The requirements for getting certified are based on academic and clinical experiences, and successful completion of the Certification Examination. In order to establish eligibility for the Certification Examination, candidates must meet three requirements prior to the exam application deadline. For additional questions pertaining to exam eligibility, read through a list of Eligibility Frequently Asked Questions.
All applicants for the November 2013 and subsequent exams will be required to successfully complete their bachelor's degree on or before the application deadline for the exam for which they are applying. Applications from students anticipating graduation will no longer be accepted
Currently, the three eligibility requirements are:
Applicants must have either completed a bachelor’s degree, or be in the final semester of study for that degree. Note: All applicants for the November 2013 and subsequent exams will be required to successfully complete their bachelor’s degree on or before the application deadline for the exam for which they are applying. Applications from candidates anticipating graduation will no longer be accepted.
Questions? Review a list of Baccalaureate Degree Frequently Asked Questions.
Applicants must have completed a total of 10 college-level courses in child life or a related department/subject. Note: All applicants for the November 2013 and subsequent exams will be required to successfully complete a minimum of one child life course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist as part of this requirement. The child life course taught by a CCLS must be documented with a Child Life Course Verification Form.
Any course that is offered by the college/university departments listed below will count toward the course work requirement. Applicants are NOT required to take a course in each of these fields, but rather a total of 10 courses in one or more of the listed departments:
Courses in the following departments will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Only those with a clear connection with the Exam Content Outline will be accepted. Candidates may be required to supply supporting documentation such as course descriptions or syllabi for courses from these departments.
Courses on the following topics will be accepted regardless of college department:
Questions? Review a list of Course Work Frequently Asked Questions.
All exam applicants must complete a minimum of 480 hours of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. These hours can be completed through a child life internship or fellowship only. Volunteer, practicum and paid work hours are not accepted. Clinical experience is documented with a Clinical Experience Verification Form, signed by a supervisor from the internship, fellowship, or paid work experience.
In order to be eligible to supervise an exam applicant’s 480 hours of child life clinical experience, a Certified Child Life Specialist must:
PLEASE NOTE: The Clinical Experience Verification Form has been revised. All clinical experience completed after January 1, 2011 MUST be documented on the NEW version of the form. Older versions of the form will NOT be accepted for clinical training completed after January 1, 2011.
ATTENTION INTERNSHIP APPLICANTS: CLC recently developed a new Common Child Life Internship Application intended to simplify the application process for students. Rather than completing background information multiple times, applicants need only complete one form with the basics of their academic, prior experience, and child life interest information. All prosepective interns are responsible for contacting the programs to which they have interest in applying to ascertain if they are accepting the CLC’s Common Child Life Internship Application and to learn what additional materials must be submitted with the application for that specific program. For more information, please visit Common Child Life Internship Application.
Questions? Review a list of Clinical Experience Frequently Asked Questions.
The Child Life Council recommends that a supervised clinical experience be completed in an environment in which the applicant has direct, daily contact with a Certified Child Life Specialist to allow for adequate supervision. Completing a placement in such an environment will allow for appropriate modeling and observation, which may increase the likelihood of an applicant's success on the certification examination.
However, the Child Life Council recognizes that under certain circumstances alternative mechanisms may be necessary to meet the child life certification clinical experience supervision requirements. This specifically pertains to individuals living in remote areas where there is not a Certified Child Life Specialist accessible, for example, those living in countries with no or limited numbers of Certified Child Life Specialists. In such cases, the student should have previously achieved a level of working knowledge and practice of the field and is responsible for locating a Certified Child Life Specialist willing to provide supervision, as outlined in the Supervision Option for Extenuating Circumstances .