Eligibility Requirements Effective January 1, 2019

Effective January 1, 2019, to establish eligibility for the Child Life Professional Certification Exam, the following will be required of all candidates by the registration deadline for the exam administration for which they are applying.

Bachelor's Degree Requirements 

A bachelor's degree (in any field of study)


Graduation from an ACLP-endorsed child life academic program or 10 college courses in the following content areas:

  • Child Life Course Taught by a CCLS
  • 2 Child Development Courses
  • Family Systems Course
  • Play Course
  • Loss/Bereavement or Death/Dying Course
  • Research Course
  • Three Additional Courses

Please note: 

A course devoted to each of these subjects is required. The subject must be the primary focus of the course.

Each course may satisfy only one of the requirements; none can be applied to meet two or more of these required courses. For example, a child life course that addresses play may not be used to fulfill both the child life course and the play course requirements. It may be used to meet the child life course OR the play course requirement, but not both.

Click here for more details about the required coursework.

Child Life Clinical Internship

600 hour Internship

Applicants must complete a minimum of 600 hours of a child life clinical internship under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Supervisor Qualifications

In order to be eligible to supervise an exam applicant’s internship hours, a CCLS must:

1. Maintain professional child life certification throughout the supervisory period
2. Have a minimum of 4,000 hours of paid child life clinical experience prior to the start of the supervisory period
3. Take responsibility for the educational development and guidance of the candidate in the clinical setting

Verifying the Internship

Clinical experience is documented by an online verification process or via a Clinical Experience Verification Form, signed by a supervisor from the internship or fellowship.

ACLP members can search for an Internship/Clinical Program in the Internship Directory. If you are interested in becoming a member, click here