Licensing of Lactation Consultants (216-RICR-40-05-27)


216-RICR-40-05-27 ACTIVE RULE

27.1 Authority and Purpose

These Rules and Regulations for Licensing of Lactation Consultants are promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-13.6-3 for the purpose of defining prevailing standards for the licensing of lactation consultants.

27.2 Incorporated Materials

A. These Regulations hereby adopt and incorporate the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners' "Scope of Practice for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Certificants" (2012) by reference, not including any further editions or amendments thereof and only to the extent that the provisions therein are not inconsistent with these Regulations.

B. These Regulations hereby adopt and incorporate the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners' "Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs" (2011) by reference, not including any further editions or amendments thereof and only to the extent that the provisions therein are not inconsistent with these regulations.

27.3 Definitions

A. Wherever used in these Regulations, the following terms shall be construed as follows:

1. “Act” means R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-13.6 entitled “Lactation Consultant Practice Act of 2014”.

2. “Department” means the Rhode Island Department of Health.

3. "Director" means the means the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health or his or her designee.

4. "International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)" means an individual who holds current certification from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) after demonstrating the appropriate education, knowledge and sitting for and passing the exam.

5. "Lactation care and services" means the clinical application of scientific principles and a multidisciplinary body of evidence for the evaluation, problem identification, treatment, education, and consultation to provide lactation care and services to childbearing families.

6. "Lactation consultant" means a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding.

7. “Practice" means rendering or offering to render any lactation care and services to any individual, family, or group of individuals.

8. "R.I. Gen. Laws" means the General Laws of Rhode Island, as amended.

9. “Supervision” means that a licensed lactation consultant is at all times responsible for supportive personnel and clients. Supervision is further defined in § 27.4.1(C) of this Part.

10. “These Regulations” mean all parts of Rhode Island Rules and Regulations for Licensing of Lactation Consultants.

27.4 Qualifications

27.4.1 General Licensure Requirements

A. No person can practice as a lactation consultant or represent himself or herself as being able to practice as a lactation consultant in Rhode Island unless the person is licensed in accordance with the provisions of the Act and these Regulations.

B. Exemptions to the requirements of the Act and these Regulations are pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 23-13.6-4.

C. Supervision.

1. A licensed lactation consultant shall exercise sound judgment and shall provide care within the scope of practice or guidelines in the performance of his or her duties. A licensed lactation consultant is permitted to supervise the following:

a. Licensed lactation consultants;

b. Students, interns, or persons preparing for practice as a lactation consultant;

c. Care extenders and other team members as appropriate; and

d. Volunteers.

2. A licensed lactation consultant cannot delegate any of the following tasks to individuals under their supervision, who are not a licensed lactation consultant:

a. Initiation, planning, adjustment, modification, or performance of lactation care and services requiring the skills or judgment of a licensed lactation consultant;

b. Acting on behalf of a licensed lactation consultant in any matter related to providing lactation care and services which requires decision making or professional judgment.

27.4.2 Qualification for Licensure

A. An applicant for licensure as a lactation consultant shall:

1. Be at least eighteen (18) years of age;

2. Successfully complete an academic and practical program in lactation that is accredited by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners;

3. Pass the examination for board certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant offered by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, or any successor organization; and

4. Currently be board certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

27.5 Application

27.5.1 Documentation

A. In order to apply for a license an applicant must submit the following on forms provided by the Department:

1. Completed application including but not limited to name, address, date of birth, social security number, telephone number and email address;

2. Application fee as defined in Part 10-05-2 of this Title, the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health. The fee is non-refundable and non-returnable;

3. Verification of current board certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant submitted directly to the Department by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

27.5.2 Licensure by Endorsement

A. In order to apply for a license by endorsement an applicant must submit the following on forms provided by the Department:

1. Completed application including but not limited to name, address, date of birth, social security number, telephone number and email address;

2. Application fee as defined in Part 10-05-2 of this Title, the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health. The fee is non-refundable and non-returnable;

3. Verification of current board certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant submitted directly to the Department by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners; and

4. Verification that the applicant is licensed and in good standing from all states where the applicant is currently licensed and, if applicable, previously licensed as a lactation consultant.

27.6 Issuance

A license as a lactation consultant may be issued to an applicant who meets the relevant requirements for licensure as required by the Act and these Regulations.

27.7 Expiration & Renewal of Licenses

A. Expiration. The license of every person licensed in accordance with the Act and these Regulations will expire on the thirty-first (31st) day of January of the next odd-numbered year following the issuance of his or her license.

B. Renewal: In order to renew a license the licensee must file a renewal application with the Department, together with a renewal fee as defined in Part 10-05-2 of this Title, the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health, on or before the thirty-first (31st) day of January in each odd-numbered year. The license renewal is effective on the first (1st) day of February.

