in 17 languages) and continuing education, there is an option available to current IBCLCs.
It is important to note that:
  • Given the IBLCE Policy is met and there is cost-neutral volume, IBLCE will consider future examination administrations in these or new languages in accordance with the lead time required for translation referenced in the policy.
  • The IBLCE website will continue to include these seven languages with ongoing updates.
  • IBLCE intends to maintain IBLCE Coordinators to provide service to certificants in these languages.
For further information, including the revised Translation of the IBCLC Examination into a Language Policy and the specific examination administration languages being discontinued at this time due to consistently low volumes, and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the IBLCE website.
Continuing Education (CE) Self-Assessment Transition Period
As a reminder, candidates due to recertify in 2022 who did not recertify by examination have until September 30, 2022, to complete their required CE Self-Assessment and submit their recertification by CERPS application based on the results of their Personalised Professional Development Plan (PPDP). As previously announced, the CE Self-Assessment is a recertification requirement effective 2022, together with Basic Life Support and 250 hours of professional practice, professional or voluntary.

Recertifying candidates must meet all requirements no later than September 30, 2022, to recertify by CERPS. We encourage recertification candidates to complete the CE Self-Assessment, review their PPDP, and submit their recertification application as early as possible to facilitate review of compliance with the new requirements in advance of the September 30 deadline. Please contact the IBLCE office that serves you for questions and support related to recertification by CERPS.
Video Available in English and French:
Understanding the Continuing Education (CE) Self-Assessment
Watch the video to learn more about how to recertify by CERPs with the CE Self-Assessment! It is currently available in English and French; it will be posted in other languages soon.

Check IBLCE’s Video Library to find all available videos. 
Of Note
Congratulations to:
IBLCE Board Public Member Christy Porucznik, who has been named the Vice Dean for Faculty at the School of Medicine at the University of Utah! In this new role, Christy will provide leadership and oversight of the Faculty Affairs Office for the medical school, serve as a central resource by providing guidance and support to enhance faculty success, and oversee the faculty appointment, review, and advancement processes, among many other responsibilities.
IBLCE Senior Board Member Agnes Kamau, who recently earned her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy and works with the informal settlements population in Nairobi, Kenya.
IBLCE Director of Promotion & Advancement for Asia-Pacific & Africa, Karolyn Vaughan, for her selection as a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her service to nursing.
Address Updates!
We can’t stay in touch with you, if you don’t stay in touch with us! It is a professional responsibility to keep your contact information current, including your email address as this is where IBLCE sends reminders about your IBCLC certification. Have colleagues who might need a friendly reminder? Please forward this Briefing to them.
This briefing is being translated and will be disseminated in all IBCLC examination languages in the immediate future.
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