What is IBCLC Recertification?
Your initial certification as an IBCLC is good for five years, and then you will need to recertify. You may choose to take the exam again, or submit proof that you have earned seventy-five Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) within those five years. Every ten years after initially passing the exam you are required to take the exam again; CERPs will not be accepted. In 2021 this requirement will change and CERPs will be accepted for recertification every cycle.
You must submit an application to IBLCE by the appropriate deadline to prevent any lapse in certification. The most up-to-date dates and fees are posted on the IBLCE website.
CERPs can be obtained through in-person or online continuing education, or by serving as a mentor to a Pathway Three applicant. Some CERPs may be available for free or low cost, and scholarships may be available from the CERP provider. We can get CERPs from all kinds of places, such as:
In person events like conferences, coalition meetings, trainings, and lectures
Webinars from sources like ILCA and others
Other sources like speaking engagements and mentorships
How Many Do I Need?
CERPs are divided into three types, and you need to accumulate a minimum number in two of the types; the remainder can be any kind of CERP. L-CERPs cover lactation and you need at least fifty of those. E-CERPs cover ethics and you need at least five of those. R-CERPs are a catch-all for education that doesn’t fit into either lactation or ethics but is still related to the IBCLC, and they can be used for up to twenty of your remaining unspecified CERPs.
How Do I Keep Track of CERPs?
Because the sources for CERPs are so diverse, and you may be accumulating them piecemeal, it’s important to have a solid system in place to keep them organized.
I recommend storing your actual CERP certificates in either Dropbox or Evernote. Dropbox will sync with your desktop for easy access, while Evernote allows you to add useful tags like “GOLD 2018” or “L-CERPs” and more.
You’ll also want to keep a running total of your CERPs as you earn them. I’ve created a free spreadsheet complete with formulas where you can see at-a-glance how close you are to meeting the requirements for recertification.
This is a Google Sheet and you’ll need to add it to your Drive before you can use it.
From your desktop: navigate to File > Make a Copy to put your own personal version into Drive.
From your mobile device: close this file and from the main Docs screen, click the three dots in the lower right corner of the icon for this workbook. You’ll see an option that says Make a Copy.
Where Can I Learn More?
Where to obtain CERPs: