Explore our certification policies below by clicking on the name of the policy.
The goal of certification is to provide a recognized credential that demonstrates to consumer and colleagues’ specialized knowledge and skill in a particular area. The purpose of the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Examination is to provide competent, highly qualified childbirth educators.
The Lamaze International Certification Program is the only internationally recognized childbirth educator program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). The organization’s many years of dedication to providing highly qualified, competent certified educators and its commitment to developing a certification examination that meets the highest standards for validity, reliability and fairness has enabled Lamaze International to achieve this extraordinary recognition. For more information regarding NCCA, please visit their website at https://www.credentialingexcellence.org/page/ncca-mission-and-vision.
The Lamaze Competency Statements reflect the organizations Philosophies of Birth, Parenting and Breastfeeding.
A Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE educator) is able to:
The Exam At-A-Glance
The foundation for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exam is the expertise of the knowledgeable, skilled, practicing LCCE educators of today. The Lamaze International
Certification Council uses the guidelines set forth by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) in developing its exam.
The exam consists of 165 multiple-choice questions, which reflect essential information that a childbirth educator should know. 150 of these questions are scored and 15 are pre-test items. This format ensures a high level of objectivity in scoring. Multiple-choice exams are currently the standard for licensure (medical and nursing) and certification (lactation consultants, nurse midwifery, nursing certifications).
The exam is criterion referenced – which means that there is no curve. The passing score for the exam is different each time the exam is given. Following each administration of the exam, a statistical analysis is completed by a psychometrician. The review committee may choose to eliminate questions that did not "perform" well according to the statistical analysis. The level of difficulty of the remaining items determines the passing score. An important feature of the exam is that those who take the exam are not compared to each other; rather, they are individually evaluated against the standard.
The certification program is governed by the Certification Council and the exam is developed by the Exam Construction Committee. The Certification Council consists of the Certification Governing Body, the Exam Construction Committee and the Item Writing Committee. The Exam Construction Committee develops the exam from items created and approved by the Item Writing Committee. In addition to the Item Writing Committee, High Scorers and other guests can be invited to write items.
The Item Writing Committee meets once a year to evaluate potential items for the exam, to create new items, and to reevaluate items already in the item bank. In addition, the Certification Council develops a test blueprint based on the Competency Statements. Using the test blueprint as their guide, once each year the Exam Construction Committee meet to put together the two exams for the year. This group is responsible for evaluating the performance of itemsfollowing each exam administration. In addition, this committee will review all candidate comments about the exam and make final decisions related to the potential discarding of any exam items.
Lamaze International has adopted detailed guidelines for item writing which encourage writing items that address important knowledge, issues and concerns of today's competent childbirth educator. Items are submitted for review from a variety of people, including members of the item Writing Committee, participants of item writing workshops, as well as small groups of child birth educators from around the world. The committee carefully reviews each item for inclusion in the item bank.
The goal is that each item is clear, has one right answer and the new childbirth educator who is just at the passing mark is able to answer. To meet this goal, the review involves asking the following questions of each item: (1) "Does the childbirth educator really need to know this information?"(2) "How important is it?" (3) "Is there more than one right answer?" (4) "Is the question confusing?" (5) "Do I know the answer?" (6) "Should a new childbirth educator be expected to know this?"
A great many items are not acceptable. Others are revised by the committee and eventually entered into the item bank. Once an item is entered, the Angoff score is set and the correct answer identified. Finally, each distractor (wrong answer) is evaluated by asking, "If you are a 'just good enough' childbirth educator and are not sure of the right answer, would this distractor seem plausible?" If the answer to this question is yes, the distractor is considered "sophisticated" and the question in essence is considered "more difficult." When the exam is scored, the higher the number of "difficult" questions, the lower the cut score. The lower the number of "difficult" questions, the higher the cut score. As a result, the passing score for each administration of the exam will be different.
There two steps in which one may qualify to sit for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exam: (1) completion of a self-study with the Lamaze Educator Learning Guide and (2) successful completion of an Accredited Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program.
Alternatives to these eligibility requirements include (1)Complete the three Lamaze Educator Essentials, Complete 25 hours of continuing education related to the Childbirth Educator competencies, or Complete a Lamaze Seminar. (2)Licensure as a RN, RPT, MD or graduate of a recognized institute of higher education who has been awarded a baccalaureate degree (or its foreign equivalent) or has successfully completed a formal course on teaching childbirth education (i.e., ICEA, Bradley, Best, Birthworks, or Birthing From Within) having documentation of 60 hours of child birth teaching experience within the last three years, Documented status as a nurse-midwife or midwifery student who have completed a seminar course from an accredited Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program, or Complete an Approved Formal Course on childbirth education.
Candidates interested in sitting for the exam are required to complete the exam application located in the Certification Center.
The Certification Exam is given twice each year, once in the Spring and Fall. For candidates whose native language is other than English, it is the policy of Lamaze International to allow the use of an approved dictionary and additional time to complete the exam. The exam is proctored, and security of the exam is maintained. Candidates sitting for the exam are encouraged to write comments about the exam and procedures and the items on the exam.
The charts below reflect the test statistics for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exams through Spring 2018. This historical certification data includes; the total number of exam candidates, the mean score received by each group, the pass-fail cut off score and the pass rate for each group for each exam administration since the inception of the NCCA accredited exam in 1990.
A Final Word
The Lamaze Certification Examination is the result of commitment and hard work of LCCE educators around the world. The Certification Council and Lamaze International are committed to meeting the highest standard in certification. By maintaining the NCCA Accreditation standard, the LCCE educator credential will continue to be respected and recognized as a mark of excellence in the field of childbirth education.
If you would like more information on becoming a Lamaze Certified Educator, attending or sponsoring an item writing workshop, or receiving guidelines for writing questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of Exam Data
Oct-94B 122 80 79 66
To assure quality and ethical practice, the Lamaze International Certification Council has established a Code of Ethics for Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators (LCCE educators), and a process by which unethical or other objectionable practice may be addressed.
Code of Ethics for LCCE Educators
The primary mission of Lamaze Childbirth Education Certification is to advance safe and healthy early parenting, pregnancy and birth through education and advocacy. This mission is rooted in a core set of values. These values are the foundation for childbirth education’s unique purpose and perspective.
The Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator Code of Ethics offers a set of values, principles, and standards to guide decision-making and conduct when ethical issues arise. The Code of Ethics serves six purposes:
The following broad ethical principles are based on childbirth education’s core values. The core values, embraced by Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators are the foundation of the childbirth educators’ unique purpose and perspective:
Value: Dignity and worth of the person
Ethical Principle: Childbirth educators respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person.
Childbirth educators treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity.
Value: Respect for the normal, natural processes of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, and women’s inherent ability to give birth.
Ethical Principle: Childbirth educators embrace the Lamaze philosophies of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting.
Childbirth educators advance safe and healthy early parenting, pregnancy and birth through education and advocacy.
Ethical Principle: Childbirth educators behave in a trustworthy manner.
Childbirth educators are continually aware of the profession's mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards and practice in a manner consistent with them. Childbirth educators act honestly and responsibly and promote ethical practices on the part of the organizations with which they are affiliated.
Ethical Principle: Childbirth educators practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise.
