The Child Life Certification Program is a rigorous, examination-based professional certification credential. The requirements for getting certified are based on academic and clinical experiences, and successful completion of the Certification Examination. We recommend that all child life professionals interested in becoming certified start by downloading the Candidate Manual, a detailed, printer-friendly document that provides a comprehensive overview of the certification process from start to finish, along with instructions for establishing eligibility and applying for the exam.
In order to establish eligibility for the exam, candidates must meet three main requirements prior to the exam application deadline. 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.
Applicants must have completed a total of 10 college-level courses in child life or a related department/subject. Note: All applicants for the fall 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.
Applicants must complete a minimum of 480 hours of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications.
If, after reviewing the eligibility requirements, you are unsure if the course work on your transcript will be accepted to establish eligibility for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination, you have the option to request a course work review. Learn More about Course Work Reviews
There are three different types of fees associated with the certification process: Examination Fees, Certification Maintenance Fees, and Recertification Fees. Learn More about Certification Fees
The Child Life Certifying Committee recently introduced a new Code of Professional Practice, which addresses ethical dilemmas, behavior that reflects on the child life profession, and conduct that may put the general public at risk. All Certified Child Life Specialists will be required to provide confirmation of their consent to abide by the code prior to the end of 2013, and they will be asked for their continued agreement at critical points in the certification process. For more information, please review the complete Code of Professional Practice
The Candidate Manual is a detailed, printer-friendly document that provides a comprehensive overview of the certification process from start to finish, along with instructions for establishing eligibility and applying for the exam. Review the Candidate Manual