Thinking About LLL Leadership?
Steps to Accreditation
… the steps involved in a typical application …
- Preliminary steps
- Application/Leader recommendation forms
- Each leadership application is unique
- The different aspects of the application
- Application resources
- LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation
- The Statement of Commitment
- Newly accredited Leaders
Preliminary steps: Pre-application dialogue with a Leader
- This is your opportunity to see if leadership is a good “fit” for you.
- It is also an opportunity for your Group Leader to get to know you so that she feels confident to recommend you for leadership. If your Group has more than one Leader, those Leaders will also need to get to know you.
- Sometimes questions arise, which the Leader may want to explore further with you. She may consult with the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) representative, who is usually the Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (CLA), for her Area.
Application/Leader recommendation forms
- The application form and fee and Leader recommendation form(s) are sent to the Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (CLA) in your Area.
- The CLA will read the application and Leader recommendation forms and ensure that you meet the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership. If she has any questions, there may be further dialogue.
- When the application is accepted, the CLA will process the forms and fee.
- She will identify a LAD representative to work with you and pass on your forms. The LAD representative is usually a CLA or ACLA (Associate Coordinator of Leader Accreditation), referred to as A/CLA.
- You should receive a response from the LAD representative within 2 weeks of her receiving your application. If you don’t hear, please check. Mail does sometimes go astray
- The Leader who will be supporting you will also receive a letter from the LAD representative.
- The three of you will now work together with the goal of preparing you for leadership.
Each leadership application is unique
- You bring your own special experience of breastfeeding and mothering, including breastfeeding challenges you have met and overcome.
- You possess skills and expertise which you may have learned before or after having your children.
- You may have a preferred learning style, whether it includes discussing, writing, listening, reading, practising new skills, etc.
- While there are certain materials used during the application, the order in which they are used, and the pace at which you proceed, will be up to you, your supporting Leader and your LAD representative.
The different aspects of the application
- The A/CLA will write to you and invite you to begin your application. Working with the A/CLA is primarily through writing, though we can work in other ways if that would suit you better. Your A/CLA will help you to explore LLL philosophy in the light of your experience of breastfeeding and mothering. Dialogue letters build on your experience, knowledge, impressions from your reading, and understanding of the work of an LLL Leader. These dialogues, on one topic or a variety, might include several interchanges.
The LAD representative complements and supports the work of the Applicant and Leader by:
- Discussing topics from a broader (perhaps Area, National, Affiliate, Division, or LLLI) point of view
- Suggesting alternative focuses
- Covering different topics
- Finding resources or letting you know about new ones being developed
- Answering questions and helping to resolve common breastfeeding problems
- Your supporting Leader will discuss many aspects of fulfilling leadership responsibilities with you. She will want to meet with you face-to-face, if possible, or communicate via telephone or email. You and your supporting Leader will then let your A/CLA know what you have covered. She may suggest that you explore certain things further with your supporting Leader, to ensure that your leadership preparation is well-rounded.
Together you will plan ways for you to:
- Increase your breastfeeding knowledge
- Learn where to find information, develop your resource library, and organize your materials
- Learn about managing Leader responsibilities
- Balance LLL and family responsibilities
- There is much that you can do on your own during your application: reading, making notes, attending LLL meetings, writing to your A/CLA.
- There may be some aspects of your application that can be conducted simply through talking with your supporting Leader or LAD representative. These are sometimes offered at workshops or study days as oral work sessions.
- There are many resources, online as well as through people and publications, which you can refer to as you progress through your application.
- With the goal of helping the Applicant orient to the work of an LLL Leader, the Applicant, Leader and LAD representative work together to ensure that the Applicant has met the LLLI Criteria for Accreditation as an LLL Leader.
The Application Flow Chart (pdf) and the Overview of Application Work for Leader Accreditation (pdf) are two different ways of showing you what a Leader Applicant covers during the application. They will help you to understand how the different strands of an application weave in and out of one another.
Application resources include The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Leader's Handbook, a list of background reading, Checklist of topics to discuss in preparation for leadership, Breastfeeding Resource Guide (BRG), and a range of other application exercises and tools. Some of these can be accessed online. Talk to your Group Leader if you would like to know more.
LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation
To be accredited as an LLL Leader, a woman will meet the following criteria:
- She has met the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership.
- She has nursed her baby for about a year.
- She has demonstrated understanding of LLLI philosophy.
- She has conveyed her knowledge of basic breastfeeding management, outlined in Breastfeeding Management Skills Criteria, from Policies and Standing Rules Notebook: Appendix 18 "Applying for Leadership."
- She has demonstrated leadership skills and attitudes, outlined in Leadership Skills Criteria, from Policies and Standing Rules Notebook: Appendix 18 "Applying for Leadership."
- She has completed the LLLI accreditation process, discussed in LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation (pdf).
- She has signed the LLL Leader Statement of Commitment.
The Statement of Commitment
If you wish, ask your Group Leader to show you a copy of the Statement of Commitment.
When the Leader Applicant has completed all application work, the LAD representative sends the Applicant the Statement of Commitment. The Applicant signs it and pays/sends the accreditation fee. The LAD representative also signs the Statement of Commitment, forwards it and the fee to the appropriate personnel of the Area, Division, or Affiliate, and lets the Applicant and her new co-Leaders know that the Applicant is now an accredited LLL Leader.
Newly accredited Leaders
Newly accredited Leaders have exactly the same status as any other Leader anywhere in the world. Your experience and skills will be valued whether you have been a Leader for many years or for just a day. You will have access to an international network of support and information, and you will be invited to join the Community Network, an online resource for La Leche League Leaders.
After accreditation, we hope that you will soon be supporting a Leader Applicant yourself, passing on all that you have learned.