Childbirth educators continually strive to increase their professional knowledge and skills and to apply them in practice. Childbirth educators should aspire to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
The following ethical standards are relevant to the professional activities of Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators. These standards concern (1) childbirth educators’ ethical responsibilities to clients, (2) childbirth educators’ ethical responsibilities to colleagues, (3) childbirth educators’ ethical responsibilities in practice settings, (4) childbirth educators' ethical responsibilities as professionals, (5) childbirth educators’ ethical responsibilities to the profession of childbirth education.
Some of the standards that follow are enforceable guidelines for professional conduct, and some are aspirational. The extent to which each standard is enforceable is a matter of professional judgment to be exercised by those responsible for reviewing alleged violations of ethical standards.
1. Childbirth Educators' Ethical Responsibilities to Childbearing Women
1.01 Commitment to Childbearing Women
Childbirth educators’ primary responsibility is to promote the well-being of the childbearing woman. In general, the woman’s interests are primary
Childbirth educators respect and promote the right of childbearing women to make informed decisions (informed consent and informed refusal) and to assist childbearing women in their efforts to identify and clarify their goals
1.03 Informed Consent
Childbirth educators should provide full, accurate, up to date information upon which childbearing women are able to make informed decisions, either informed consent or informed refusal. Childbirth educators should use clear and understandable language to present benefits, and risks, as well as reasonable alternatives, and the right to refuse or withdraw consent.
Childbirth educators should provide services and represent themselves as competent only within the boundaries of their certification
1.05 Cultural Competence and Social Diversity
(a) Childbirth educators should understand culture and its function in human behavior and society, recognizing the strengths that exist in all cultures.
(b) Childbirth educators should have a knowledge base of their clients' cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in the provision of services that are sensitive to clients' cultures and to differences among people and cultural groups.
1.06 Conflicts of Interest
(a) Childbirth educators should be alert to and strive to avoid conflicts of interest that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgment. When a real or potential conflict of interest arises, childbirth educators should first disclose the conflict to clients and then take reasonable steps to resolve the issue in a manner that prioritizes the clients' interests and protects clients' interests to the greatest extent possible.
1.07 Privacy and Confidentiality
(a) Childbirth educators should respect clients' right to privacy. Childbirth educators should not solicit private information from clients unless it is essential to providing services. Once a client shares private information with the childbirth educator standards of confidentiality apply.
(b) Childbirth educators should take precautions to ensure and maintain the confidentiality of information transmitted to other parties through the use of computers, electronic mail, facsimile machines, telephones and telephone answering machines, and other electronic or computer technology. Disclosure of identifying information should be avoided whenever possible.
(c) Childbirth educators should not disclose identifying information when discussing clients for teaching or training purposes unless the client has consented to disclosure of confidential information.
2. Childbirth Educators’ Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues
(a) Childbirth educators should treat colleagues with respect and should represent accurately and fairly the qualifications, views, and obligations of colleagues.
(b) Childbirth educators should avoid unwarranted negative criticism of colleagues in communications with clients or with other professionals. Unwarranted negative criticism may include demeaning comments that refer to colleagues' level of competence or to individuals' attributes such as race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, and mental or physical disability.
(c) Childbirth educators should cooperate with childbirth educator colleagues and with colleagues of other professions when such cooperation serves the well-being of clients.
Childbirth educators should respect confidential information shared by colleagues in the course of their professional relationships and transactions. Childbirth educators should ensure that such colleagues understand childbirth educators’ obligation to respect confidentiality and any exceptions related to it.
2.03 Interdisciplinary Collaboration
(a) Childbirth educators who are members of an interdisciplinary team should participate in and contribute to decisions that affect the well-being of clients by drawing on the perspectives, values, and experiences of the childbirth education profession.
(b) When a team decision raises ethical concerns and the disagreement can not be resolved within the team, the childbirth educator should continue to advocate for the childbearing woman by attempting to resolve the issue through appropriate channels.
2.04 Referral for Services
Childbirth educators should suggest a referral to clients to other professionals when the other professionals' specialized knowledge or expertise is needed to serve clients fully or when additional service is required.
2.05 Incompetence of Colleagues
(a) Childbirth educators who have direct knowledge of a childbirth education colleague's incompetence should consult with that colleague when feasible and assist the colleague in taking remedial action.
(b) Childbirth educators who believe that a childbirth education colleague is incompetent and has not taken adequate steps to address the incompetence should take action through appropriate channels established by employers, and Lamaze International.
2.06 Unethical Conduct of Colleagues
(a) Childbirth educators should take adequate measures to discourage, prevent, expose, and correct the unethical conduct of colleagues.
(b) Childbirth educators should be knowledgeable about established policies and procedures for handling concerns about colleagues' unethical behavior, specifically the policies of Lamaze International.
(c) Childbirth educators who believe that a colleague has acted unethically should seek resolution by discussing their concerns with the colleague when feasible and when such discussion is likely to be productive.
(d) When necessary, childbirth educators who believe that a colleague has acted unethically should take action through appropriate formal channels.
(e) Childbirth educators should defend and assist colleagues who are unjustly charged with unethical conduct.
3. Childbirth Educators’ Ethical Responsibilities in Practice Settings
3.02 Education and Training
(a) Childbirth educators who function as educators, sponsor teachers for students, or trainers should provide instruction only within their areas of knowledge and competence and should provide instruction based on the most current information and knowledge available in the profession.
(b) Childbirth educators who function as educators, trainers, or sponsor teachers for students should evaluate students' performance in a manner that is fair and respectful.
3.03 Performance Evaluation
Childbirth educators who have responsibility for evaluating the performance of others should fulfill such responsibility in a fair and considerate manner and on the basis of clearly stated criteria.
3.04 Commitments to Employers
(a) Childbirth educators generally should adhere to commitments made to employers and employing organizations.
(b) Childbirth educators should work to improve employing agencies' policies and procedures and the efficiency and effectiveness of their services to insure that they are evidence-based.
(c) Childbirth educators should take reasonable steps to ensure that employers are aware of childbirth educators’ ethical obligations as set forth in the Lamaze International Code of Ethics and of the implications of those obligations for childbirth education practice.
(d) Childbirth educators should not allow an employing organization's policies, procedures, regulations, or administrative orders to interfere with their ethical practice of childbirth education. Childbirth educators should take reasonable steps to ensure that their employing organizations' practices are consistent with the Lamaze International Code of Ethics.
4. Childbirth Educators’ Ethical Responsibilities as Professionals
(a) Childbirth educators should accept responsibility or employment only on the basis of existing competence or the intention to acquire the necessary competence in a timely manner.
(b) Childbirth educators should strive to become and remain proficient in professional practice and the performance of professional functions. Childbirth educators should critically examine and keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to childbirth education. Childbirth educators should routinely review the professional literature and participate in continuing education relevant to childbirth education.
(c) Childbirth educators should base practice on best evidence related to maternity care practices and teaching and learning.
(d) Childbirth educators should maintain certification.
Childbirth educators should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, or mental or physical disability.
4.03 Private Conduct
Childbirth educators should not permit their private conduct to interfere with their ability to fulfill their professional responsibilities.
4.04 Dishonesty, Fraud, and Deception
Childbirth educators should not participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud, or deception.
(a) Childbirth educators should make clear distinctions between statements made and actions engaged in as a private individual and as a representative of the childbirth education profession, Lamaze International, or the childbirth educator’s employing agency.
