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Q & A: Pursuing Pathway 3 for IBCLC Eligibility

I would like to pursue Pathway 3 for my IBLCE certification. However, the IBLCE web site says that I cannot take the exam until 2013. Is this really right?


Yes, this is correct. I have checked the IBLCE website, and I have also talked with two different people there. Here is what I believe to be best explanation.

The requirements for Pathway 3 are now different than the previous Pathway 3 requirements. That’s only part of the explanation. The other issue is that anyone who is pursuing Pathway 3 must have her plan approved months before sitting for the exam. The last cut-off for plan approval was November 30, 2010. The next deadline for plan approval is September 30, 2011 if you wish to sit for the exam in 2013.

Before you jump in with both feet, you should download and carefully read the rules and regulations for pursuing Pathway 3.

Pathway 3 requires a detailed, written explanation for how the candidate will meet the requirements, and how she will be mentored.

Pathway 3 entails a number of requirements, but I think the most difficult are (1) finding a mentor, and (2) finding a setting where you can earn clinical hours. A mentor must be a person who has re-certified as an IBCLC. Meaning, she has at least 5 years experience as an IBCLC. The next big hurdle to jump is finding a setting that will accommodate a learner. Hospitals probably aren’t your best bet, unless you are already employed there in another role. You might find that WIC offices and lactation consultants in private practice are more open to having you.

If you are an IBCLC who has already certified, and if you are willing to supervise a person in your locale, please reply to this post. We’d be love to help our “newbies” find mentors!

UPDATE: IBLCE’s website has a Decision Map to help you determine which Pathway is right for you here.

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