December 2018
Reenvisioning and Advancing the Future of Professional Lactation Care Around the Globe 
Since 1985, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) has served as a leader in the lactation profession.

As of early 2023, there are now almost 36,000 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in 131 countries around the globe. The number of IBCLCs has grown exponentially since IBLCE’s founding — by 34% in the last decade alone. The profession has come a long way and IBLCE is working to continue to serve as a leader of the profession and advance global public health into the future.

In December 2021, as part of its reenvisioning and strategic planning, IBLCE published a bold, forward-looking revised mission statement:
Serving the global public interest by advancing professional practice in lactation consultation and support through credentialing.
Through this reenvisioning process, and as previously communicated, IBLCE planned to modify its organisational structure to enhance efficiency, increase nimbleness, and allow IBLCE to do more while preserving the integrity of the IBCLC certification programme.

Chair of the IBLCE Board of Directors, Mona Sakr, MBBS, MSc, IBCLC, recently stated, “With these changes flowing from IBLCE’s reenvisioning and strategic plan, the IBLCE Board of Directors believes that the lactation profession is now poised for heightened visibility and continued growth and progress on the global stage.” 

Read more below about IBLCE, its affiliates and their roles moving forward, and how they are positioned to advance the lactation profession around the globe and into the future.
IBLCE will continue to play a key role, and an increasingly highly visible one, in advancing global public health and lactation care. IBLCE will continue to participate in influential groups such as the Global Breastfeeding Collective and the Institute for Credentialing Excellence; provide sponsorship to the independent Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC); elevate the IBCLC through the IBCLC Care Award; strengthen its commitment to the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes; collaborate with other lactation, healthcare, and community groups; and participate in lactation and related conferences.  
IBCLC Commission
IBLCE has transitioned to a Commission structure. As previously shared in the March 2022 IBLCE Briefing, a commission structure aligns with third-party accreditation standards and credentialing best practices.

The initial composition of the IBCLC Commission is comprised of IBCLCs who have served as volunteer leaders on IBCLC programme development, inclusive of examination and item development, as well as on the most recent IBCLC Practice Analysis. To facilitate smooth succession and continuity, initial terms on the Commission will be staggered. Moving forward, the composition of the Commission will be determined by public calls for volunteers and previous volunteer IBCLC programme service.

IBLCE is delighted to announce the inaugural members of the IBCLC Commission comprising strong volunteer leaders who reflect the diversity of the IBCLC community inclusive of practice setting, professional experience, educational background, and geographic location.
Deborah E. Schoch PhD, RNC, IBCLC, CCE, CPST
New Jersey, USA

Vice Chair
Sarah Brinkworth RM, BSc Hons Midwifery, DipHE Adult
Nursing,  IBCLC
Windsor, United Kingdom 

Vice Chair
Portia L. Williams, RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC
Louisiana, USA

Marcia Annamunthodo, RN, MS(N), CCHN(C), IBCLC
Ontario, Canada

Sylvia Chang, RN, MSN, IBCLC, PNC(C)
Vancouver, Canada

Rachel Lee, RD, LDN, IBCLC
Pennsylvania, USA
Per accreditation standards and best practice, the Commission will also include a public member to represent the public interest.

Dr. Deborah Schoch, the inaugural chair of the IBCLC Commission, shared, “This is an exciting time for the IBCLC community. The Commission, comprised of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, as well as a public representative, is dedicated to maintaining the gold standard in lactation care: the IBCLC.”

Pursuant to accreditation standards, the IBCLC Commission will have autonomy in decision-making over all “essential certification policies and activities”, which include the determination of eligibility standards, standards for (re)certification, the development and scoring of examinations, as well as oversight of appeals of (re)certification decisions and ethics and disciplinary matters. IBLCE will provide general and financial support to the IBCLC Commission and ongoing communication will occur through an IBLCE Board Liaison, with former IBLCE Board Chair Marin Skariah, MSN, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, RNC-MNN, C-EFM, IBCLC serving as the first IBLCE Board Liaison to the IBCLC Commission.
Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultant Certification (MILCC)
The Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultant Certification® (MILCC®) organisation, an affiliated supporting organisation, will continue to advance the profession by providing an array of scholarships to IBCLCs and aspiring lactation professionals. MILCC has awarded close to a quarter of a million dollars (USD) in scholarships to over 600 individuals in 60 countries seeking to earn the IBCLC, or recertify, in the last decade alone. MILCC scholarships include general scholarships for the IBCLC, scholarships for those from peer-to-peer support backgrounds (the JoAnne W. Scott Scholarship), the Emerging Leaders in Lactation Scholarship (with information on the second cohort coming soon), the Dr. Clifton J. Kenon, Jr. Health Equity Scholarship, as well as the newly established Global Humanitarian Scholarship.
MILCC plays a crucial role in accessibility and equity in the profession and will continue to do so through its scholarship programmes in the years ahead.
Global Centre for Lactation Training (GCLT) ™
In furtherance of the new strategic plan, specifically strategic initiative Credentialing Products & Services (Content & Quality), IBLCE is launching a new legal entity, the Global Centre for Lactation Training (GCLT). With the transition to a commission structure, there can be a new avenue to advance IBLCE’s mission of serving the global public interest by advancing professional practice through credentialing, while maintaining the integrity of the IBCLC certification programme. The Centre will make available a variety of credentialing products, services, and programming designed with a global perspective to meet a variety of professional goals and needs.

The initiatives and projects of the Global Centre for Lactation Training (GCLT) will be spearheaded by a seasoned lactation professional with a rich and varied professional and peer-to-peer leadership background, Norma Escobar, IBCLC, FILCA. Ms. Escobar was selected for this key professional position after a public call, international search, and extensive interview process.

Hailing originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Escobar entered the lactation field through volunteer leadership in a host of roles with La Leche League International, including as an accredited leader, trainer, translator, interpreter, and regional administrator for Latin America. In 2002, she earned the IBCLC and provided lactation consultation services in a diversity of practice settings: community, corporate, governmental, and nonprofit. In 2007, she assumed a position with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) for New Hanover County, North Carolina, rising to the position of Regional Breastfeeding Coordinator, providing training for peer counsellors, peer counsellor managers, and healthcare providers. Escobar also served on the IBLCE Board of Directors, including as Chair from 2019 to 2020. In 2022, the independent professional association, the International Lactation Consultants Association® (ILCA® ), recognised Escobar as a Fellow for her significant professional achievements as a leader and mentor in the lactation field. 

Details on the exciting initial, and complimentary, offering by the Centre will be announced on IBCLC Day, this year recognised on March 1, 2023.
These organisational changes are designed to further elevate the lactation profession around the world in the days and years ahead.
Questions or More Information?
Some initial FAQs are available on IBLCE’s current website now. Please note that the website is undergoing extensive upgrades behind the scenes in light of these organisational changes, with new websites available in the coming weeks.

Additionally, an informational webinar will be offered in the next few weeks with the most commonly received questions answered. Please send any questions you may have by February 22, 2023 here.  
This briefing is being translated and will be disseminated in all IBCLC examination languages in the immediate future.
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