Clarification on the Self-Assessment and Recertification via CERPs Process

In late 2021, IBLCE introduced a new component of the recertification by CERPs process with the launch of the Continuing Education Self-Assessment (CE Self-Assessment). As this process is different for IBCLCs who may have recertified via CERPs previously, and because re-examination is no longer required every 10 years, the IBCLC programme has been gathering feedback to address common questions and make improvements. If you choose to recertify by CE Self-Assessment and CERPS, the process is as follows:

Take the CE Self-Assessment
Complete Required CERPs
Complete Basic Life Support Education
Complete 250 Hours of Clinical Practice
Apply to Recertify by CERPs

Step 1: Take the CE Self-Assessment

The CE Self-Assessment is a free, remote, computer-based assessment with approximately 70 multiple choice questions that you can take once during each 5-year recertification cycle. It can be taken only once and must be completed in a single 2-hour session. You cannot save your responses and return at another time, so do not begin the assessment until you are ready to complete it.

Access to the CE Self-Assessment has now been granted to all IBCLCs due to recertify in 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026. Going forward, IBCLCs will receive access to the self-assessment approximately 12-18 months after they have passed the initial certification examination or recertified. This gap between the last examination or recertification date and accessing the CE Self-Assessment is purposeful and part of the IBCLC certification programme. It allows time for continued professional practice and development based on an IBCLC’s desired career path, practice setting, or interest areas and more accurately represents areas of focus for practicing IBCLCs based on the self-assessment results.

Step 2: Complete Required CERPs

Upon completion of the self-assessment, you will receive your Personalised Professional Development Plan (PPDP) that will show you areas of relative strength and weakness based on the topics outlined in the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline (DCO). If you score below a 75% on any topic, you will be required to earn a minimum number of CERPs in that domain, according to the schedule below:

  • For IBCLCs due to recertify in 2023: if you have one or more required topic areas identified in the PPDP, you are required to earn a minimum of three (3) CERPs in each of those topic areas.
  • For IBCLCs due to recertify in 2024 and beyond: if you have one or more required topic areas identified in the PPDP, you are required to earn a minimum of five (5) CERPs in each of those topic areas, OR
  • If you have no required topic areas identified in the PPDP, you can earn your 75 CERPs based on your career path, practice setting, or interest areas in alignment with the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline.

The total number of CERPs needed to recertify is 75, including any required CERPs based on the PPDP.

If you earn CERPs prior to taking the CE Self-Assessment, they can be applied toward any CERPs required by the PPDP as long as they are aligned with the appropriate topic area, and they can be applied towards the remaining CERPs selected by you. Thus, you do not have to wait for access to the CE Self-Assessment to start earning CERPs.


You are due to recertify in 2023 and have completed your self-assessment. You scored below 75% in the following two topics from the Detailed Content Outline:

  • III. Pathology
  • IV. Pharmacology and Toxicology

This means that to recertify via CERPs, you will need to earn:

Step 3: Complete the additional recertification requirements.

In addition to completing the CE Self-Assessment and earning 75 CERPs, you must also complete Basic Life Support Education and 250 hours of clinical practice.

Once these requirements have been met, you are eligible to apply for recertification via CERPs when the application window opens.

About the CE Self-Assessment

The CE Self-Assessment is designed to encourage self-reflection by using a “blended approach” to continuing education. This balances the commitment to maintain competence – and continuously evolve to align with professional standards in the topics outlined in the IBCLC Detailed Content Outline – while also allowing IBCLCs the flexibility to select continuing education more specific to their career path, practice setting, or interest areas.

The self-assessment was developed by a group of practicing IBCLC Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who wrote, reviewed, edited, and continue to maintain the questions on the self-assessment. These SMEs are representative of the IBCLC population across geographic regions, discipline, practice setting, and highest degree earned. A group of IBCLC SMEs will continue to maintain the self-assessment over time, ensuring that questions on the assessment remain valid and relevant to practice as an IBCLC and are aligned with the DCO.

Should you have any questions about recertification via self-assessment and CERPs, please contact the region that serves you.