Child life certification is the process by which the Child Life Certifying Committee grants a time-limited recognition and use of the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential, after verifying that an individual has met predetermined and standardized criteria.
The child life certification program is administered by CLC staff, our testing agency, and the Child Life Certifying Committee (CLCC), a standing committee of the Child Life Council. The program fosters uniform standards of practice and ethical conduct among child life specialists, while it enhances the status and credibility of the profession. In addition, child life certification provides protection for the general public from untrained individuals entering into an inappropriate relationship with children and families.
To achieve the CCLS credential, each candidate must satisfy all educational and experiential requirements established by the CLCC, and must demonstrate an acceptable level of knowledge of child life theory and practice by successfully completing the Child Life Professional Certification Examination. The eligibility requirements for the exam are applied fairly, impartially, and consistently with applicable laws, including all US government nondiscriminatory statutes and laws.
Certification is granted independently of a candidate’s membership in Child Life Council.
Candidates for certification must establish eligibility before they may take the Child Life Professional Certification Examination. Those who achieve a passing score on the exam become certified for a five-year period. During this five-year cycle, Certified Child Life Specialists are required to pay Certification Maintenance Fees, and in the fifth year of the cycle they must recertify, either by retaking the exam or through verification of required Professional Development Hours (PDHs).
There are no exceptions made to this requirement. Taking and passing the Child Life Professional Certification Examination is the only way to become a Certified Child Life Specialist.
Formerly known as the Child Life Certifying Commission, the Child Life Certifying Committee (CLCC) was established to initiate, evaluate, maintain and oversee the CCLS credentialing program. Committee leaders are selected through popular vote by members of the Child Life Council. The Child Life Certifying Committee seeks to represent the diversity that exists within the profession and serve as a voice for stakeholders who have an interest in maintaining high standards in child life.
This one-page statement describes the major roles played by child life specialists, identifies child life standards of clinical practice, and discusses the importance of the CCLS credential, asserting that, “…child life services should be provided by Certified Child Life Specialists.”