C. Failure to Renew

1. If a licensee fails to renew their license on or before the thirty-first (31st) day of January in each odd-numbered year, as required by these Regulations, the license will expire. No one whose license is expired is allowed to practice as a lactation consultant or represent himself or herself as being able to practice in Rhode Island until he or she has renewed the expired license in accordance with § 27.7(D) of this Part or reinstated the terminated license in accordance with § 27.7(E) of this Part.

D. Expired Licenses. A licensee may renew an expired license within one year of the expiration date. In order to renew an expired license the licensee must submit the following:

1. Renewal application together with the current renewal fee plus an additional fee as defined in Part 10-05-2 of this Title, the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health. The fees are non-refundable and non-returnable.

E. Terminated Licenses. If a licensee fails to renew an expired license within one year of the date of its expiration, the license will be terminated. In order to reinstate a terminated license, the licensee must submit the following:

1. A reinstatement application together with the current renewal fee, plus an additional fee as defined in Part 10-05-2 of this Title, the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Fee Structure for Licensing, Laboratory and Administrative Services Provided by the Department of Health. The fees are non-refundable and non-returnable.

2. Verification of current board certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant must be submitted directly to the Department by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

27.8 Scope

A. A licensed lactation consultant may practice independent management of lactation care and services using the clinical application of scientific principles and a multidisciplinary body of evidence for the evaluation, problem identification, treatment, education and consultation to provide lactation care and services to childbearing families. Furthermore, a licensed lactation consultant shall comply with the Scope of Practice for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Certificants in accordance with "Scope of Practice for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Certificants," incorporated above at § 27.2(A) of this Part.

B. Limitation of Practice. A licensed lactation consultant shall limit his or her practice to demonstrated areas of competence as documented by relevant professional education, training, and experience.

C. A licensed lactation consultant shall conduct his or her professional activities in accordance with the "Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs", incorporated above at § 27.2(B) of this Part.

27.9 Maintenance of Certification

A. Renewal Certification. A licensee must attest on the renewal application that their status as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as required in § 27.4.2(A)(4) of this Part is active and not subject to any restriction, limitation or other sanction.

B. Required Notification to the Department

1. A licensee must notify the Department, in writing, within five (5) business days of receiving notification from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners that their status as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as required in § 27.4.2(A)(4) of this Part, has been revoked and/or subject to any restriction, limitation of other sanction.

2. A licensee must notify the Department, in writing, within five (5) business days of failure to renew or other lapse of their status as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as required in § 27.4.2(A)(4) of this Part.

27.10 Grounds for Refusal, Revocation or Suspension

A. Upon due notice and hearing in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 42-35, and the provisions of § 27.11 of this Part, any violation pursuant to the provisions of the Act and these Regulations, may be cause for denial, revocation or suspension of license or for imposing a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.6-5.

B. Except as otherwise provided in the Act and these Regulations, the inspection, enforcement, and penalties for violations of the provisions of the Act or these Regulations shall be in accordance with the provisions and procedures set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 23-1-19 through 23-1-25.

27.11 Rules Governing Practices and Procedures

All hearings and reviews required pursuant to provisions of the Act and these Regulations shall be held in accordance with the provisions of Part 10-05-4 of this Title, the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Practices and Procedures before the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Title 216 Rhode Island Department of Health
Chapter 40 Professional Licensing and Facility Regulation
Subchapter 05 Professional Licensing
Part 27 Licensing of Lactation Consultants (216-RICR-40-05-27)
Type of Filing Amendment
Regulation Status Active
Effective 04/30/2018

Regulation Authority :

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.6-3

Purpose and Reason :

In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, R.I. Gen. Laws Section 42-35-3(a)(1), the following is a concise statement regarding this rulemaking for Licensing of Lactation Consultants (216-RICR-40-05-27). This amendment to the regulations removes statutory duplication, incorporates national standards by reference, clarifies requirements for licensure and maintenance of certification, and simplifies to plain language. During public comment, it was suggested that licensure be expanded to include qualified providers of lactation care and services, and eliminate the limit on licensure to just Internal Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). RIDOH has determined that this suggested revision will not be implemented because RIDOH believes that limiting licensure to IBCLCs ensures the requisite level of training to ensure continued public health for nursing mothers and their children. During public comment, it was suggested that language be included stating that nothing in the regulations shall be construed to affect or prevent the practice of lactation care and services by licensed care providers or other persons; provided that a person who is not a licensee shall not hold that person out or represent that person’s self to be a licensed lactation consultant or lactation counselor. RIDOH has determined that this suggested revision will not be implemented because this language closely mirrors R.I. Gen. Laws 23-13.6-4, and section 27.4(B) of the regulations has been amended to cite directly to this statute and remove the duplication thereof from the regulations. In the development of this rule, consideration was given to: 1) alternative approaches; 2) overlap or duplication with other statutory and regulatory provisions; and 3) significant economic impact on small business. No alternative approach, duplication, or overlap was identified based on available information. RIDOH has determined that the benefits of this rule justify its costs.

There are no electronic rulemaking documents for rules filed prior to August 14, 2018. For rulemaking documents for rules filed prior to this date, please contact the appropriate agency's Rules Coordinator.