Professional Development Units

Recertification by Professional Development Units (PDU) allows Certified Child Life Specialists® an opportunity to choose education and training options specific to their individual professional needs. In order to be eligible for recertification, CCLSs choosing the PDU option must earn a minimum number of Professional Development Units within their five-year recertification cycle. CCLSs may begin to collect PDUs immediately after they have taken the Child Life Professional Certification Examination. The deadline for submitting a PDU application is October 31.   
Watch Video: "PDU's and You" (YouTube)

Applicable Professional Development Units

Professional Development Units (PDU) must have been completed during the five-year cycle for which they are reported.

  • A CCLS may start accruing PDUs on the day the certification exam is passed and may continue to do so until October 31 of the year in which certification will expire.
  • A recently recertified CCLS may begin accruing PDUs for the next recertification cycle on November 1 and may continue to do so until October 31 of the year in which the new certification cycle will expire.
  • Candidates will need to refer to the Exam Content Outline to establish a connection to each PDU session attended. For each session, candidates will select one of the three domains from the Exam Content Outline

Obtaining Credit 

Candidates may obtain credit for the following activity types:

  • Traditional professional development (conference sessions, college courses, workshops, seminars)
  • Independent study
  • Presenting
  • Internship supervision
  • Publishing
  • Professional service

For a complete listing of PDU-eligible activities, please refer to the Recertification Manual.

Reporting PDUs

Important Notes

  • Certified Child Life Specialists must keep supporting documentation for each professional development activity in case the application is selected for random audit. 
  • Do not submit these materials unless requested by the Child Life Certification Commission.
  • PDUs will be calculated in half hour increments only.  CCLSs may not earn PDUs for sessions less than 30 minutes.
  • Hours will be rounded down to the nearest half-hour increment. (For example, .75 will be credited as .5).
  • Unless otherwise specified, one education contact hour will be credited for one PDU. 
  • Conference programs must be broken down into individual breakout sessions with an entry for each  

Please see the Recertification Manual for additional details.


PDU Opportunities

ACLP offers many PDU opportunities, such as webinars and recorded conference sessions. For additional PDU opportunities, including external opportunities, please click here.

Random Audit of Professional Development Unit Submissions

To uphold and enforce the high standards that have been set for child life professional development, the Child Life Certification Commission conducts an annual, random audit of Professional Development Unit (PDU) recertification applications. The percentage of certificants to be audited is set by the CLCC. Audit of PDUs does not mean that there is doubt about the honesty or accuracy of claimed PDUs.

It is essential to maintain a complete file of documentation of PDUs in the event your application is randomly selected for the audit process.