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Before You Start on Your IBCLC Journey Grab These Documents!

Smiling brunette with laptop computer looking at documents at a table.

Dreaming of becoming an IBCLC? Have you have visited the IBLCE site to figure out where to begin? Are you still wading through dozens of documents, unsure of what you really need before you start on your IBCLC Journey?

Here’s what to do. Grab these IBLCE documents that I consider “must-have” items. Set aside time to download and comprehend these documents. If you are pursuing Pathway 3, you’ll also need the Pathway 3 Plan Guide.

Every IBCLC exam candidate should download, comprehend, and complete these documents:

Candidate Information Guide

This document is a critical resource for anyone starting their journey.

  • describes the IBLCE organization
  • explains how to contact IBLCE
  • lists key dates
  • names important IBLCE publications
  • gives an overview of eligibility requirements
  • describes the different pathways and gives a pathway checklist
  • provides other information specific to the exam itself.

Read this, cover to cover.

Detailed Content Outline

Before you start on your IBCLC Journey get this document that outlines what topic areas will be covered in the exam. You need to be sure that you are adequately prepared to answer exam questions on all of these topics.

Clinical Competencies for the Practice of IBCLCs

This document outlines all of the IBCLC’s duties and services for which they must be trained to provide. You should keep this document for reference after you pass the exam and start your practice.

Scope of Practice for IBCLCs

This document outlines roles and responsibilities of an IBCLC and specifies what the IBCLC can and cannot do as an IBCLC. Keep this document for reference after you pass the exam and start your practice.

These are the most basic documents; there are others that will be helpful on the IBLCE website depending on your background and needs. If you are a peer counselor, you should be familiar with the recognized support organizations. If you have a health background, also know the list of recognized health professions.

As always, we’re here to help you before you start on your IBCLC Journey. (And for years thereafter!)  If you need more help, please call my office at 703-787-9894 or e-mail us at

Be sure to join my Insider’s Club to receive updates, special offers, and more to help you along the way!

Please note that IBCLC exam requirements are subject to change. Although we believe this information to be current and correct of this writing, check the official IBLCE site as you prepare for the exam.

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  1. Jean Gloria

    Hi!I have to renew my IBLC license on 2025.I have to take the the test and be evaluated what CERPs I have to take.Are you familiar with this? Do you offer classes that I can earn CERPs they will require after I take the exam?
    Thank you
    Jean Gloria

    • Marie Biancuzzo

      Indeed, YES! First, I want to urge you to steer clear of the word “test.” It’s not “the” test, and it’s not something you can “pass” or “fail.” (Common misconceptions.) I will be offering a FREE webinar to help anyone who is confused about the assessment and the related responsibilities for recertification. (Pretty much, everyone is confused!) We aren’t quite set up for the webinar at the moment, but please, stand by! It is TENTATIVELY scheduled for June 13. I’d suggest that you sign up to become a “Marie Insider” (if you aren’t already signed up) and we will notify you with a confirmed date, time, and details. I will be answering questions live via Zoom. Thanks for asking!

      • Marie Biancuzzo

        And. in the meanwhile, here is a quick overview

        I will unpack all of this in the free webinar, so be sure to register!

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