Ethics for LCs

Ethics for LCs

After learning about the various theories of ethics the student will work through select issues that could cause ethical dilemmas, referring to the guidance offered by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners’ documents ‘Code of Professional Conduct’ and ‘Clinical Competencies’, and the International Lactation Consultant Association ‘Standards of Practice’.

The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes is a document that recognizes the detrimental health effects of breastmilk substitutes, bottles, and teats, its implementation being intrinsic to the ethical practices of health workers. Students will work through this document to understand their obligations.

The course is facilitated by an experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who will pose ethical issues for discussion and guide discussions of issues raised by students.

An assessment component, comprised of automatically graded multiple-choice and true/false questions based on the objectives of the course, confirms that the course objectives were attained.

Access Time:
1 month (starting from time of purchase)
Enrolling in more than 1 course? Time is cumulative ie buy 2 courses, have 2 months access to both courses
5 E CERPs / 5 hours pre-exam education (IBLCE)
5 CH
VII. Clinical Skills - 5 hours
This course is tutored by an experienced Lactation Consultant.

Well-constructed online learning gives you the best of both worlds - quality content that you can work through at your own pace, in your own place, but with a level of personal attention that even rivals face-to-face programs. And, you guessed it, Health e-Learning programs are the BEST of online learning with all these great features:

  • Log in when it suits you 24/7/365
  • Study at your own pace within your enrolment period
  • All reading provided or linked
  • Periodic testing of knowledge with fun self-test activities
  • Course facilitation by highly experienced IBCLCs
  • Gain valuable support and network with students from all over the world
  • Immediate feedback for online assessment
    • certificate of completion issued immediately
  • Administrative and technical support is available online


Knowledge of the role of a Lactation Consultant and the possible areas where ethical issues may be encountered will give relevance to the topics discussed.


  1. Ethical Behavior
    • An introduction to ethics
    • Normative ethics
      • Teleology
      • Deontology
      • Virtue ethics
    • Thinking ethically
  2. Ethical Practice
    • An introduction
    • The IBLCE Code of Professional Conduct
    • Issues facing the Lactation Consultant
      • Evidence-based practice; Accountability
      • Informed consent; Client autonomy
      • Advocacy
      • Professional autonomy; Conflict of interest; Quality assurance
  3. The WHO Code
    • Introduction to the WHO Code
    • Know the Code
    • Implementation and monitoring
    • Free gifts – an ethical issue


An active forum, where topical issues may be raised, case studies discussed, questions posed and answered, links to additional information provided, etc, is facilitated by an experienced Lactation Consultant and is an integral part of the course. Reading this forum and contributing to it will enhance your learning and that of your colleagues.

Reading Material

IBLCE Documents
Code of Professional Conduct
Competency Statements
Clinical Competencies for IBCLC Practice
ILCA Documents
Standards of Practice for IBCLCs
World Health Organisation Documents
International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
WHA Resolutions relevant to the Code

All of these documents are available in hard copy from the respective organisations, or as freely downloadable documents from the Internet (location included in course notes)

  • A quality, current lactation text is advisable to augment your studies. Please see our list of recommended resources for further information.
  • Participants are permitted to print one copy of their course for personal use only.
    • If you do wish to print, please be aware that some courses are over 60 pages in length. Please be advised that links to articles and interactive activities are not available in the printed version.

Quality Assurance

  • Author: Denise Fisher, MMP, BN, IBCLC
  • Reviewed by subject matter experts:
    • Howard Whitton, Visiting Professor, Central European University, Budapest
    • Elizabeth Brooks, JD, IBCLC, RLC, legal expertise in ethics issues
    • Ros Escott, IBCLC, lecturer on ethics and the IBCLC
    • Karen Zeretzky, IBCLC, RLC, lecturer on ethics and the IBCLC
  • All courses are reviewed annually, as well as being updated as new knowledge becomes known.


The aim of this course is to introduce students to the theories of ethics, and give them a thorough understanding of their responsibilities in relation to the IBLCE Code of Professional Conduct and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code).

Course Objectives

On successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. define the term ethics, describing it in terms of metaethics, normative ethics and applied ethics.
  2. differentiate between different ethical theories
  3. refer to an ethical decision-making framework to consider ethical issues
  4. access the IBLCE Code of Professional Conduct and relate their responsibility to it
  5. access the ILCA Standards of Practice
  6. define their responsibility regarding ethical issues such as conflict of interest, professional and client autonomy, accountability, confidentiality, evidence-based practice, intellectual property rights and advocacy
  7. apply the WHO Code to situations they may encounter in their practice


Achievement of the learning objectives is assessed by automatically graded, online, multiple-choice questions. A passing grade is 85%.

A Worksheet of the WHO Code, downloaded from the course, is not required to be submitted, but completion will aid learning and provide an excellent resource.

On successfully completing this course you will be able to download, save and print your Certificate of Completion. Your Certificate will note ongoing education accreditation points.


On successful completion of this course, you will be awarded:

  • 5 E CERPs
  • 5 hours of Professional Development Education, or lactation-specific education
  • 5 CH
  • Recertification:
    • VII. Clinical Skills - 5 hours
      • A. Ethical and Legal Issues
        • 2. Clinical competencies
        • 3. Code of Professional Conduct (CPC)
        • 4. Principles of confidentiality
        • 5. WHO code –advocacy and policy
Do we offer CEUs? Need other types of accreditation? Please see our Accreditation FAQ for more information.


  1. This course is facilitated by an experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
  2. The course is available as a one-month subscription commencing on the day of notification to you of your username and password.
  3. The subscription time is cumulative - for example, if you purchase 8 courses - you receive 8 months' access to all 8 courses.
  4. The subscription time may be extended by purchasing extensions but must be purchased before the subscription expiry date.
  5. The average time taken to complete this course and the assessment is 5 hours.
  6. On successful completion, your Certificate will be available to you in pdf format from the course website or emailed to you.
  7. Replacement certificates can be obtained for a fee, however, we maintain an official transcript that is available free for all customers to download at any time.

Fees and Payments

  • Enrollments are accepted online or upon receipt of a faxed or mailed enrollment form (available on request).
  • Payments online are available using either PayPal or WorldPay gateways.
  • The cost is US$59.00 per course.
  • Additional fees that are out of our control, may be charged by your bank to convert this to your local currency.
  • Please see our Payments FAQ for more information.

Refunds and Privacy

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information regarding refunds and our Privacy Policy is also available.