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. Those who achieve a passing score become certified for a five-year period, after which time they must recertify.


Preparing for the Exam

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How to prepare yourself for the exam.

Registering for the Exam

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How to register for the exam.

Taking the Exam

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What to expect on exam day.

Certification Examination Schedule

Eligibility must be established by the registration deadline, including submission of all required documentation.

Registration Deadline

- March 10
- August 10
- October 27

Testing Window

- March 15-30
- August 15-30
- November 1-15

- March 10
- August 10
- October 27

Testing Window

- March 15-30
- August 15-30
- November 1-15

- March 10
- August 10
- October 27

Testing Window

- March 15-30
- August 15-30
- November 1-15

Primary resources:

1. Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals: A Clinical Practice Manual Gaynard, et al. (1998)
2. Meeting Children’s Psychosocial Needs Across the Healthcare Continuum Rollins, Bolig, & Mahan (2005)
3. Child Life in Hospitals: Theory and Practice Thompson & Stanford (1981)
4. Guidelines for the Development of Child Life Programs Child Life Council (2006)
5. Official Documents of the Child Life Council Child Life Council (2002)
6. Evidence-Based Practice Statements; available in the Re-source Library at www.childlife.org
7. Anthology of Child Life Focus Child Life Council (2009)
8. Volunteers in Child Health: Management, Selection, Train-ing and Supervision Kiley (1992)
9. Making Ethical Decisions in Child Life Practice Child Life Council (2000)
10. The Handbook of Child Life Thompson (2009)
11. Any normal child growth and development textbook
12. Any pediatric nursing textbook

Additional resources:

1. Study Guide for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination Child Life Council (2009)
2. Child life Beyond the Hospital CLC (2008)
3. Therapeutic Activities for Children and Teens Coping with Health Issues Hart & Rollins (2011)
4. How to Help Children through a Parent’s Serious Illness McCue & Bonn (2011)
5. Helping Children and Adolescents with Chronic and Serious Medical Conditions: A Strengths-Based Approach Webb (2009)