(b) Childbirth educators who speak on behalf of Lamaze International should accurately represent the official and authorized positions of the organization.
(c) Childbirth educators should ensure that their representations to clients, agencies, and the public of professional qualifications, credentials, education, competence, affiliations, services provided, or results to be achieved are accurate. Childbirth educators should claim only those relevant professional credentials they actually possess and take steps to correct any inaccuracies or misrepresentations of their credentials by others.
(d) Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators are entitled to use Lamaze® licensed marks in conformance with the philosophy, principles and written policies of Lamaze International.
(e) Any misrepresentation or violation of the Lamaze Licensing Policy and published guidelines as provided on the Lamaze International website or in other material provided to candidates or certificants, as amended from time to time in its sole discretion, is subject to sanctions.
Childbirth educators should critically evaluate the consequences of endorsing specific products before they distribute any materials (such as, but not limited to, free samples or educational materials developed by companies that market such products) to childbearing women.
4.07 Acknowledging Credit
(a) Childbirth educators should take responsibility and credit, including authorship credit, only for work they have actually performed and to which they have contributed.
(b) Childbirth educators should honestly acknowledge the work of and the contributions made by others.
5. Childbirth Educators’ Ethical Responsibilities to the Childbirth Education Profession
5.01 Integrity of the Profession
(a) Childbirth educators should work toward the maintenance and promotion of high standards of practice that are consistent with the Lamaze philosophies of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting.
(b) Childbirth educators should uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge, and mission of the profession. Childbirth educators should protect, enhance, and improve the integrity of the profession through appropriate study and research, active discussion, and responsible criticism of the profession.
(c) Childbirth educators should contribute time and professional expertise to activities that promote respect for the value, integrity, and competence of the childbirth education profession. These activities may include teaching, research, consultation, service, legislative testimony, peer review, presentations in the community, and participation in Lamaze International.
(d) Childbirth educators should contribute to the knowledge base of childbirth education and share with colleagues their knowledge related to practice, research, and ethics. Childbirth educators should seek to contribute to the profession's literature and to share their knowledge at professional meetings and conferences.
5.02 Evaluation and Research
(a) Childbirth educators should critically examine and keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to childbirth education and fully use evaluation and research evidence in their professional practice in order to practice using best evidence.
6.0 Childbirth Educators’ Ethical Responsibilities in the Broader Society
Childbirth educators should collaborate with other health professionals and concerned persons in promoting local, regional, national and international efforts to meet the health, safety and education needs of the childbearing family.
7.0 Grounds for Mandatory Sanctions
Updated: June 2017
A program of professional evaluation for childbirth education must be, and appear to be, objective in every respect. For this reason, actual and apparent conflicts of interest must be avoided. An actual or apparent conflict of interest exists where certain relationships are present or the impartiality of judgment might reasonably be questioned. The existence of actual or apparent conflicts of interest does not necessarily imply anything improper, but simply that evaluation should not occur under those circumstances.
The following conflicts-of-interest guidelines apply to the development of tests, and test administration:
Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, and Proctors shall not serve where the nature of personal or business relationship are such that impartiality might be reasonably questioned. This includes friendly, as well as unfriendly, acquaintances.
Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, and Proctors shall not promote their affiliation with Lamaze International programs for commercial purposes; they may, however, identify their participation in professional curriculum vitae.
Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, and Proctors may not give courses, consult or publish guides for program approval or test preparation using information obtained through their work with Lamaze International or using their affiliation with Lamaze International.
Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, and Proctors shall maintain as confidential all information which they receive in the test development, or test administration. The property of all information obtained during Lamaze International test development, and proctoring is the sole property of Lamaze International.
Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, and Proctors shall not perform a similar function for a competing group at least three years from serving as a Lamaze International Certification Council Member or Proctor. Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, Staff, vendors and anyone involved in in the administration of the certification exam shall not be permitted to the take the Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator exam within three years from their involvement in the certification program.
Lamaze International Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, or Proctors shall receive no remuneration or other consideration for any Lamaze International test from any program, institution or participant. Certification Council Members and Exam Proctors shall be selected by Lamaze International from qualified persons; compensation or reimbursement, if any, shall be paid by Lamaze International only.
Certification Council Members, Certification Program Consultants, and Proctors shall not participate in or consult on an exam review course. The only exception would be for an exam review course that is purely limited to discussion of examination procedures, e.g. test taking skills. However, involvement in any review course that addresses issues of potential exam content presents a serious conflict of interest.
Certification Council Members and Proctors should not administer certification examinations to their Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program students.
Certification Council Members and Proctors may not serve where a relative by blood or marriage, or person with whom the educator resides, is involved in the program or examination.
Any doubt concerning the application of the rules of an actual or apparent conflict of interest should be resolved in form of disqualification. Certification Council Members and Proctors shall, prior to service, sign an agreement to comply with all the foregoing rules and disclose any current or future relevant facts relating to actual or potential conflicts of interest as they occur.
I have read and agree to comply with each aspect of the above-stated Lamaze International Certification Council Conflicts of Interest Policy now and in the future. I acknowledge that full compliance with each aspect of the Policy is a condition to serve and continue to serve as a Lamaze International Certification Council Member, Certification Program Consultant, Staff or Examination Proctor. There are no circumstances of which I am aware which create an actual or potential conflict of interest. I agree to disclose immediately and in writing to Lamaze International any circumstance which creates an actual or potential conflict of interest. I am keeping a copy of this agreement.
Please return a signed copy to the Lamaze International Administrative Office, 2025 M Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC, 20036 or via fax 202-367-2128.
Updated: June 2017
This policy applies to all complaints received about the quality and ethical practice of an LCCE educator. Actions taken under this policy do not constitute enforcement of the law, although referral to appropriate federal, state or local government agencies may be made about an LCCE educator’s conduct in appropriate situations. Individuals bringing complaints are not entitled to any relief or damages by virtue of this process, although they will receive notice of the actions taken.
The Council will ensure that a copy of the Code of Ethics for LCCE educators is provided to all candidates for the Lamaze International Certification Examination, that all LCCE educators are informed of the discipline policy, and that information concerning the complaint process will be available to consumers and the public through appropriate means. All statements and publications made by persons involved in the disciplinary action process shall be limited to those persons need to know such information as a result of their involvement in the disciplinary process, the oversight of Lamaze International, or the protection of the public.
LCCE educators are responsible for adhering to the Code of Ethics established by the Council. In the event of a violation of or conduct contrary to the Code of Ethics or of other substantive requirements of the certification process by an LCCE educator, the Council may reprimand or suspend the charged LCCE educator, or revoke certification.
The review process for administration of the discipline policy is as follows:
The Ad Hoc Review Committee will be composed of three (3) individuals: An LCCE member of the Certification Council, who will serve as Chair, an LCCE member who does not compete in the same geographic area as the charged LCCE educator, and the public member of the Certification Council. The charged LCCE educator shall be notified of the name of the proposed Chair of the Ad Hoc Review Committee and shall have seven (7) days from such notice to strike such person from serving as Chair if such person competes in the same geographic area with the charged LCCE educator. If the charged LCCE educator exercises this right to strike, the Chair of the Certification Council shall appoint another LCCE member of the Certification Council to serve as Chair of the Ad Hoc Review Committee who does not compete in the same geographic area as the charged LCCE educator.
