All IBCLCs must recertify every 5 years. Effective in 2022, there are now three requirements for recertification:
- Completing basic life support education
- Accruing 250 hours of practice in lactation consulting
- Selecting a recertification method.
Basic life support education
In years past, basic life support education was a requirement for only first-time candidates. Similarly, abasic life support course is now a requirement for recertificants as well.
Per the IBLCE website, “A didactic and/or virtual basic life support course will be sufficient to meet the requirement.” A card or certificate showing completion of the education will be asked for in the case of audit.
2022 Current clinical practice requirements
Again, first-time candidates have always been required to accrue hundreds of current clinical hours. Now, clinical practice is a requirement for both first-time test-takers and recertificants, but with fewer required hours for those recertifying.
Recertificants must accrue 250 hours of practice in lactation consulting during the 5-year recertification cycle year period. The IBLCE website has a calculator to help with figuring these hours.
But take heart. This is easier than it sounds. If you spend your entire 8-hour shift completely focused on breastfeeding and lactation, that means that you’ve completed your 250-hour requirement after working 31 8-hour shifts.
Note the definition of “clinical practice.” According to IBLCE, these “clinical practice” hours can be in the areas of
- clinical practice, or
Options for recertifying
Here’s what remains the same: IBCLCs must recertify every 5 years.
Here’s what different:
In years past, IBCLCs have always had the option to recertify either by examination or by CERPs at the 5-year mark. But they have been required to take the exam at the 10-year mark.
As of 2022, the IBLCE no longer requires recertificants to take exam again. The IBCLC may choose to recertify either by exam, or with CERPs.
Option 1: Recertifcation by exam
While certifying by exam every 10 years is no longer a requirement, it does remain an option.
As in recent years, IBLCE offers the examination twice per year, generally in the spring and fall, with the spring exam offered only in English.
The format of the exam remains largely unchanged. The exam 175 multiple-choice questions which come from disciplines listed on the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline. The Outlines for 2022 and 2023 are both available on the IBLCE website.
Option 2: Recertification by CERPs with self-assessment
For those IBCLCs choosing to recertify by CERPs, IBLCE now requires a continuing education self-assessment. This component “helps IBCLCs demonstrate the comprehensive knowledge and skills required to practise as an IBCLC.”
The CE self-assessment is a free, computer-based assessment administered by IBLCE. Based on the IBCLC’s responses, the assessment generates a Personalised Professional Development Plan. Certainly, it is important to note that the IBCLC may take this assessment only once every 5 years.
The development plan shows recertifiers which topic areas they will need to focus on when completing their continuing education.
The year 2022 is a transition year, meaning that “IBCLCs due to recertify in 2022 will need to complete only 7 CERPs (10%) of the total 75 CERPs required based on the results of their CE Self-Assessment. The number of CERPs required based on the results of the CE Self-Assessment will increase to 20 CERPs (30%) in 2023 and 34 CERPs (50%) in 2024.”
After completing the self-assessment, recertifiers do still have the option to recertify by examination should they so choose.
Above all, it’s important to follow the IBLCE website for the latest updates and notifications regarding requirements.
Are you recertifying in 2022? Have you taken the self-assessment? Share your experiences and questions in the comments section below!