Maintaining Certification

Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLSs) are required to pay certification maintenance fees in order to keep their certification status active.  Certification maintenance fees are due by January 31 of each of the first four years of the five-year certification cycle.

For example, if you passed the March, August, or November 2019 exam, your first annual maintenance fee payment is due by January 31, 2020. If you re-certified during 2019, your first annual maintenance fee payment for your new cycle is due by January 31, 2020.

CCLSs are sent reminders via email when certification maintenance fees are due, so it is important for each individual to keep the ACLP informed of changes to contact information.  

Those who fail to submit maintenance fees will lose the CCLS credential and must begin the certification process anew by meeting the current eligibility requirements and passing the examination.

Certification Maintenance fees are essential to the operation of the Child Life Professional Certification Program.  They provide the financial resources needed for the program’s implementation.  

Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLSs) are required to pay maintenance in order to sustain the program from which they benefit. The CCLS credential is valuable, providing an advantage available only to those who meet the set standard and support the program through the payment of fees.  

The primary benefit is the recognition the credential brings to those who achieve it. Employers understand that credential holders have set themselves apart from non-credentialed practitioners, in many cases requiring the credential for employment.

In addition to certification maintenance, CCLSs are required to recertify every 5 years.

Important Dates

  • January 31: Certification maintenance fees due
  • March 31: Last day of certification grace period (payment + late fee)
  • April 1: CCLSs with unpaid maintenance fees become inactive
  • December 31: Last day to reinstate the credential for those who have not paid the certification maintenance fee

Certification Maintenance Fees

Standard Fees

ACLP Members: $48.00 U.S. per year
Non-members: $68.00 U.S. per year

Fees if paid between February 1 and March 31 (Late) 

After January 31, a $35.00 U.S. late fee is added. CCLSs are permitted to pay their maintenance fee plus the late fee during a 60-day grace period (February 1 - March 31). 

ACLP Members: $83.00 U.S.
Non-members: $103.00 U.S.

Fees if paid between April 1 and December 31

After March 31, certification must be reinstated by paying an additional $60.00 U.S. reinstatement fee. 

ACLP Members: 
$143.00 U.S.
$163.00 U.S.

Lapsed Certification Due to Non-Payment of Maintenance Fees

If a maintenance payment is not received by March 31, the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) will go into an “Inactive” status for up to nine months (April 1 until December 31).

  • While “Inactive” the individual is not permitted to use the CCLS credential and will not be listed in the CCLS Directory on the Association of Child Life Professionals website.
  • An individual may return to an “Active” status by submitting a reinstatement fee along with the maintenance and late fees.
  • In order to have certification reinstated, the individual must pay the maintenance fee, the late fee, and a $55 reinstatement fee.
  • Being in the “Inactive” status does not affect the certification cycle end date. It does not extend the deadline for recertification.

If the reinstatement payment is not received by December 31, certification lapses and the individual is notified that he or she is no longer a Certified Child Life Specialist. To regain the CCLS credential, an individual with a “Lapsed” certification status must re-establish eligibility under the current requirements and pass the Child Life Professional Certification Exam.

More Information & FAQs

For more information or additional clarification on certification maintenance, please review Certification Maintenance Fee FAQs and the Maintenance & Recertification Manual.

If you have questions about your payment status, please contact