Health background courses examples

Non health professionals such as breastfeeding counsellors and peer supporters need to fulfil 8 ‘for credit’ health science courses and 6 ‘ongoing education’ courses in order to apply for the exam.

Please see: for full information.

It is always worth considering if any of your previous qualifications, or modules from them, may fit the criteria.  In the UK, A or AS levels and NVQ level 3 qualifications are usually considered of an appropriate level if they cover the correct subjects.

Click here to download our ‘Health Education Guide’ 

Below are some examples of courses that may fulfil the criteria.  It is always best to make a detailed study of the IBLCE documents before enrolling on a course.  Queries should be directed to the Europe Office of IBLCE at

Further informal support is available on Facebook groups, for example ‘LC Exam Health Background Courses Info’ and ‘Want to be an IBCLC World View‘ (Please note that these Facebook groups offer informal support but are not administered by either IBLCE or LCGB)

* LCGB can’t guarantee that these courses will be accepted by IBLCE in the future, nor can they comment on the quality of the courses. *

CLEP exams

IBLCE mention CLEP exams as being suitable for health background courses.  See

This is an American system for gaining college credits for independent study.  You can sit the exam on its own, but there are also recommended text books to purchase in order to prepare.  You can book to sit an exam at centres in the UK (currently available in London and Manchester).

Health sciences covered: Biology, Human Growth and Development, Introductory Psychology, Introductory Sociology

Cost: $80 for the exam, plus cost of a textbook, plus additional fee from the exam centre may apply

DSST exams

Another exam system similar to CLEP that offers credit for prior knowledge, and is mentioned by IBLCE as suitable for health background courses.  See

In this system, there are resources to help you prepare but no list of text books suitable for independent study.

Health Sciences covered: Research (Principles of Statistics), Fundamentals of counselling

Cost: $80 for the exam, plus additional fee from test centre (currently available in London)

Correct at time of publication (09/11/2017)

Open University –

Some candidates have combined working towards IBCLC accreditation with building towards a qualification with the Open University.

Other examples of courses include: covers Psychology, Child Development and Clinical Research. covers Biology, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology.


LCGB can’t guarantee that these courses will be accepted by IBLCE in the future, nor can they comment on the quality of the courses.

Other courses from your local further education college may be suitable, and there are many other online options.

Please satisfy yourself that the courses you select fulfil the criteria as laid out in the IBLCE documents.  It is always advisable to check the IBLCE website as prerequisites may change.