Becoming Certified

To become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), all candidates must successfully complete the Child Life Professional Certification Exam.

Establishing eligibility for the certification exam includes degree, course work and clinical experience requirements. To begin, applicants start an Eligibility Assessment to track progress toward satisfying the requirements.

Once eligibility is established, candidates register for the certification exam.

There are also requirements for maintaining certification, once it has been granted.

NEW ACLP Video: Eligibility Assessment 101

Eligibility Assessment steps can be found by clicking here.

Please note that students who have graduated from or are enrolled in an ACLP-endorsed academic program must contact the ACLP office at in order to start their Eligibility Assessment.

Eligibility Assessment

The Eligibility Assessment is the first step in the certification process.  It is the means for establishing eligibility for the certification exam through a review of degree and relevant course work as well as the verification of child life internship hours.

Anyone interested in having academic and clinical information reviewed and accepted for the purposes of establishing eligibility for the exam and/or providing an internship site with evidence of his/her progress towards satisfying the academic requirements should request an Eligibility Assessment.

Applicants pay a non-refundable fee of $75 to open an assessment record and progressively submit information and materials (including official transcripts and other verification documents) as they complete the requirements for establishing exam eligibility. When all elements of the Eligibility Assessment are verified, the applicant will be eligible to register for the exam.

Nothing can be reviewed until appropriate documentation such as official transcripts or Clinical Experience Verification Forms is received.  Applicants can expect to see their online profile updated within 3 weeks of the receipt of documentation at the ACLP office.  Please factor in this turnaround time when planning the submission of internship applications or registration for the exam.

Please note that an Eligibility Assessment is valid until any changes in the eligibility requirements occur.  If you begin an assessment under one set of requirements and then wish to take the exam after requirements change, you are required to start the process anew and pay the $75 eligibility assessment fee again.  Those who began an Eligibility Assessment or established eligibility for the exam under the requirements prior to 2019, are required to start a new Eligibility Assessment under the new requirements including a second payment of the appropriate fee.

More Information About the Certification Process

 Pursue Certification


Read about the current degree, course work, and clinical experience required in order to register for the exam.

Learn More

Watch this guide to meeting the 2019 coursework requirements.

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.

Get Exam Info




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  • New Webinar: Mastering Your Courses: A guide to Meeting the 2019 Coursework Requirement

    Jun 14, 2018
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    Mar 23, 2017
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