In the event of a violation of or conduct contrary to the Code of Ethics or of other substantive requirements of the certification process by a charged LCCE educator, any of the following sanctions may be imposed by the Council:
The sanction applied must reasonably relate to the nature and severity of the violation, focusing on reformation of conduct of the charged LCCE educator and deterrence of similar conduct by others.
Normally for the first substantiated violation, a reprimand in the form of a written notice from the Chair is sent to the charged LCCE educator. Suspension is normally imposed on a charged LCCE educator who has had two substantiated violations.
Updated: June 2017
The goal of certification is to provide a recognized credential that demonstrates to consumer and professional colleagues specialized knowledge and skill in a particular area. The purpose of the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Examination is to provide competent, highly qualified childbirth educators.
This policy is established to ensure that uniform procedures are followed for administration of the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Certification Examination. Policies and procedures apply to all language translations of the exam. This Policy refers to other policies that details specific aspects of the certification program. All certification program policies should be reviewed annually and put forth at a spring Certification Governing Body meeting for update and approval as needed.
The Lamaze International Certification Program is the only internationally recognized childbirth educator program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Lamaze International has dedicated nearly 60 years to providing highly qualified, competent certified educators, and through its commitment to developing a certification examination that meets the highest standards for validity, reliability and fairness has achieved this extraordinary recognition. For more information regarding NCCA or ICE please visit their website.
Certification Council uses the guidelines set forth by NCCA in developing its exam.
The exam consists of 165 multiple-choice questions, which reflect essential information that a childbirth educator should know. 150 of these questions are scored and 15 are pre-test items. This format ensures a high level of objectivity in scoring. Multiple choice exams are currently the standard for licensure (medical and nursing) and certification (lactation consultants, nurse midwifery, nursing certifications).
The exam is criterion referenced - which means that there is no curve or predetermined pass or failure rate The passing score may fluctuate based on the difficulty of the items that are scored in each exam. Following each administration of the exam, a statistical analysis is completed by a psychometrician. The review committee may choose to eliminate questions that did not "perform" well according to the statistical analysis. The level of difficulty of the remaining items determines the passing score. An important feature of the exam is that those who take the exam are not compared to each other, rather, they are individually evaluated against the standard.
The items in the test item database are developed by the Exam Development Committee and invited guests. The committee includes the Governing Body of the Certification Council and practicing LCCE educators representing a broad demographic. Beginning in 1998, high- scorers on the exam are invited to participate in the exam development meetings.
The committee meets once each year to evaluate potential items for the exam, to create new items, and to reevaluate items already in the item bank.
The test blue print is developed and approved by the Certification Council Governing Body based on the job analysis. Using the test blueprint as their guide, once a year the Exam Construction Committee meets to construct the two exams for the year. This group which includes the chair of the Exam Development Committee and the Governing Body Chair, is responsible for evaluating the performance of the exams following administration. In addition, this group reviews all candidate comments about the exam and make final decisions related to the potential discarding of any exam items.
The Certification Council has sole responsibility for exam development, policy development, cutoff scores, setting fees within an approved budget and administrative oversight for the certification examination. The Certification Council Governing Body will periodically review policies and procedures related to administration of the certification exam to insure they are fair and equitable. The Certification Program staff carries out the day-to-day tasks related to the administration of the exam.
The certification examination is given twice annually, in spring and fall. The exam is offered in three languages, English, Spanish, Romanian, and administered in a computer-based format and paper and pencil on an as needed basis by paper administration. Other languages can be considered in accordance with the Foreign Language Policy. The exam is offered over a three-day window as publicized in all locations. The following procedures are followed for administration of the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Certification Exam.
Computer Based Exam Testing Centers
Exam registration begins 4 months prior to exam administration. Candidates approved to take the computer-based exam will be contacted by TesTrac to make an appointment at a testing center or to supply required proctor information. Administrative staff will coordinate with TesTrac regularly to supply a list of exam candidates including all demographic details (full name, full address, identification number, candidate type, program attended, language, status (i.e., first–timer, retake). TesTrac testing centers are available throughout the U.S., much of Canada and some other international sites.
Alternate Test Sites
Exam candidates without access to an TesTrac testing site may request to establish an alternate test site. Candidates must contact the Administrative Office at least ten weeks prior to the exam date (by the alternate site deadline) and are responsible for identifying an appropriate test site, with a computer available, and proctor.
It is preferred that the test site be an educational setting conducive to test taking. The following information should be on file for each test site administering the paper exam at least six weeks prior to the examination date:
At least four weeks prior to the examination date, a communication is sent to each candidate with the following test site information:
Proctor Requirements at Alternate Exam Sites
In order to be eligible to proctor the certification examination; the proposed proctor must have previous experience proctoring exams administered nationally. The proctor cannot be an LCCE educator, or affiliated with the education program the candidate(s) attended. In order to be approved, the proctor must sign and submit the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality agreements. Upon receipt of all applicable documentation, the Lamaze International administrative office will notify the proctor and candidate of approval. To maintain the integrity of the exam, all proctors must also sign the Security Agreement Form on the day of the exam and return it to the Administrative Office with the exam packet. Candidates also sign a confidentiality form on the exam day and it is returned with the exam materials to Lamaze International.
In the case that the candidate does not have the means to take the examination via computer-based software, the candidate can request a paper format of the examination in writing prior to the application deadline. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Staff will make available the necessary forms that need to be completed in order for proctor and exam site to be approved. Security is paramount and will be taken in to consideration upon review.
Preparing and Mailing Examination Booklets
Bound copies will be made for each candidate taking the paper format of the examination, plus an extra booklet for every 3-4 candidates at each site. Each examination must be checked to determine if pages are missing or misprinted, sealed with a non-removable label or seal, and numbered consecutively with a unique number, beginning with 01.”
10 days prior to the examination date, a packet is mailed to the Test Administrator (or other designated person) with the following materials:
A list is kept in the Administrative Office of the total number of test booklets and the unique number of these booklets, which is mailed to each site.
The tests must be mailed using a service, which can be tracked, and which requires a signature when received (e.g. Fed Ex, DHL). The certification staff should contact the exam administrator and/or proctor to ensure the exams have arrived at least one-day prior to the exam administration.
Staff Support on the Day of the Examination
On the day of the examination, the certification staff and TesTrac must be available by phone in case of problems during the examination administration.
Processing Returned Exam Packets
The Test Administrator returns all materials to the Lamaze International Administrative Office within two days after the examination. Upon receipt of the returned examination material, the Certification staff:
Quality Assurance Procedures
Junior and management staff meet bi-monthly during the exam cycle. These meetings should document action items and a log kept to identify consistent issues.
Any issues that should arise in the error of handling an application or exam should immediately be escalated to the COO and the Chair of the Certification Council. The scenario will be detailed and proper course of action determines.
The test administrator transmits exam data to the certification staff who sends the data files, any paper answer sheets and candidate data to Psychometrician via secure overnight shipping for scanning, scoring, and analysis. The Psychometrician prepares the preliminary statistical analysis of the examination and recommends (or flags) items to be reviewed because of questionable performance and for possible action, such as deletion from scoring. The report is forwarded to the Certification Council Chair to review and discuss with the Chair of the Examination Development Committee. The Chair designates members of the Certification Council to participate in the test review. The same individual who participate in the exam construction participate in the post test review.
