The Journey to Becoming Certified

The process of becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) includes degree, course work and clinical experience requirements specific to the year in which you will take the exam. During your journey, you will begin an Eligibility Assessment with ACLP to track your progress through the various requirements and ultimately allow you to register for the certification exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, the CCLS credential is granted and you will go on to the path of maintaining your certification.

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    Eligibility Assessment Steps:

  1. Log in on the ACLP website.
  2. Visit your profile.
  3. Click on Certification and then Certification Portal.
  4. Click on Select Requirements & Enter Coursework.
  5. Enter your name.
  6. Select 2018 or 2019 application guidelines.
  7. Begin entering your coursework information.

Eligibility Assessment

The Eligibility Assessment incorporates a course work/degree review, clinical experience verification, and an exam application into one streamlined process. Applicants pay a non-refundable fee of $75 to open an assessment file and progressively submit information and materials (including official transcripts and other verification documents) as they complete the requirements for establishing exam eligibility. When all parts of the Eligibility Assessment are complete, the applicant will be eligible to register for the exam.

Applicants for the Child Life Professional Certification Exam must complete an eligibility assessment based on the requirements in effect at the time they will take the exam. On January 1, 2019, eligibility requirements will be changing. A new online process is available to assess the eligibility of applicants against the requirements that will be in place from 2019 through the end of 2021. (Click here to review those requirements.) 

Please Note: If you plan to be certified in 2018, the deadline to apply for the last available internship cycle (summer 2018) is January 5, 2018. If you are not accepted into an internship and are unable to fulfill all the requirements for certification in 2018, you will have to meet the new requirements taking effect in 2019.

Applicants may log into their profile, pay a fee for the Eligibility Assessment, and immediately begin entering their eligibility information. They will be required to select an option for EITHER the current requirements (through 2018) or those for 2019-2021.  These two processes are mutually exclusive.  If you begin an assessment under the current requirements and then wish to take the exam after the start of 2019, you will be required to start the process anew and pay the $75 eligibility assessment fee again.
 

Begin an Eligibility Assessment

I Plan To Take The Child Life Professional Examination...

Before 2019

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These are the current degree, course work and clinical experience requirements for individuals taking the exam before 2019.

Between 2019 - 2022

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These are the degree, course work and clinical experience  requirements for exams taking place between 2019 and 2022.

Between 2022 - 2025

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These are the degree, course work and clinical experience requirements for exams taking place between 2022 and 2025.

After 2025

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These are the degree, course work and clinical experience requirements for exams taking place after 2025.

Exam Info

The Child Life Professional Certification Examination is an objective test that covers knowledge, understanding and practical application of professional child life theory. It is comprised of 150 multiple-choice questions, and the time allotted to complete the examination is four hours. Candidates for certification must establish eligibility through academic and clinical experiences before they apply to take the examination.

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