X

IBCLC Examination Retest Policy Update

In an effort to position candidates for future success on the IBCLC examination, the IBCLC Commission has recently revised the retest policy for candidates sitting the IBCLC examination. Effective beginning with applications for the September 2024 administration, the retest policy for candidates who do not pass the IBCLC examination will be as follows:

An unsuccessful candidate can retest up to one additional time and must wait at least one year between consecutive examination attempts. After a second failed attempt, the candidate must undertake 35 hours of additional education and 250 hours of supervised lactation specific clinical hours and provide proof of the education and clinical hours before sitting the examination again. After a third failed attempt, the candidate must wait a minimum of three years before sitting the examination again. The candidate can apply again as an initial candidate, having to meet all requirements in place at the time of application.

The requirement for additional education and clinical hours after multiple failed examination attempts is designed to enhance learning and provide more clinical experience that may aid candidates for future success on the IBCLC examination. Applicants who plan to retest should carefully review their IBCLC examination score report and develop an educational plan for themselves.

Prior attempts will count towards the totals allowed by the policy at the time it goes into effect.

Please see examples below for how this affects current examination candidates:

  • If a candidate fails the September 2023 examination, they will be eligible to retest in April 2024 (English only) regardless of previous examination attempts.
  • If a candidate fails the April 2024 examination, they will not be eligible to test again until March/April 2025. If this is a second failed attempt, the candidate would need to provide evidence of additional education and clinical hours to be eligible to apply again in 2025.
  • If a candidate has failed the IBCLC examination twice prior to applying for the September 2024 examination, that candidate will have to provide evidence of additional education and clinical hours to be eligible to apply and sit the examination a third time.
  • If a candidate has failed the IBCLC examination three or more times prior to applying for the September 2024 examination, that candidate will have to wait three years to be eligible to apply and sit the examination again as an initial candidate, having to meet all requirements in place at the time of application.

Please see the website for upcoming application dates here.

Applicants who plan to retest the examination should carefully review their score report and consider completing education in those areas in which their performance was poor to affirmatively address areas of deficiency prior to retaking the examination.

Should you have any questions, please contact the region that serves you.