A conference call is scheduled at a time designated by the Chair of the Examination Development Committee for designated members of the exam construction team, and the Psychometrician (or exam consultant) to discuss the preliminary test results, review flagged items to determine any items for deletion or re-keying for final test scoring. The Psychometrician then prepares score reports for each examinee. The Psychometrician also prepares the program reports and a written report of the Certification Exam Results for distribution at the Certification Council Meeting.
A score report is disseminated to each candidate, showing her overall percentage score, the percentage pass-fail cut score, and the pass-fail outcome. The candidate score report also displays, per competency, the number of items scored and the number of items answered correctly, which identifies the candidate’s raw score. In 2017, the report added a caveat regarding cautious interpretation of the domain scores because their small number of items are less reliable than their overall exam score. The score report is the same for passing and failing candidates. For failing candidates, it can be very useful in preparing for a future form of the exam. For passing candidates, the score report can guide continuing education.
Two reliability indices are computed for each exam: KR-20 and Kappa. The KR-20 index computes the consistency of scores, while the Kappa index computes the consistency of pass-fail outcomes. The KR-20 index is typically at 0.85 or higher, while the Kappa index is typically above 0.60.
Prevention of scoring errors is handled by built-in redundancy. In scoring the exam, candidate scores generated by Lamaze’s CBT provider are compared with scores calculated by Lamaze’s psychometrician. While the psychometrician-calculated scores will likely differ slightly from the CBT provider’s scores due to flawed items being deleted and possible miskeyed items being rekeyed, any score disparities should be within 2 percentage points. Any disparity wider than that would call into question the validity of scores and would therefore lead to a re-calculation of all scores prior to dissemination.
Final Review of Examination Results
After the final scoring of the examination the results are forwarded to the Chair of the Certification Council for final review before release.
Candidate Notification of Examination Results
After the final results of the examination are approved by the Chair of the Certification Council, certification staff posts exam results in the certification center private dashboard for each candidate. An email is sent to all exam candidates indicating that initial exam results can be found in their dashboard. Each candidate’s computer record is updated to indicate whether he or she passed or failed the examination, and the appropriate pass/fail letter, score report is loaded in the certification center. Candidates who have passed will be directed to where they can print out their certification card and candidates who failed will be offered the opportunity to speak with a member of the certification council to give them tips on studying for the next exam should they choose to retake the exam.
Candidates who do not successfully pass the certification exam, in any language, may apply to retake the exam at any time during the registration period. Candidates can retake the test beginning at the next exam administration and there is no limit on the amount of times a candidate can retake the exam.
Preparing and Distributing Program Statistics
The Psychometrician provides a statistical report on pass/fail rates by program. The Certification staff forwards a report to each program comparing their program statistics with the overall statistics. Staff also forwards a comparative analysis of program statistics to the Chairs of the Certification Council, Program Accreditation Committee, and Education Council Chair.
All candidates, proctors, staff and certification council members are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. In order to maintain confidentiality, examination scores will only be conveyed in writing to the respective candidate through their secure access to the online Lamaze certification center. No examination results will be conveyed over the phone, faxed or emailed. Scores for a particular candidate will only be released to their respective program if they have made a written request to that effect. Only the mean score and pass/fail rate of all candidates taking a particular examination will be released to the respective Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program. The scores will be mailed to the programs within 2 weeks of the candidates receiving their scores.
Follow Up Correspondence
All new LCCE educators receive a welcome communication with recertification, continuing education opportunities, licensing program information, press release, and information on how to print their certification card.
Announcement of New LCCE Educators
A list of new LCCE educators of each administration is submitted to the editor of Inside Lamaze for recognition in an upcoming issue and posted on the website. Additionally, exam stats will be posted for public reporting on the website after each exam administration.
Updated: July 2019
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that uniform procedures are followed for the construction of each certification examination.
The Certification Council Governing Body is responsible for development of the certification exam. The Certification Council Chair, in conjunction with the Exam Development Committee Chair, select which members of the Exam Development Committee will participate in the exam construction meeting annually to set the next two certification exams. Members chosen to work on exam development include a representative sampling of the candidate population, as well as geographic diversity.
Administrative staff are in attendance at the test construction meeting to ensure adherence to policies and procedures related to secure construction and handling of the confidential information.
The certification exam is constructed based on the test blueprint. A unique form of the exam is constructed for each exam administration and includes 30% new items. No items used on the immediate past examination are used.
The Certification Council Chair and Exam Development Chair must approve each examination. The administrative staff coordinate and the psychometric consultant edits, ensures grammatical correctness, corrects keyed responses if necessary, and insures that there is no cueing or ambiguity prior to finalization of the exam. administrative staff, at the appropriate time, to prepare the applicable administration.
This policy is designed to outline the steps to prepare for the exam development committee meetings, the meeting procedures and desired work product to come out of the meetings.
The Certification Exam Development Committee Chair develops the agenda for the Item Writing Meeting. The Certification Program administrative staff advises the Chair on the agenda, prepares materials for the meeting, and follows through on any post meeting activities. The Certification Program administrative staff provides administrative support for the Certification Council and Exam Development Committee Meetings, and is responsible for making logistical arrangements for the meeting (e.g., hotel, catering, equipment, supplies, etc.) and for providing logistical and administrative support during and after the meeting.
The Exam Development Committee members, applicable staff, a high scorer and other applicable attendees are invited to the meeting to make up the Item Writing Subcommittee.
Meeting Arrangements and Materials
The Certification Program administrative staff makes hotel reservations for out-of-town participants, reserves meeting rooms, and arranges for meals and refreshments during the meeting. The Coordinator also arranges for needed equipment and supplies for the meeting, generally including:
A general information/reminder email is sent to Certification Council and Exam Development Committee members two months before the meeting. This serves to remind them of the meeting date, give them hotel information, and remind them to make travel arrangements, etc.
The Certification Program Director prepares the necessary materials so they can be ready prior to the meeting. The meeting agenda and any other relevant materials are put into a folder for each meeting attendee to be distributed at the meeting.
Prior to the start of the meeting the Certification Program administrative staff sees that the equipment is set up and in working order. Additionally, all subject matters experts, vendors and staff must return their signed confidentiality and conflict of interest agreements to the onsite staff person.
During this meeting, the psychometrician provides an orientation that highlights the types of items that the Council desires, and guidance for how to frame these items. In particular, emphasis is placed of writing items that assess application of knowledge rather than recall of knowledge. The exam blueprint or exam content outline is used to indicate where new items are most needed, and to structure several content classification codes for entry into the exam item database.
At this meeting the Committee applies a modified Angoff procedure to determine a minimally acceptable performance index for each item based on entry-level competence. Procedures for structuring these determinations is part of the psychometrician’s orientation described earlier and includes a discussion of the level of knowledge and skill represented by entry-level competence. As a pragmatic definition, entry-level is defined as representing the knowledge and ability of childbirth educators who are minimally qualified to sit for the examination, who would exhibit marginally effective performance as practitioners, and who would be expected to attain barely passing scores on the examination. These practitioners would be expected to increase their level of knowledge, ability, and effectiveness as they accrue additional professional experience.
