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:

  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 beginning in 2019. (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) was 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.  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...

In 2018


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

After 2019

 Pursue Certification

These are the degree, course work and clinical experience requirements for exams taking place after January 1, 2019.

         NEW ACLP Video: Mastering Your Courses


A 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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