My dear colleagues Liz Brooks has a great summary of the new changes to the IBCLC credentialing process . I agree with Liz that most of these are a move in the right direction!
I wanted to let people know about these changes and how they relate to my 90 hour course, the CCLS certificate.
The first change is to have specific required education credits for communication skills. As the name of my certificate indicates (Clinical and Communications Lactation Specialist), I am clearly a fan of communication skills. Having talked to those in the know it is still not clear if these will be part of the 90 hours of lactation education that we currently offer OR are they adding an additional 5 hours of communication skills for a total of 95 hours being required.
If this requirement is to be incorporated into the 90 hours, we have you covered! These skills are a major focus of our course. If not, we will be offering a separate 5 hour training for these skills to satisfy this requirement for this year. Keep your eyes open for that! Next year we will make sure our course is lined up correctly once the final announcement of this change has been made.
The next piece is when you are going to re-certifying as an IBCLC. In the past, you had to re-certify by CERPs or exam (almost everyone did it with CERPs) every five years and retake the exam every ten years with no CERPs. I did know a few people who NEVER took continuing education and only re-certified by exam every five years! Yikes! IBLCE is now moving to only re-certifying by CERPs for the IBCLC credential which I feel is a good idea. If you are not constantly updating your breastfeeding knowledge base you are using outdated information.
I have several people who like to take my course as a way to fulfill this continuing education requirement. Yes, it is a few more CERPs than you need but it is comprehensive and covers the skills needed to be a good lactation consultant. Also, all education is not equal. You want quality for your money!
More communication skills, more education! I support these changes to the IBCLC Credential! For more information about the process to become an IBCLC listen to our podcasts!