The items are written by individual subject matter expert (SMEs) and then given to the psychometrician (on site at meeting) or approved staff person to review and input as a draft into the item bank. All items are then projected for the full item writing subcommittee to review, critique and revise as needed. If approved, an Angoff index that corresponds to the subcommittee’s perceived level of difficulty is applied and the item is made active in the item bank and organized by competency. All item writing members are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and all "scratch" paper is kept in the meeting room throughout the onsite meeting and shredded at the close of the meeting.
The Angoff technique is applied by the Examination Committee in assessing the difficulty of each item. The Committee’s determination is made by consensus when the item is approved and becomes active in the item bank. In order to guide the Committee members in their Angoff assessments, the psychometrician provides guidance (Table 2, cut score report page 3) that structures the assessments as a step-wise decision involving two related judgments. The first judgment is whether the item is easy, difficulty, or moderate. The second judgment is the degree of easiness or difficulty. For example, if an item is judged by Committee consensus to be easy, the Committee then determines whether the Angoff index should be 80 (easy) or 90 (very easy). If an item is judged by the Committee to be difficult, the Committee then determines whether the Angoff index should be 30, 40, or 50 based on the consensual judgment of how difficult. As in other applications of the modified Angoff technique, the Committee judgments are shown in 10-point increments. The purpose of these increments is to avoid the arbitrariness that can result from attempting to render finer distinctions. The Angoff scale also limits the highest and lowest indices to avoid expectations of perfection (i.e., 100%) in the upper end of the scale, and to avoid expectations of chance (i.e., <30%) in the lower end of the scale, as chance is the equivalent of guessing that results from candidates having little or no knowledge of an item’s content. As noted earlier, the Committee members are instructed to focus their Angoff ratings on entry-level knowledge and ability.
At the meeting, the administrative staff is charged with ensuring proper handling and storage of secure item and test information. Staff is responsible for collecting and filing all conflict of interest and confidentiality agreements. Additionally, staff is responsible for taking minutes/ detailed notes of the action items accomplished during the meeting. A record should be kept of the number of items that were revised and developed per competency.
Following the meeting the Certification Program Coordinator returns all equipment, routes meeting minutes to chair for comment, shreds printed copies of test items, scratch paper and sends an email of thanks from the Chair with approved minutes to the attendees.
This policy document is designed to serve as a roadmap for maintaining the certification program, outlining the steps to develop the exam and maintain the exam item database. This policy document serves as overall outline of the program while detailed policies and procedure documents will identify and define more specific detail for each.
Exam Frequency and Format: The exam will be administered twice a year during a three-day exam window. The exam will be administered by computer based testing software at PSI locations where available and via a private proctor as approved per the established policy and guidelines. There will be one, unique test form developed and constructed for each exam administration.
Translation: The exam form developed for each exam administration will be translated per the exam and language translation policy which states that the translated Spanish exam will be given for each administration and the Romanian translation will be given once a year during the fall exam administration. Additional languages/translations can be approved and made available for a no less than 15 candidates.
The translation process consists of a professional translation of the item text, a back-translation by a bilingual subject matter expert (SME), and a third review by an additional bi-lingual subject matter expert to identify and reconcile any differences between the source English text and the back-translated English text. Statistical analysis of candidate response patterns is also used to identify items with substantial performance disparities that may be indicative of a subtle translation flaw.
Item Writing Meeting Goals: The item writing meeting is designed to bring together SMEs who represent the candidate population to write new items, revise existing items for which revision has been noted, and assign a tentative Angoff index (final assignment is done by the Exam Council).
Meeting Frequency: The Exam Development Committee and invited guests meet once a year at the item writing meeting. Invited guests include high scorers, Lamaze Accredited Childbirth Program Directors, the President of Lamaze International and other SMEs as necessary.
Items reflect entry-level knowledge that a childbirth educator should have. In general, the Council encourages application items that that are scenario based rather than simple recall of information.
Pass-Fail Cut Score
The passing score for each form of the exam is determined by the Angoff technique and based on item difficulty. A two-step process is used for this process. The percentage pass-fail cut score is the average of the item Angoff indices.
Item Review / Candidate Comments
The Council conducts a conference call after each exam to review the initial exam and item scoring statistics. This online meeting includes a native speaking, bilingual SME for any translated language for that exam form. During this review call items will be examined when flagged during the scoring process for ambiguity, translation and cultural issues, and statistical outliers. The committee reads each flagged item and addresses them individually.
Item Bank Maintenance
Several item databases are maintained: one per language, and a separate database for storing item calibrations related to forms equating. Each database is updated with item statistics after each exam cycle is complete. Item text and response keys in each linguistic database is reviewed as part of the item writing and exam development procedures.
The exam blueprint is based on a job task analysis, conducted every 5-7 years, and is used to indicate how many items will appear on the exam in each competency. Each competency has several sub content classification codes that aide in balancing exam content.
Job Task Analysis (JTA)
The JTA is designed to evaluate the current practice of childbirth education and job content elements that are related to effective entry-level performance in an effort to validate and, if necessary, update the identified knowledge and skills required to practice competently as a childbirth educator. Established publications from the profession are used to reference items. This research, conducted at least every 5-7 years, will help ensure that the Lamaze Certification Exam continues to measure the competencies that are required of a current practicing entry-level childbirth educator.
Updated: May 2018
This policy is established to ensure uniform procedures are followed for determining exam eligibility and for the open exam application review process.
The Certification Council has sole responsibility for setting eligibility criteria and determining eligibility for the certification examination. The Application Review Committee, which is comprised of the Exam Development Committee Chair and one other member of the Certification Council appointed by the Chair, has responsibility for reviewing applications for open exam candidates to determine eligibility. The Chair of the Council will make the final determination regarding candidate eligibility.
Eligibility to qualify to sit for the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exam is a two-step process: (1) completion of a self-study with the Lamaze Educator Learning Guide and (2) successful completion of an Accredited Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program.
Alternate Ways to Become Eligible for Lamaze Certification: choose one alternative to each of the first two recommended steps:
Alternatives to Recommended Step 1: Study with the Lamaze Educator Learning Guide
Alternatives to Recommended Step 2: Attend a Lamaze-Accredited Childbirth Educator Seminar
The following procedures are followed for determining eligibility of a candidate to take the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Certification Exam:
A candidate who has met the eligibility criteria may apply to take the Certification Exam. The candidate must submit a completed exam application form and exam fee to the Administrative Office by the published deadline. Any requests for special testing accommodations pursuant to the American Disability Act must be made in writing and submitted with the application no later than the specified deadline. Lamaze International reserves the right to obtain a second professional opinion regarding the nature and severity of the disability and appropriate accommodations. Candidates may be responsible for any fees/ charges incurred for accommodation. Likewise, special requests for alternate arrangements on the basis of religious observances must be received at the Administrative Office by the published deadline. Again, Lamaze International reserves the right to confirm the reason for the special request. Lamaze International will contact the applicant to make necessary arrangements regarding such requests for special accommodations. Candidates are responsible for locating an appropriate test site, preferably in an education setting with a testing department, and a proctor who is not an LCCE educator. The candidate’s database record is updated to indicate that the application materials have been received and the test site which the candidate has chosen. If the application is incomplete, a letter is sent to the candidate notifying them of the needed materials. An incomplete application fee may apply.
Once it has been determined that an application is complete, the candidate must be determined to be eligible to take the Certification Exam. The certification staff will determine eligibility placed on the completed and uploaded documentation specified above for each category. Any questions that arise on eligibility should be brought to the Certification Council Governing Body Chair for approval.
No individual will be excluded from the opportunity to participate in the Lamaze International Certification Program on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability.
Updated: July 2019
This policy has been adopted to guide administration of the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Examination in English and other languages. The intent of the policy is to expand access to Lamaze childbirth education both internationally and domestically to non-English speaking populations by providing exam candidates the opportunity to take the exam in a language in which they are fluent and will be teaching.
The official language of the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Certification Examination is English. The Certification Examination is available in English, Spanish and Romanian with proper notice as outlined in this policy.
Candidates requesting to take the exam in a preapproved alternate language, as stated above, must provide a written request no less than twelve (12) weeks prior to the exam administration date. The Certification Council Chair will review all such requests and make the final decision in accordance with the approved budget. All translated forms of the exam will be given once a year during the fall exam administration with a minimum of 10 people registered by the published foreign language deadline.
Any new translations approved, as defined below, will require approved consent by Lamaze International and a minimum of 15 candidates registered by the foreign language deadline, 12 weeks prior to the exam.
Consistent with the intent to expand access to Lamaze childbirth education, Lamaze International has established a process to facilitate development of new languages for translating the certification examination when there is a demonstrated interest by a minimum of 15 registered exam candidates. The timeframe for validation of a translation will vary based on demand and availability. The Certification Council Governing Body will make the final decision regarding development of a new exam translation based on the level of interest and the related resource considerations.
The translation process consists of a professional translation of the item text, a back-translation by a bilingual subject matter expert (SME), and a third review by an additional bi-lingual subject matter expert to identify and reconcile any differences between the source English text and the back-translated English text. Statistical analysis of candidate response patterns is also used to identify items with substantial performance disparities that may be indicative of a subtle translation flaw. The psychometrician prepares a statistical breakdown comparing candidates taking the English version with candidates taking the translation version(s). This analysis compares these candidate subgroups on an option-by-option basis to identify response patterns suggestive of a possible flawed translation. When this has occasionally occurred, the item is deleted in the translated version, and the Angoff index associated with the item is deleted also.
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to provide a clear mechanism for review and appeal when an individual questions a decision of the Lamaze International Certification Council.
Procedure for examination challenges: This procedure applies to questions regarding a test question on the Lamaze Certification Examination, test procedure, and test scores.
Procedure for other grievances: The following procedure is established for handling grievances which may occur related to certification (other than examination challenges):
In order to maintain the integrity of the Lamaze International Certification Item Bank and to ensure that parallel banks are maintained in English, Spanish, and Romanian, this policy establishes clear, uniform procedures to be followed when using the Item Bank.
The Certification Council Governing Body has overall responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the Lamaze International Certification Item Bank. The Psychometric Consultant is responsible for managing the item bank.
Item Bank Description
The Lamaze International Certification Item Bank is currently housed in LXR exam system software. There are three item banks, one in English, Spanish and Romanian. These banks are parallel, meaning that they are comprised of identical items, and that these items are numbered identically in each bank.
Authorized Item Bank Users
Only the Psychometric Consultant and approved staff members can manipulate the item bank in any way. The Psychometric consultant may supervise certification staff in the updating of the item bank based on a specific project.
Each new item is assigned a unique number upon entry into the item bank. The Angoff scores are set separately for each item. The Certification Council (or an ad hoc exam development subcommittee) is responsible for classifying each item with regard to content and Angoff for pass-fail standard setting.
Item statistics will be updated with each subsequent exam administration. Statistics are unique to each [language] bank. At no time should the statistics of one bank be overwritten to the other bank.
If it is decided that a question requires extensive edits, this question will be retired from use and a new question written which reflects the needed edits.
Items will not be deleted, rather they will be archived.
Copying the Item Bank
Prior to copying or transferring an Item Bank file, the file length (in bytes) must be noted. Upon completion of the copy or transfer, the file lengths must be compared and the copied version must be opened in order to determine its completeness and integrity.
If major edits are made to a question, a note should be made to the other bank that the question has been updated and should be reviewed again so that the translation may be updated accordingly.
If an item is archived from one item bank, it must be archived from the other banks simultaneously in order to maintain a parallel sequence of questions in the three item banks.
In order to maintain the integrity of the Lamaze International Certification Item Bank, any questions not answered in this policy or the documentation accompanying the software, should be directed to the Certification Council Chair and the Psychometric Consultant.
The Certification Council is the standard-setting body for certification. All policy decision relating to certification matters are the sole decision of the Council and are not subject to approval by any other body. The Certification Council has sole responsibility for examination development; administration and fees; candidate eligibility; cut-off scores; conduct of meetings; dissemination of information; contractual arrangements; and appeals based on due process.
Certification Council Structure
The council will be made up of three committees; the Governing Body, Exam Construction Committee and an Item Writing Committee. These three committees will have independent functions as specified below.
Certification Council Governing Body
The Certification Council Governing Body is responsible for overall oversight of the certification program including budgeting, psychometric consultant oversight, policy and procedure setting and enforcement. The Governing Body should meet 3-4 times per year.
Composition: The Governing Body is composed of seven or more members, whose appointment or removal, with or without cause, shall be proposed by the Chair of the Council and approved by the President of Lamaze International. The Exam Construction Committee Chair, Item Writing Committee Chair, Education Council Chair (ex officio, non-voting) and Accreditation Council Chair (ex officio, non-voting) will be members of the governing body. At least one of the members of the Governing Body will be a public member and the remaining members should be a diverse representation (areas of expertise and geographically) of the target audience.
Terms: The Chair of the Certification Governing Body is appointed for a three-year term by the President of the Board of Directors with a limit of two terms. The Governing Body members are appointed by the chair for a three-year term with a limit of two terms.
Qualification of the Certification Council Governing Body Chair
The Chair of the Certification Council shall meet the following qualifications:
Responsibilities of the Chair of the Certification Council include:
Qualifications of the Governing Body Members
Public member participation on the Certification Council Governing Body is intended to help assure that the awarding of Lamaze International certification to childbirth educators is responsive to consumer needs, as well as the needs of interested professionals. A public member of the Certification Council Governing Body shall meet the following qualifications:
Responsibilities of the Governing Body Members
Full Governing Body Composition:
*One of the members of the governing body has to be a public member.
Exam Construction Committee
Responsible for the construction of the Lamaze certification exam and oversight of the item bank management.
The Chair of the Exam Construction Committee is appointed for a three-year term by the Governing Body Chair with a limit of two terms. The Exam Development Committee members are appointed for a three-year term by the Exam Development Committee Chair and may be reappointed with a limit of two terms.
Qualification for the Exam Construction Committee Chair
Responsibilities of the Exam Construction Committee Chair
Qualification of the Exam Construction Committee Members
Responsibilities of the Exam Construction Committee Members
Full Committee Composition:
*At large members may not simultaneously serve on the Item Writing Committee or Governing Body.
Item Writing Committee
The committee will be responsible for item writing and review of submitted items from total LCCE educator population to ensure the item bank is representative of the seven competencies and the exam blueprint. The committee will convene at least once a year and will include year-round participation with review of submitted items by LCCE educators.
Qualification for the Item Writing Committee Chair
Responsibilities of the Item Writing Committee Chair
Qualification of the Item Writing Committee Members (with exception to the Public Member)
The Item Writing committee will be appointed annually for a 1-year term to ensure rotation, broad representation and new member participation. At-large members can be reappointed to another term. After 3 years on the committee the appointment will be reviewed. A minimum of three new people should join the committee annually.
Responsibility of the Item Writing Committee:
Full Composition of the Item Writing Committee:
*At large members should represent a mix of experience, subject matter expertise, diverse populations with international and geographical representation etc.
Qualifications of the Psychometric Consultant
Responsibilities Psychometric Consultant
As an independent contractor or vendor, the Psychometric Consultant will provide the following services:
Term of the Psychometric Consultant
The Psychometric Consultant is engaged as an independent contractor or vendor with an annual contract for services. The Chair, in consultation with the chief staff person and the Chair of the Exam Development Committee, appoints the Psychometric Consultant and evaluates the services provided.
Updated: December 2018
Lamaze International has a mandatory recertification program for LCCE educators. To promote continuing competence through life-long learning, recertification is accomplished through continuing education or re-examination. A three-year recertification period has been established to ensure LCCE educators keep current with evidence-based research related to maternity care practices, teaching and learning, and emerging knowledge relevant to childbirth education. This policy outlines the requirements and procedures for recertification of LCCE educators.
The Certification Council has overall responsibility for the recertification program. Fees are set by the Certification Council as part of the Certification budget approved by the Board of Directors. Administration is the responsibility of the certification staff with oversight from the Certification Council Governing Body. Problems and requests for exceptions regarding recertification are referred to the Recertification Chair for consideration, and final approval by the Chair of the Certification Council.
In order to maintain certification status, all LCCE educators must recertify by December 31 every third year. Applicants must have 25 contact hours of continuing education applicable to childbirth and perinatal education completed within the last three years. Continuing education credit can be applied towards recertification during the three years immediately following conferred certification or previous recertification.
Approved Continuing Education Providers
Childbirth and perinatal education continuing education programs must be approved by one of the following organizations:
An educator may recertify by substituting 10 hours of alternative activities (of the 25 contact hour continuing education requirement). No more than 10 hours of alternate credit activity may be applied toward recertification. Additional contact hours may be given for alternate credit on a case-by-case basis if more than ten hours are requested. Alternate activities may be used for recertification with Lamaze International but do not constitute official contact hours of continuing education. These activities may include:
Mandatory Continuing Education Credit
The Certification Council reserves the right to select a specific continuing education program or a selection of continuing education programs as mandatory credit toward recertification. Mandatory continuing education credit will be enacted on an ad hoc basis at the Council’s discretion. Mandatory continuing education submissions will be in effect for three years and all LCCE educators due to recertify in the designated time period will be notified at least one year prior to their due date. LCCE educators who do not complete and submit mandatory continuing education will lose their certification.
Any remaining credit, of the 25 contact hours due, in addition to mandatory programs must be earned through approved courses or through completion of alternate credit activities that are applicable to childbirth education, the Lamaze Philosophy of Birth and the Competency Statements for LCCE educators.
Recertification by Re-examination
LCCE educators may choose to recertify by re-examination instead of completing continuing education credit. LCCE educators who choose to recertify by re-examination must successfully pass the Certification Exam prior to their recertification date. The recertification application must be submitted prior to her recertification date, with a copy of the letter indicating the date on which they pass the certification exam. All recertification fees apply.
Recertification Application and Documentation
LCCE educators are responsible for keeping track of their credential keeping it up to date in compliance with this policy. As a courtesy, LCCE educators should begin to receive reminders of their recertification due date at least nine months prior to their respective deadline. An email communication will be sent with links to full recertification information, procedures and the online application not less than three months before their respective due dates. Each applicant must submit an online application though the certification center listing all continuing education programs completed, showing program title, date, number of contact hours and approved provider. Certificates of completion do not need to be sent with the recertification application, but must be kept on file by the applicant for a period of five (5) years.
Notification of Recertification
An email signed by the Certification Council Chair is sent to all applicants who have met the recertification requirements to confirm their recertification. Applicants will receive information on how to download their new Certification Card indicating their certification number and next recertification due date.
Individuals who have recertified will be periodically audited and required to provide certificates of completion for continuing education programs listed on their recertification application. Lamaze International will randomly audit 10 percent of the LCCE educators during each recertification period. An LCCE educator selected for audit will be contacted following submission of their completed application and will be asked to forward or upload copies of the certificates documenting the continuing education courses listed on the application. LCCE educators are responsible for keeping copies of all certificates of attendance for continuing education events.
Notification of Lapsed Certification
LCCE educators who do not meet their respective recertification deadlines considered lapsed and are not eligible to use the LCCE educator credential. Letting certification lapse does not change the educator’s original due date. Educators who recertify during the 12 month “grace” are still due to recertify three years from their original due date.
Reinstatement of LCCE Credential
Educators whose credentials lapse may submit an application within 12 months following their due date to reinstate their LCCE credential. In addition to the standard recertification requirements, educators whose credentials lapse are required to submit 5 additional hours of continuing education and all related administrative fees as specified on the website. Upon reinstatement the educators original due date does not change. Educators who reinstate their certification at any time are still due to recertify three years from their original due date. Educators who do not reinstate their certification within 12 months of their due date may only reinstate their credential through re-examination. Educators who reinstate their credential by re-examination will be subject to any and all exam and recertification fees.
Storage of Records
All records pertaining to recertification are kept and filed pursuant to the Certification Council Record Retention policy. Recertification applications are kept on the premises of the Lamaze Administrative office for three years before being moved to off-site storage.
Updated: March 2018
This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form or characteristics, both paper and electronic, which have been made or received by Lamaze International in connection with the administration of the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification Exam.
All candidate certification records are maintained on Lamaze International’s secure database. Such records are accessible only to staff who are involved in certification exam administration. Records are password protected. In a physical format, certification records are maintained onsite in locked cabinets in a secure office, or after one year sent to a secure off-site storage facility.
Certification candidate records will only be released at the written request of the individual. Such a request must be in writing, dated and signed by the individual and must include instructions for distribution including name, address and phone number of the institution/individual which is to receive the record.
All candidate records will be maintained according to the schedule below.
When transported to exam sites, paper exam booklets are sent to a designated proctor using a delivery service requiring signature and with tracking capabilities. After the paper exams are administered and returned to the office the used exam booklets are destroyed according to the schedule below.
All general certification policies and records (e.g. one copy or electronic version of each: certification standards, application package, sample protocols, candidate application and exam booklet, appeal procedures, documentation of certification and recertification eligibility criteria, etc.)
Most exam development and administration files(e.g. one copy or electronic version of each job analysis, program evaluation study, item and exam review meetings documents, psychometric analysis reports and documents, each exam form administered and scoring keys, score records, pass/fail rosters, signed item writer waivers, testing company contracts and related correspondence, etc.); except:
Six (6) years after discontinuation of use
Six (6) months from date of exam
Most certificant files (e.g. certification and recertification applications, supporting documentation, exam scores, etc.); except:
Three (3) years following expiration of certification
Six (6) years from date of submission
Six (6) years from date of first certification
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